studentguide_expositorywrite - A BASIC GUIDE TO WRITING AN...

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A BASIC GUIDE TO WRITING AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY WHAT IS AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY? First things first A. An expository essay gives the reader detailed information about a specific topic . It's your chance to explain a subject to your audience. Another name for the expository essay is the five-paragraph essay, because that's the amount of space you have to make your point - five paragraphs. B. Expository essays can be used to: 1. Explain a point of view 2. Communicate a fact or series of related facts in a logical way 3. Explain an organization or a system 4. Clarify a complex idea С. When writing an expository essay, some of the ways you can get your point across include: 1. Explaining a process 2. Comparing or contrasting two items 3. Identifying a relationship between two people or things 4. Using examples 5. Classifying and defining a concept or item D. You can find examples of expository essays in magazines, newspapers, textbooks, some marketing materials and many high school and college classes. E. All expository essays rely on facts. Facts can include (but are not limited to) direct quotes, statistics, illustrations, definitions, names, dates and events. 1. The facts must work together to support your position . Never manipulate facts to make your point. If the facts do not support your original idea, you will need to re-examine the idea. 2. Facts and how you use them will become increasingly important as your essay progresses, especially during the rough draft and revising stage. In short: Expository essays use facts to give your reader information on a given subject. DEVELOPING THE IDEA The next step A. The subject : The general idea you plan to write about. 1. The subject can be anything you are interested in. 2. Interest in the subject is important because if you're not interested, your reader won 't be interested either. 3. Some possible choices: • Gun control • Abortion rights • The future of the space program • Term limits for politicians • Adoption • Storage of spent nuclear fuel 4. An expository essay doesn't have to be about serious subjects. Don't forget the lighter side of things, such as: • Owning a pet • Cartoons through the years • Batman vs. Superman • Boxers vs. briefs • Mountain biking • Playing golf B. The topic: Once you know the general subject, it's time to narrow it down. In some cases, such as a class assignment, the topic is assigned (so narrowing down the choices isn't too difficult). For those times when you have to start from a larger pool of ideas, a few questions (the ones that follow are just examples) will help you pick a topic from the overall subject you have chosen. 1. Who? Who did or said something about the subject that made an impact on you? Who else was involved? Who agrees or disagrees with your position? 2.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2012 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Sierra during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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studentguide_expositorywrite - A BASIC GUIDE TO WRITING AN...

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