Exposition is explanatory communication, whether in speech or writing. So an expository essay is an organized piece of prose which explains a specific topic or set of ideas to a defined audience. Expository essays include those written for exams or for standardized tests like the SAT.
While argumentation tends to focus on logic supported by verifiable examples and facts, persuasion can use unverifiable personal anecdotes and a more apparent emotional appeal to make its case.
Additionally, in persuasion, the claim usually comes first; then the persuader builds a case to convince a particular audience to think or feel the same way.
Evidence-based argument builds the case for its claim out of available evidence. Solid understanding of the material at hand, therefore, is necessary in order to argue effectively. This printable resource provides further examples of the differences between persuasive and argumentative writing.
One way to help students see this distinction is to offer a topic and two stances on it: Trying to convince your friend to see a particular movie with you is likely persuasion.
The claim that typically answers the question: Project, for example, this essay on Gertrude in Hamlet and ask students to identify the claim, reasons, and evidence.
Ask students to clarify what makes this kind of text an argument as opposed to persuasion. What might a persuasive take on the character of Gertrude sound like? You may also wish to point out the absence of a counterargument in this example. Challenge students to offer one.
Point out that even though the claim comes first in the sample essay, the writer of the essay likely did not start there. Rather, he or she arrived at the claim as a result of careful reading of and thinking about the text. Share with students that evidence-based writing about texts always begins with close reading.
See Close Reading of Literary Texts strategy guide for additional information. Guide students through the process of generating an evidence-based argument of a text by using the Designing an Evidence-based Argument Handout.
Decide on an area of focus such as the development of a particular character and using a short text, jot down details or phrases related to that focus in the first space on the chart. After reading and some time for discussion of the character, have students look at the evidence and notice any patterns.
Record these in the second space. Work with the students to narrow the patterns to a manageable list and re-read the text, this time looking for more instances of the pattern that you may have missed before you were looking for it.
Add these references to the list. Use the evidence and patterns to formulate a claim in the last box.
Claims can also be more or less complex, such as an outright claim The character is X trait as opposed to a complex claim Although the character is X trait, he is also Y trait. For examples of development of a claim a thesis is a type of claimsee the Developing a Thesis Handout for additional guidance on this point.
Once students have a claim, they can use the patterns they detected to start formulating reasons and textual references for evidence. Use these ReadWriteThink resources to help students build their plans into a fully developed evidence based argument about text:Check out our expository essay samples to better understand the process of writing one yourself.
What Comprises a Brain? The brain, despite popular belief, is not like a computer. Expository writing, sometimes called informative writing, seeks to relay information to the reader. It is one of the main modes of writing and includes such formats as .
The core difference between narrative and expository essays is their style. While narrative paper allows the author to be creative and tell a story in a way he or she likes, expository essays follow some strict rules that one must abide.
What Is Expository Writing? The purpose of the expository essay is to explain a topic in a logical and straightforward manner. Without bells and whistles, these essays present a fair and balanced analysis of a subject based on facts—with no references to the writer’s opinions or emotions.
Student writes in a multi-paragraph format with a clear introduction, development of ideas, conclusion, and complete text-based references.
Organization 4 Student writes in a multi-paragraph format with an introduction, development of ideas, conclusion, and text-based references. Student writes in a multi-paragraph format with a clear introduction, development of ideas, conclusion, and complete text-based references. Organization 4 Student writes in a multi-paragraph format with an introduction, development of ideas, conclusion, and text-based references.