How to Create a STRONG Expository Essay!



PROCESS:  Follow these steps, and by the time you get to the last one you will have created a STRONG expository essay!  Hurray!


1.  What is an expository essay? 
From Merrit College's writing resource page:

"An essay is a piece of writing that makes a point about a subject, problem, issue, or question. An essay is expository insofar as it centers on explaining, rather than simply describing, something or narrating an event. (Exposition essentially means explanation.) Strong essays explain WHY something is as it is or HOW something comes about. Strong essays show the connections between specific, concrete facts or events and broader ideas that allow us to make sense of the world." - From The Merrit College Online Resource page


Re-read the prompt and choose 1 of the 3 themes:

Prompt: Choose 1 of the 3 following themes and contruct a 2-3 page expository essay on the play The Crucible.  The themes are: scapegoating, reputation, and mob mentality.  Adhering to the structure and form of the expository essay that you will learn in this lesson - create and defend an argument relating one of these three themes from the plot development in The Crucible to a CONTEMPORARY event/view/issue in our society. 
Themes: scapegoating, reputation, and mob mentality. 

3. After you have chosen a theme - choose a CONTEMPORARY issue/event which you feel represents this theme within The Crucible in a different context.  For example, if I chose scapegoating I could use the debate around illegal immigration as a way to show how scapegoating works. 

4. Do research on your contemporary issue.  For example, if I chose to use the illegal immigration debate I could use these following resource in my research:

YouTube RT America video on illegal immigration and scapegoating at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLMRncTdDAI (or WATCH BELOW under "RESOURCES")

5. BRAINSTORM!  Think about how your contemporary issue relates to the theme you have chose in The Crucible.  Write these ideas down, so you can refer back to them when you begin contructing the expository essay.  Here is an excellent resource for helping you brainstorm from the University of North Carolina:  http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/brainstorming.html


6. Construct a strong introduction paragraph with a CLEAR THESIS STATEMENT!
What is a thesis statement?
It is a sentence or two, which convey to the reader what you intend to argue or point to within your essay.  It should act as a map, letting the reader know where it is you intend to "go" with this essay.
Here is a GREAT VIDEO resource to help you gain a better understanding of a good thesis statement

: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slpWSLz9tj4 (or WATCH BELOW under "RESOURCES")

7. Write a "body" after the "introduction" which contains 4-6 paragraphs.  Each paragraph should articulate its own main point.

8. Use "topic sentences" and "transition sentences" as a way to make your essay flow together and present a thorough, though-out, and clear logic to your argument.
"Topic sentences" are usually the beginning sentence in each paragraph in the "body."  You may want to think of them as "mini-thesis" statements for that specific paragraph.
"Transition sentences" are usually the last sentence in a "body" paragraph - think of these as the thread that will tie everything together.  They should effectively summarize what you said in the paragraph above it, and introduce the point that you will be arguing in the following paragraph.  Here is a great video on constructing effective transitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9K6R6xrtKE (or WATCH BELOW under "RESOURCES")

9. Create a strong conclusion which underlines the main points of your essay, and refers back to the thesis statement as a means to show "how you got where you are at the end now."


10. Re-read and revise your essay.
  Make sure you check for grammar, syntax, essay structure and coherency.  Often, if you can, it helps to give your draft to a peer so you can receive feedback before you turn in the final version.

11. SUBMIT your final essay!



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