How to Write an Expository Essay
Length: 298 words (0.9 double-spaced pages)
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When writing an essay, follow these eight basic steps:
Select a topic:
Be sure the topic is narrow enough to make it manageable within the space of an essay
Write a thesis sentence:
Be sure the thesis statement(or sentence) expresses a controlling idea that is neither too
broad nor too specific to be developed effectively
Select a method of development:
Check through all the methods before you finally settle on the one which will best serve your thesis:
compare and contrast cause and effect
classification process analysis
Organize the essay:
Begin by listing the major divisions which the body paragraphs in your essay will discuss; then fill in the primary supports that each body paragraph of the essay will contain
Write topic sentences for the body paragraphs of the essay:
For each body paragraph, furnish a topic sentence that directly relates to the thesis sentence
Write the body paragraphs of the essay:
Each body paragraph should develop the primary support covered in that paragraph's topic sentence
Furnish a paragraph of introduction:
An introductory paragraph should state the thesis of the essay, introduce the divisions in the body paragraphs of the essay, gain the interest of the reader
Write a paragraph of conclusion:
A concluding paragraph should restate the thesis and divisions of the essay bring the essay to an appropriate and effective close without digressing into new issues.
Source: Ida Masters Hollowell, James A. Levernier, A. Franklin Parks, Structuring Paragraphs: A Guide to Effective Writing. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's,1986.
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