Point and Purpose in Paragraphs
- 'Expository' is a broad term and often writing classes will divide expository writing into a variety of categories. Here are some examples: Describing: painting a vivid picture of a time, place or experience. Persuasive or argumentative: giving reasons for the reader to believe your idea. Comparison: telling how things are alike and different.
- Expository writing differs from other forms of writing, such as fiction and poetry. In fact, this lesson itself is an example of expository writing. The expository essay is a tool that is often.
Mar 25, 2020 'Expository' is a broad term and often writing classes will divide expository writing into a variety of categories. Here are some examples: Describing: painting a vivid picture of a time, place or experience. Persuasive or argumentative: giving reasons for the reader to believe your idea. Comparison: telling how things are alike and different.
Point and purpose is the key to understanding types of paragraphs and kinds of paragraphs.
In writing, the words point and purpose are almost synonymous. Your point is your purpose, and how you decide to make your point clear to your reader is also your purpose. Writers have a point and a purpose for every paragraph that they create.
Writers write descriptive paragraphs because their purpose is to describe something. Their point is that something is beautiful or disgusting or strangely intriguing. Writers write persuasive and argument paragraphs because their purpose is to persuade or convince someone. Their point is that their reader should see things a particular way and possibly take action on that new way of seeing things. Writers write paragraphs of comparison because the comparison will make their point clear to their readers.
The purpose of Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay is to quickly and easily teach students how to organize information and make points clear. Then in the Writing with Purpose section of the writing program, students learn to apply their new writing strategies to different types, kinds, genres, and modes of writing. The truth is that it’s quick and easy to get students to write many different types of paragraphs when they have the right foundation.
Put simply, all of the different types and kinds of paragraphs simply involve layering on a different purpose or intent. When students have the right foundation, it’s just that simple. What are you trying to achieve in this paragraph and in your whole composition? What is your purpose right here? Do you wish to describe? Do you want to evaluate? Is your goal to narrate? Is your intent to persuade?
When students don’t have a proper foundation, these questions don’t mean much to them. After Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay, students say, “I get it! I finally get it! I can’t even read what I was writing before!”.
After Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay, when the students’ purpose or intent is to:
• Describe 🡺 🡺 they write a 🡺 🡺 Descriptive Paragraph
• Inform 🡺 🡺 they write a 🡺 🡺 Informative Paragraph
• Narrate 🡺 🡺 they write a 🡺 🡺 Narrative Paragraph
• Persuade 🡺 🡺 they write a 🡺 🡺 Persuasive Paragraph
It’s just that easy! For amazing writing success, CLICK HERE! Let’s get your students writing amazing paragraphs. Wait! Why stop there? Let’s get your students writing entire essays filled full of amazing paragraphs! Put simply, Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay is the fastest, most effective way to teach students organized multi-paragraph writing… Guaranteed!
1. Describe: I am going to DESCRIBE a sunset!
Sunset is the time of day when our sky meets the outer space solar winds. There are blue, pink, and purple swirls, spinning and twisting, like clouds of balloons caught in a whirlwind. The sun moves slowly to hide behind the line of horizon, while the moon races to take its place in prominence atop the night sky. People slow to a crawl, entranced, fully forgetting the deeds that must still be done. There is a coolness, a calmness, when the sun does set.
Informational Paragraph and a Narrative Paragraph
2. Inform: I am going to INFORM you about the Apollo 11 space mission.
On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Its mission was to go where no human being had gone before—the moon! The crew consisted of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. The spacecraft landed on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility, a basaltic flood plain, on July 20, 1969. The moonwalk took place the following day. On July 21, 1969, at precisely 10:56 EDT, Commander Neil Armstrong emerged from the Lunar Module and took his famous first step onto the moon’s surface. He declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was a monumental moment in human history!
Narrate: I am going to NARRATE a story about the Apollo 11 space mission.
It was July 21, 1969, and Neil Armstrong awoke with a start. It was the day he would become the first human being to ever walk on the moon. The journey had begun several days earlier, when on July 16th, the Apollo 11 launched from Earth headed into outer space. On board with Neil Armstrong were Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The crew landed on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility a day before the actual walk. Upon Neil’s first step onto the moon’s surface, he declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It sure was!
Process or How-to Paragraph
3. Process: I am going to explain the PROCESS of cleaning and organizing your room.
How-to: I am going to describe HOW-TO clean and organize your room.
