Expository writing is a type of writing, the purpose of which is to inform, explain, describe, or define the author's subject to the reader. Expository text is meant to deposit information. A well-written exposition remains focused on its topic and lists events in chronological order. Key words such as first, after, next, then and last usually signal sequential writing. Second-person pronouns may be used in such writing if needed. Exposition is a type of oral or written discourse that is used to explain, describe, give information or inform. The creator of an expository text can not assume that the reader has prior knowledge or prior understanding of the topic that is being discussed. One important point to keep in mind for the author is to try to use words that clearly show what they are talking about rather than blatantly telling the reader what is being discussed. Since clarity requires strong organization, one of the most important mechanisms that can be used to improve our skills in exposition is to provide directions to improve the organization of the text.
The general characteristics of expository writing are as follows:
1. Focus on main topic
2. Logical supporting facts
3. Details, explanations, and examples
4. Strong organization
6. Unity and coherence
7. Logical order
8. Smooth transitions
The organization of expository writing:
1. First Paragraph - intro: go from broad to specific and talk about how certain traits (greed, jealously, fear, lack of trust, etc) become more apparent as an event escalates in severity. create a thesis statement with points that fall in line.
2. Second to Fourth Paragraphs: come up with key examples from both real events and media (make sure it's serious stuff, such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Citizen Kane, not Van Wilder or the Chronicles of Narnia) and break them down with analysis. do not summarize, focus on the meat of the topic. you'll lose more point if you inject the paper with filler than if you're a couple sentences short of a paragraph.
3. Fifth Paragraph: take what you said in the body paragraphs and apply it to the thesis without restating it. go from specific to broad again.
The tips on expository writing:
1. Keep to the topic. Do not stray or go off on a tangent.
2. Use great vocabulary. You want to show that you have a good command of words that is above and beyond what the average student your age knows.
3. Organize yourself well. Never make a statement that you do not back up or support. Develop that support well.
4. Use transitions such as first, second, third, next, before or after, and finally.
If you need more info about expository writing or other types of writing, please go to our Writing tips section
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