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Transcript of Expository Essay
A common method for writing an expository or informative essay is the five-paragraph approach:
Opening Paragraph (Introduction)
: A statement that guides your paper's main argument
3 Body Paragraphs
-Each body paragraph has a main idea that supports the thesis.
Closing Paragraph (Conclusion)
Provide information about a topic
Educate with facts
The body of an essay consists of three paragraphs.
Each body paragraph explains in detail one of the main ideas expressed in the thesis statement.
Be sure to use transitions and transitional phrases to guide your reader from one paragraph to the next (n
ext, in conclusion, to add a point, above all, as an illustration, for this reason
There are three parts to a body paragraph:
1. Topic sentence
Expresses the main idea of this paragraph
2. Supporting Sentences
Explain and develop the main idea: present facts, examples, explanations, and support.
3. Concluding Sentence
Transitions into the next paragraph
The first paragraph is meant to...
introduce the reader to the essay topic
create interest in the essay
outline the writer's main ideas
suggest how these ideas will be presented within body paragraphs
Parts of an Introductory Paragraph:
The concluding paragraph ends the essay by reviewing the main ideas from each body paragraph and leaving the reader with a final thought.
The conclusion consists of three elements:
(use different wording)
Summary of main ideas
(remind the reader of your 3 main ideas from your body paragraphs)
(Ex: challenge the reader, give a solution, make a prediction, pose a question)
Before You Start...
When you read the prompt or writing assignment, you must first identify:
Ask: What are you writing about?
Examples: school uniforms, college football
Ask: Why are you writing? What are you trying to achieve?
Examples: To inform, describe, to teach
Ask: What will my essay look like?
Examples: A letter, news article
Ask: Who is the reader?
Example: A principal, the public, your fellow students
Ask: How does the author feel about the topic?
Example: A student writing to a principal about uniforms may not support uniforms in schools. You would sense that feeling in their writing.
Introductory Strategies: The"Hook"
The "hook" is the first sentence of the opening paragraph intended to catch a reader's attention. It introduces the topic of the essay in an interesting way.
song lyric, famous quote, line from a poem
pose a thought-provoking question
A personal example/story
statistic, unusual fact
define a key term
-What would you do if you discovered a secret that changed everything?
-Have you ever felt like a total outsider?
"As a young child, Charles Dickens was forced to work in a shoe polish factory. In Hard Times, Dickens taps into his childhood experience to explore the evils of social injustice and hypocrisy."
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
Fifteen years ago, my family was faced with a tragic event. A drunk driver crashed into my brother when he was coming home from work, killing him instantly.
A Thesis Statement...
tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
directly answers the question asked of you.
makes a claim that others might dispute.
is usually a single sentence at the end of your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader.
maps the logic behind of your interpretation.
Ex: The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.
Weak vs. Strong Thesis
A strong thesis statement both names the topic and reveals the writer's opinion about that topic. It should be clear and specific.
Weak thesis statement:
India has a lot of interesting festivals.
The statement is too broad--the writer can't discuss all Indian festivals. Even though it does state the writer's opinion, the statement is not clear: it doesn't explain why the festivals are interesting.
Strong thesis statement:
Diwali is an important festival for Indians because they celebrate, remember traditional legends, and enjoy time with their families.
-The “voice” deals with the style and use of tone by the author.
-Since the author is writing to inform the reader, there exists a relationship between the two (author and the reader).
-Therefore, the reader is exposed to, and responds to, literally, the “author’s voice”.
-“Voice” might better be thought of as a lens through which the reader will experience your writing.