Here is the perfect system for cleaning your room. First, move all of the items that do not have a proper place to the center of the room. Get rid of at least five things that you have not used within the last year. Take out all of the trash, and place all of the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. Now find a location for each of the items you had placed in the center of the room. For any remaining items, see if you can squeeze them in under your bed or stuff them into the back of your closet. See, that was easy!
Compare and Contrast Paragraph
4. Compare/Contrast: I am going to COMPARE and CONTRAST an ocean and a lake.
Oceans and lakes have much in common, but they are also quite different. Both are bodies of water, but oceans are very large bodies of salt water, while lakes are much smaller bodies of fresh water. Lakes are usually surrounded by land, while oceans are what surround continents. Both have plants and animals living in them. The ocean is home to the largest animals on the planet, whereas lakes support much smaller forms of life. When it is time for a vacation, both will make a great place to visit and enjoy.
5. Critique: I am going to CRITIQUE the Blue Whales’ first baseball game of the new season.
The Blue Whales just played their first baseball game of the new season; I believe there is much to be excited about. Although they lost, it was against an excellent team that had won the championship last year. The Blue Whales fell behind early but showed excellent teamwork and came back to tie the game. The team had 15 hits and scored 8 runs. That’s excellent! Unfortunately, they had 5 fielding errors, which kept the other team in the lead the entire game. The game ended with the umpire making a bad call, and if the call had gone the other way, the Blue Whales might have actually won the game. It wasn’t a victory, but I say the Blue Whales look like they have a shot at the championship, especially if they continue to improve.
Persuasive Paragraph and Argumentative Paragraph
6. Persuade: I am going to PERSUADE my neighbors to buy tickets to the school fair.
The school fair is right around the corner, and tickets have just gone on sale. We are selling a limited number of tickets at a discount, so move fast and get yours while they are still available. This is going to be an event you will not want to miss! First off, the school fair is a great value when compared with other forms of entertainment. Also, your ticket purchase will help our school, and when you help the school, it helps the entire community. But that’s not all! Every ticket you purchase enters you in a drawing to win fabulous prizes. And don’t forget, you will have mountains of fun because there are acres and acres of great rides, fun games, and entertaining attractions! Spend time with your family and friends at our school fair. Buy your tickets now!
Argue: I am going to present a logical ARGUMENT as to why my neighbor should attend the school fair.
The school fair is right around the corner, and tickets have just gone on sale. Even though you may be busy, you will still want to reserve just one day out of an entire year to relax and have fun with us. Even if you don’t have much money, you don’t have to worry. A school fair is a community event, and therefore prices are kept low. Perhaps, you are still not convinced. Maybe you feel you are too old for fairs, or you just don’t like them. Well, that’s what my grandfather thought, but he came to last year’s school fair and had this to say about it: “I had the best time of my life!” While it’s true that you may be able to think of a reason not to come, I’m also sure that you can think of several reasons why you must come. We look forward to seeing you at the school fair!
Problem and Solution Paragraph (Narrative Version and Informational Version)
7. Problem/Solution: I am going to describe a kitty door PROBLEM and then explain the kitty door SOLUTION.
Narrative Version (1st person)
Last week we installed a kitty door so that our cat could come and go as she pleases. Unfortunately, we ran into a problem. Our cat was afraid to use the kitty door. We tried pushing her through, and that caused her to be even more afraid. The kitty door was dark, and she couldn’t see what was on the other side. The first step we took in solving this problem was taping the kitty door open. After a couple of days, she was confidently coming and going through the open door. However, when we removed the tape and closed the door, once again, she would not go through. They say you catch more bees with honey, so we decided to use food as bait. We would sit next to the kitty door with a can of wet food and click the top of the can. When kitty came through the closed door, we would open the can and feed her. It took five days of doing this to make her unafraid of using the kitty door. Now we have just one last problem: our kitty controls our lives!
Expository/Informational Article Version – This began as one paragraph, but needed two—one for the problem and one for the solution. Also, notice that the second paragraph is a process paragraph. It would be very easy to add an introduction and conclusion to these two paragraphs and have a complete essay!
People often install a kitty door, only to discover that they have a problem. The problem is their cat will not use the kitty door. There are several common reasons why cats won’t use kitty doors. First, they may not understand how a kitty door works. They may not understand that it is a little doorway just for them. Second, many kitty doors are dark, and cats cannot see to the other side. As such, they can’t be sure of what is on the other side of the door, so they won’t take the risk. One last reason cats won’t use kitty doors is because some cats don’t like the feeling of pushing through the door and having the door drag across their back. But don’t worry—there is a solution for this kitty-door problem.
