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basics of expository writing EXPOSITORY WRITING

A basic kind of writing, the one used most in college courses is called exposition. Expository writing makes a point about a topic and clearly explains it. It could be any topic, an object, an idea, an event, even a process. The topic sentence is the most important part of the paragraph because it states the point that the rest of the paragraph explains and supports.

Expository writing supports and illustrates ideas with facts and examples. We use evidence (facts and logic) to encourage our reader to understand our way of thinking about something. The basic paragraph makes a point, backs it up with support, and wraps it up with a comfortable close. How much evidence? Three pieces of supporting evidence, clearly presented and explained, will probably convince anyone who is willing to be convinced. However, some topic sentences will need five or six pieces of support to be believable. Support consists of examples, description, and definition.
 
Format for the Five Paragraph Essay (Point-by-Point Format)

The Introductory Paragraph #1
Begin with a general opening sentence
Offer your readers sufficient background information
Provide a thesis statement and plan for development:
(you should place it as the last sentence in your introduction)


Discussion or Body Paragraph #2
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #3
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #4
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

The Conclusion Paragraph #5
Summarize the main points
Reword the thesis statement

The "Plan for Development" is like a blueprint or a forecasting statement. Your thesis should always provide the focussed subject, your opinion, and plan for development (the three areas you intend to discuss in your paper that relate to your thesis). Remember this, listing thesis statements are great organizers for research papers. You can have more than 3 items in a listing thesis, and it acts as a checklist to ensure that everything that should be covered is covered in your work.

Sample Thesis for Compare/Contrast:
The differences in basic beliefs, culture and traditions, and political aims of Hinduism and Islam are the root causes of trouble in India.

The Introductory Paragraph #1
Begin with a general opening sentence, offer your readers sufficient background information, and provide a thesis statement and plan for development: (You should place it as the last sentence in your introduction.),

You can begin by telling a story (narrative), asking a question, stating the main areas to be covered, or with a quote.

Example Introduction with a "Plan for Development" Thesis: Hinduism and Islam are two diametrically opposite yet sullenly related religions. The differences and similarities between these two religions have caused religious and political wars between them for centuries. However, Hindus and Muslims coexisted quite harmoniously in India for many years, Muslims being a minority. When the British were forced to give independence to India, they stirred up a religious war that engulfed the fledgling republic in civil turmoil and disarray. This war had resulted in Muslims forming a mass exodus to a new country called Pakistan. The civil dissension among the once unified cultures was now more than ever evident and concretely established. This disagreement between the two countries continues till today, generations after their independence, where, the fundamental differences are brought up and fought over. These very differences in basic beliefs, culture and traditions, and political aims of these two religions are the root causes of trouble in India.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #2 --Basic Beliefs
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #3 --Culture and traditions
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #4 --Political Aims
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.

The Conclusion Paragraph #5 -- Success!!
Summarize the main points
Restate main point of paper
Call your readers to action (if appropriate)
Draw conclusions from data
If you use a narrative as a part of your introduction, then tie the story into your conclusion.
 
Format for the Four Paragraph Essay (Block Format)

Sample Thesis for Compare/Contrast:
The differences in basic beliefs, culture and traditions, and political aims of Hinduism and Islam are the root causes of trouble in India.

The Introductory Paragraph #1
Begin with a general opening sentence, offer your readers sufficient background information, and provide a thesis statement and plan for development: (You should place it as the last sentence in your introduction.),

Once again, you can begin with a narrative, a question, or a quote.

Example Introduction with a "Plan for Development" Thesis: Hinduism and Islam are two diametrically opposite yet sullenly related religions. The differences and similarities between these two religions have caused religious and political wars between them for centuries. However, Hindus and Muslims coexisted quite harmoniously in India for many years, Muslims being a minority. When the British were forced to give independence to India, they stirred up a religious war that engulfed the fledgling republic in civil turmoil and disarray. This war had resulted in Muslims forming a mass exodus to a new country called Pakistan. The civil dissension among the once unified cultures was now more than ever evident and concretely established. This disagreement between the two countries continues till today, generations after their independence, where, the fundamental differences are brought up and fought over. These very differences in basic beliefs, culture and traditions, and political aims of these two religions are the root causes of trouble in India.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #2 --Hinduism
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.
This paragraph would cover the basic beliefs, culture and traditions, and political aims of Hinduism.

Discussion or Body Paragraph #2 --Islam
Begin with a general Topic Sentence; (it should appear as first sentence)
Offer your readers supporting points, details and specific examples.
This paragraph would cover the basic beliefs, culture and traditions and political aims of Islam.

The Conclusion Paragraph #5 -- Success!!
Summarize the main points
Restate main point of paper
Call your readers to action (if appropriate)
Draw conclusions from data
If you use a narrative as a part of your introduction, then tie the story into your conclusion.
 

 

 


Last updated: Aug. 27, 2007
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