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The Expository Essay An Overview

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1 The Expository Essay An Overview

2 The function of the expository essay is to explain, or to acquaint your reader with a body of knowledge.

3 By explaining a topic to the reader, you are demonstrating your own knowledge.

4 For example, if you are asked to write an essay about how to drive a car, you decide what you plan to concentrate on, create a paragraph structure, and describe the process step by step.

5 When describing, or exposing the process by which one drives a car, all you are doing is explaining the steps or process.

6 An essay becomes more complicated when a position has to be defended, as in the persuasive essay, which is one of the reasons expository essays are more popular.

7 Expository essays require that the writer give information, explain the topic or define something.

8 To accomplish that, expository essays are best developed by the use of facts and statistical information, cause and effect relationships, or examples.

9 Since they are factual, they are written without emotion and usually written in the third person.

10 The third person means that the use of the pronoun "I" is not usually found within the essay. Instead the writer will refer to the first person (I) in the third person (one).

11 Expository essays also have a distinct format
Expository essays also have a distinct format. The thesis statement must be defined and narrow enough to be supported within the essay.

12 Each supporting paragraph must have a distinct controlling topic and all other sentences must factually relate directly to it.

13 The transition words or phrases are important as they help the reader follow along and reinforce the logic.

14 Finally, the conclusion paragraph should originally restate the thesis and the main supporting ideas.

15 Finish with a statement that reinforces your position in a meaningful and memorable way.

16 Never introduce new material in the conclusion.

17 As they like to state at the essay info writing center…

18 The purpose of an expository essay is to present, completely and fairly, other people's views or to report about an event or a situation.

19 Expository writing, or exposition, presents a subject in detail, apart from criticism, argument, or development; i.e., the writer elucidates a subject by analyzing it.

20 Such writing is discourse designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand.

21 Exposition usually proceeds by the orderly analysis of parts and the use of familiar illustrations or analogies.

22 Such an analysis requires: 1) Reading with understanding the ideas developed in an article by clearly stating another's thesis, outlining the facts used by the author to support that thesis, and the "values" underlying the ideas.

23 2) Putting what is read into a larger context by relating another's article or book to other work in the field.

24 3) Clearly and effectively communicating this information to a defined audience.

25 4) In other words, you must write clearly and fully enough for your readers to know how you have arrived at your analyses and conclusions.

26 Your reader should never have to guess what you mean; give your readers everything they need to know to follow your reasoning.

27 This practice is not "just for students
This practice is not "just for students." Accurate analysis is a fundamental professional activity in almost all careers.

28 Like any other fundamental skill, it must be constantly practiced in order to maintain and improve it.

29 Other goals, such as learning "time management" and note-taking, are also developed by this activity.

30 Do not be afraid to revise your essay
Do not be afraid to revise your essay! In fact, you will probably want to change it at least once; this is called "thinking through a 'problem'" or "learning."

31 The revisions will consist of the following: 1) Finding the precise words to express your thoughts

32 2) Correcting typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors

33 3) Making sure that your paragraphs are "tight" and sequenced properly.

34 4) Making sure that the transition ("segue") from one major topic to another makes sense.

35 Expository Essay Writing Prompt – Topic: Voting is an Important Act of Citizenship

36 Many US citizens do not exercise their right to vote at any level of government.

37 They give up their right to important input on issues because they do not take the time to investigate the issues, or go to the polls to cast a ballot for a candidate that may have similar values.

38 Some think that one vote does not make a difference so why should they bother.

39 Often elections are decided by a very small percentage of those eligible and registered to vote.

40 Your job is to explain the value of having and exercising the right to vote. Use the five-paragraph form for the explanation.  

41 Be sure to think of reasons why it is important to vote
Be sure to think of reasons why it is important to vote. Think of the kinds of laws that effect the average individual.

42 Think how the stated platforms of the various parties influence the outcomes of actions of lawmaking bodies.

43 Use a planner. Be sure to state that it is important to vote in your topic sentence.

44 That is the assignment. You do not have a choice
That is the assignment. You do not have a choice. Think of three good reasons why everyone should vote.

45 Once you have written them down, think about some supporting reasons or examples.

46 If you can think of some examples from history, you might be able to include some concrete examples from the past of how a law came about or was changed by the actions of the lawmakers.

47 Or you can give examples from the present or recent times to explain how voting does make a difference.

48 Feel free to reference things that have happened in your school that could parallel events in the local, state or national government.

49 Think of some excuses that you might have heard and explain why they are not valid.

50 Once you have the three reasons and have three supporting facts or ideas for each one, it is time to plan for the summary ending.

51 Be sure that you have a strong summary and restate, in an original manner, the main points of your essay.

52 It is necessary to restate and remind people of the main facts that you brought out throughout the essay.

53 It is necessary to remind them of the focus and the main points that you have brought out. When you have finished the planner, it is time to write.

54 Try to think of a good opening sentence that clearly focuses in on the topic.

55 Be sure that it is sufficiently broad to cover your points, but not so broad as to loose the interest of the reader right off the bat.

56 Using something like, "voting is important
Using something like, "voting is important." Does not create interest or clearly define the topic.

57 As you write, take time to phrase each sentence in your mind.

58 Pay attention to the arrangement of the sentence that went before so that you are varying the sentence structure.

59 Be sure that the subject and the verb agree
Be sure that the subject and the verb agree. Try to write in active voice as it is so much more powerful.

60 Thanks to UVIC and Geo Cities for much of the content here-in.

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