The first step in solving the problem is to prop the door open with tape. This means your cat will now be able to see through to the other side; your cat will likely begin using the kitty door immediately. Once your cat has gotten used to using the kitty door, remove the tape. Sometimes cats will continue to use the kitty door without any more prompting. If this does not happen, you will want to use food to bribe your cat. When it’s feeding time, sit on the opposite side of the door from your cat and either click the top of the can or crinkle the cat food bag. Open the door to show your cat that it is both you and the food waiting on the other side of the door. Repeat this a couple times, and then feed your cat. After a couple days of this, your kitty-door problem will be solved.
Cause and Effect Paragraph
8. Cause/Effect: I am going to explain the CAUSES that had the EFFECT of making me a high achieving student.
(Note: This is also a first-person narrative.)
I do well in school, and people think I am smart because of it. But it’s not true. In fact, three years ago I struggled in school. However, two years ago I decided to get serious about school and made a few changes. First, I decided I would become interested in whatever was being taught, regardless of what other people thought. I also decided I would work hard every day and never give up on any assignment. I decided to never, never fall behind. Finally, I decided to make school a priority over friends and fun. After implementing these changes, I became an active participant in classroom discussions. Then my test scores began to rise. I still remember the first time that someone made fun of me because “I was smart.” How exciting! It seems to me that being smart is simply a matter of working hard and being interested. After all, learning a new video game is hard work even when you are interested. Unfortunately, learning a new video game doesn’t help you get into college or get a good job.
Personal Narrative Paragraph
9. Personal Narrative: I am going to give a PERSONAL NARRATION of an event that changed my life.
Last year was the first time I had ever been the new kid at school. For the first four days, I was completely alone. I don’t think I even spoke to a single person. Finally, at lunch on the fifth day, Karen Watson walked past her usual table and sat down right next to me. Even though I was new, I had already figured out who Karen Watson was. She was popular. Pretty soon, all of Karen’s friends were sitting there right next to me. I never became great friends with Karen, but after lunch that day, it seemed like all sorts of people were happy to be my friend. You cannot convince me that Karen did not know what she was doing. I have a great respect for her, and I learned a great deal about what it means to be a true leader.
If you have an expository essay prompt, first of all, get ready to spend a while finding all types of information sources and conducting in-depth research. Students often get frustrated when they are assigned an expository writing assignment. Although essays have never been a piece of cake in the first place, this version of the task appears to be one of, if not the, hardest one(s).
What is expository writing? Why is it so complicated? And how can you write an A-level paper with ease? In this article you are going to find answers to all of these, and many other, common questions, as well as find a step-by-step guide for creating a flawless essay.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Is an Expository Essay?
To get to the point of the expository essay definition, let’s start with the basics — the word “expository” is a derivative of the word “exposition.” As you can already understand from the name, the core task behind an expository essay is to expose information. Simply put, to expose something means to lay something bare, uncover, or discover information in a way to make it understandable for a reader.
Thus, an expository essay is a structured academic paper that investigates an idea, expands on it, provides argumentation, and presents everything in simple language to make the concept clear for everyone.
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Expository Essay Structure
As a rule, expository writing is done in MLA format and typically has a standard 5-paragraph essay structure:
- Paragraph 1: Introduction with a hook to grab your readers’ attention, and a thesis statement that clearly presents the main concept and goal of your paper.
- Paragraph 2: Body, 1st point/argument with supporting evidence.
- Paragraph 3: Body, 2nd point/argument with supporting evidence.
- Paragraph 4: Body, 3rd point/argument with supporting evidence.
- Paragraph 5: Conclusion with a concise summary of your key points/arguments and a thesis restatement.
Expository Essay Purpose
When are such tasks assigned? An expository essay, with its “explain, inform, describe” form, is a perfect way to test students’ knowledge. Due to this reason, such essays are often found at the end of various tests or exams. Also, it’s possible that you will be assigned such an essay for in-class writing, for example, at the end of your semester to show what you’ve learned from the course.
Another reason why this type of essay is often assigned in schools and colleges is that it is a good introduction to expository writing — one of the 4 major rhetorical modes. Expository writing, in its turn, branches out into a wide array of disciplines, including:
- Scientific writing
To give you a few examples, such written pieces like news articles, press releases, business letters, scientific journals, and term papers are all embodiments of the expository essay.
Finally, it is worth saying that expository writing is a vital life skill. Most careers have it as a daily requirement. Thus, another purpose of writing this type of essay is to acquire that vital skill.
5 Main Types of Expository Writing
There are 5 main types of expository essays:
- Descriptive Essay: This is an essay in which the writer is asked to describe something.This could be a person, place, experience, situation, etc. Descriptive Essays are unique in the sense that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to the content. You should present something exciting or beautiful, all the while keeping the reader interested.
- Process Essay: The classic “How To” assignment. The purpose of this essay is to teach the reader about a learning process: how to build a car, how to edit a paper, or even how to flirt with a girl.
- Comparison Essay: As the name suggests, a comparison essay makes you critically analyze any two subjects, finding and explaining their similarities and/or differences.
- Cause and Effect Essay: The “Knee-Jerk” reaction assignment. Cause and effect essays are concerned with why and/or how things happen, and what happens as a result.
- Problem/Solution Essay: The universal standard prompt assignment. In this situation, we have a problem and are looking for solutions. The essay is broken down into a brief introduction to the problem, and filled with content about solutions.
The 5-Step Process for Expository Writing
Now, when you have a clear understanding of the key terms, know the basic structure, and the purpose of this work, you may wonder how to write an expository essay.
Below you can find a list of 5 proven steps that will guide you through the process of expository writing and help you succeed:
1. Prewriting: Expository Essay Topics
The first phase of the writing process involves brainstorming for ideas and choosing a topic. In most cases, you will be provided with some essay prompts and instructions. Carefully read them to make sure you are on the same page with your teacher. Then, when you have a good idea of what you are expected to do, you can start searching for a perfect topic.
A good topic for an expository essay should not be too broad or narrow.
The Negative Influences of Video Games – is too broad, but if you make it more specific, for example, mention some classification of group studied, like age, gender, or other details, you will be able to narrow it down.
How Excessively Playing Video Games Can Provoke Teen Violence – is narrow becauue the subject of study and the group studied are quite specific.
The topic should be manageable, so make sure you pick something you can address in a 5-paragraph paper. Also, it should be relevant and significant. Finally, pick a topic that you are interested in and one you know you will be able to explain (after all, that’s the main purpose of this type of essay).
A topic can investigate pretty much anything from history to space or technology. Just find whatever engages you and go for it. To give you a little kickstart, we’ve collected a list of top 10 relevant ideas for a good expository essay:
- Explain how excessively playing video games can provoke teen violence
- Describe the likely consequences of procrastination
- Explain how overpopulation can influence our lives
- Investigate the change of education in the era of technology
- Explain the goal of space exploration
- Does the organization of a workplace influence its workflow? How and why?
- Explain the perspectives of Mars colonization
- What are the major stress triggers among college students? What are the ways to manage them?
- Explain the role of Astronomy in Ancient Greece
- Define the consequences of the invention of the Internet
2. Expository Essay Outline
Creating an outline is vital, regardless of the type of paper you were assigned to do. First of all, it helps to organize your thoughts and to put them in a logical sequence. Secondly, having an outline will make the writing process simpler.
As you already know, an expository essay should consist of five paragraphs:
- Intro – the opening clause that engages the readers, reflects the topic and main idea, and guides the reader to the main part of the text;
- Body (3 paragraphs) – the main three paragraphs that provide the author’s key points with supporting sentences (such as facts, evidence, and examples);
- Conclusion – the last part of the paper that summarizes everything and highlights the larger significance of the paper.
Sample expository essay outline on the topic How Excessively Playing Video Games Can Provoke Teen Violence:
- Hook - a statement, dilemma, or question that gets readers’ attention, for example: 72% of teens are playing video games, with 9 out of 10 of them engaging in this pastime as a form of addiction;
- Background and context for the topic: Over 200,000 homicides take place worldwide among youth between 10-29 years old. Homicide is the fourth leading cause of teen death. Psychologists insist that those 72% of teen gamers are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior, which sparks teen violence;
- Thesis statement: Excessively playing video games can result in higher levels of violence among teens.
2. Main Body: 1st Paragraph
- Topic sentence clearly defining the main point: Violent video games increase the risk of having aggressive behavior;
- Supporting fact + example: Studies proving this statement;
- Supporting fact + example: Real-life examples proving this statement;
- Statement that analytically summarizes everything from the paragraph.
3. Main Body: 2nd Paragraph
- Topic sentence clearly defining the main point: Video games addiction can result in social isolation and depression;
- Supporting fact + examples: X% of teens report being addicted to video games;
- Supporting fact + example: X% of youth report having depression;
- Statement that analytically summarizes everything from the paragraph.
4. Main Body: 3rd Paragraph
- Topic sentence clearly defining the main point: Isolation caused by gaming addiction can grow into actual social phobia;
- Supporting fact + example: Facts backed by science;
- Supporting fact + example: Stats proving the statement;
- Statement that analytically summarizes everything from the paragraph.
Expository Writing Games For Kindergarten
- Make a summary of your main ideas: The negative outcomes of excessive gaming, such as depression, isolation, violence, and social phobia, can influence each other and turn into aggression;
- Restate the thesis (but do not repeat it word for word);
- Connect the dots between your ideas/arguments and the broader topic;
- Highlight the value of your research and reveal any unanswered questions (if needed).
Once you have a defined topic and a detailed outline, you can start working on the first draft of the paper. It shouldn’t be hard to create a draft if you follow the outline. All you need is to expand the points from your outline and logically tie them together in the paper.
This is always the most important part of your paper, as it is what grabs a reader’s attention and smoothly directs them into the content of the essay. To get an A for an expository essay, you need to make sure that your introduction is concise, straight to the point, and eye-catchy.
Here are the main tips for shaping a flawless introduction:
- Create a hook with a disputable question or an interesting dilemma, to attract attention;
- Reveal the idea of your topic and purpose;
- Make a powerful thesis statement.
Follow these prompts for writing a thesis statement:
- Make it well defined;
- Provide facts;
- Help readers get the main idea of your essay;
- Define the intention of your writing.
- Focus on a single point in each of your three body paragraphs;
- Make what each paragraph focuses on clear;
- Provide supporting examples, facts, and arguments;
- Make smooth transitions between paragraphs;
- Where appropriate, explain the value and importance of your arguments.
To end your essay with a strong conclusion and leave a lasting impression on the reader, use these tricks:
- Start with a brief overview of key points, ideas, and arguments;
- Restate your thesis;
- Offer possible solutions (when appropriate);
- Explain the value of your research.
Extra tip: avoid first-person pronouns such as “I” or “you” in the essay. An expository essay strives to interpret and clarify something, which is why it is more appropriate to write it in the third-person.
Writing a draft for your expository essay is just the first step. Next, you will have to carefully proofread and polish your work until it looks perfect. The best way to approach proofreading and editing is to give yourself a few days off after you have written the draft. This way, you will get back to your essay rested and will be able to look at it with a fresh mindset.
While editing, you need to focus on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is always a good idea to use grammar checking tools to ease the process and save some time. However, do not rely on such software heavily, as a machine still won’t be able to assess the quality of a text as well as a human can. Some of its suggestions may be incorrect and it may not be able to detect all gaps and errors.
Apart from grammar and mechanics, pay close attention to the clarity, readability, tone, and style of your text. Is it easy to read and understand? Have you neglected to include something? Is it engaging and does it convey the main message? Ask all these questions to make sure that you end up with an excellent paper.
Extra tip: have someone read your essay. This will help you collect additional feedback and polish your text with a fresh perspective.
5. Revising: Expository Essay Rubric
How can you know for sure that you’ve nailed your expository essay? Follow this comprehensive checklist to determine whether your work is good enough or still needs improvement:
- Is the thesis statement clear and concise? Does it appear near to the end of the introductory paragraph? Does it state your topic and motives for writing?
- Does the paper follow a logical flow of information and give an unbiased analysis of the topic?
- Do you use relevant evidence and examples to support your thesis?
- Does every paragraph in the main body focus on a single point? Does each include a topic sentence and supporting evidence?
- Are all facts and supporting arguments valid? Do they add value?
- Are there any divergences from the topic or unnecessary information?
- Does the conclusion highlight the significance of the thesis and summarise the key points?
- Are there smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs?
- Is the word choice good and precise?
- Are there any errors or gaps left after editing?
- Is the essay engaging, clear, easy to read, and effective?
- Is it formatted according to the instructions given?
Asking the questions from this rubric will help you double-check if your expository essay is good and ready for submission.
Example of an Expository Essay
Expository Writing Games
Following the instructions given above should help you get on the right track for your essay writing process. However, looking at a few samples has always been the best way to learn how to write a specific type of assignment. Thus, to help you get started, we have prepared a few excellent expository essay examples:
Gaining knowledge on various issues is a continuous part of human existence.Learning helps us make sense of the world. In Hsun Tzu’s ‘Encouraging learning’ he gives various metaphors on how education can mold human beings into virtuous creatures. Education also determines the paths many of us follow in life, and if we want to live fully, then we can never stop learning. Through his writing, Tzu was able to shape an entire aspect of history. He gave different analogies describing how learning could change perspectives and better the human race in general. A gentleman, according to him, is anyone who seeks education for the betterment of self and uses it to do well. As the gentleman says, “Learning never ceases” (Tzu 1).