« Essay Outlines and Proposals for ENG 121: *Academic Writing I* | Main | ENG 122 - Critical Essay Assignment Details for *Academic Writing II* »

October 06, 2008

Explaining the Expository Essay

Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNVoMGcQZ9Y

ENG 121 Students:

Using the information given to you in . . .

. . . your textbooks and the English-blog, write a two-three full page “Expository” essay on one of the following topics (choose one) in the MLA format. Avoid the second-person perspective. Bolster your writing with the tools of narration, description, and illustration (examples), as you’ve done in the previous three essays. RECORD YOUR CHOICE IN YOUR JOURNAL.


October 16, 2008: Hardcopy of First Draft Due in Class for Peer-Review Session
October 21, 2008: Hardcopy of Final Draft Due in Class—Digital Version Due on Turnitin.com

What is an Expository Essay?

According to the Department of English at the University of Victoria, the "function of the expository essay is to explain, or to acquaint your reader with a body of knowledge. By explaining a topic to the reader, you are demonstrating your own knowledge." (Source: HERE).

This question has also been answered adequately by the OWL (Online Writing Lab) of Purdue University HERE.

Esther Lombardi also gives some helpful advice about "The Expository Essay" on her About.com page HERE.

Merritt College gives some suggestions on how to come up with the "main point" for your expository essay HERE.

What might the outline of an Expository Essay look like?

Examine the following sample outline as a default, "standby" outline model:

Image Source: http://www.sanroned.com/images/expository.gif

Here is another model, a bit more fleshed out. Rememer, these are only "suggested" guides to follow. As a college student, you should be taking this type of writing to the college level!

Image Source: http://meadowlane.dadeschools.net/expository.JPG

What does an Expository Essay sound like?

The following writer reads her expository essay on a youtube video. In her essay, she "explains" what it means to be a feminist (warning, there is some explicit language):


A good example to follow. Of course, I think (and expect) you will be able to do the same thing without the explicit language (use the academic voice appropriate to our context), so please don't model that particular aspect.

Posted by lhobbs at October 6, 2008 10:12 PM

Readers' Comments:

Siberian Huskies are amazing animals with a natural dominant instinct. Their ice blue eyes and thick colored fur, and strength make them the ideal snow do. If I had to be any animal it would be a Siberian husky. Why? These dogs are strong, hard-working, and intelligent. With all these qualities Huskies don’t need to be in a pack, they can be alone if they want, that is something me and them have in common.

Posted by: Amethyst Quelch at October 12, 2008 02:50 PM

Expository outline
Explain why: If you had to be an animal which you be and why?
1. Introduction
A. If I had to be an animal to be it would be a Siberian husky.
B. I would be a Siberian husky because
1. They are strong and dominant
2. Very intelligent
3. Hard-working
2. Reason #1
A. The most important reason is their strength and dominance.
B. For example, Huskies are very dominant they like to be can be own their own or in a pack. However they can have a great sense of devotion, and also are able to pull something larger than them.
C. That makes me feel close to them because I too can be dominant but still be devoted to family or friends. And as for strength I am able to lift a good sum of material.
3. Reason # 2
A. Another reason is because Huskies are very intelligent.
B. For instance, Huskies will learn a skill fast and then show it off when needed.
C. I feel like I am like that too sometimes, because when I learn a new skill I try to show it off, but not in a mean way just a proud way.
4. Reason # 3
A. My final reason is because Siberian huskies are hard-working.
B. As I recall, I too am also hard-working, with the potential to be playful too.
C. Therefore I feel like I would make an exceptional Siberian husky if I were to be one.
5. Conclusion
A. So after thinking and comparing I’ve decided to choose the Siberian husky as my animal.
B. I feel like me and them share some of the same qualities such as
1. Strength and dominance
2. Intelligence
3. Hard-working

Amethyst Quelch

Posted by: Amethyst Quelch at October 12, 2008 03:51 PM

I. It is good to get organized with your materials because when it is time for things to be turned in, you're prepared, therefore leading to a better grade.
II. Will know exactly when assignments and papers need to be turned in.
III. Always be on top of the class.
IV. Will know how much time in advance to study for a test because the test would be written down when it will be taken.
V. Being organized with your material will always allow to be on top of classes, know exactly when assignments and papers need to be turned in and will know how much time in advance to study for a test because the test would be written down when it will be taken.

Posted by: Cyndell S at October 13, 2008 04:08 PM

My Expository Outline
Explain/Inform my audience: “Why I am interested in a particular career?”
I. Introduction
A. My interest in Clandestine/Counter Intelligence Operations
B. Thesis: “In order to fully become an Intelligence Officer one must dedicate their entire life to living their career, by training for, operating, and completing certain objectives that protect national security.

II. Reason # 1: Training
A. Year long course and selection to become and operations officer in the CIA.
1. Example of a life, starting from college graduation to fully becoming an operative.
B. Psychological determination and stress that comes with the job.
C. Why anyone would want to put themselves through this?

III. Reason # 2: Operations
A. FBI and joint operations that take place in the US and abroad.
B. Protecting the nation through sleeper cells, and counter intelligence.
C. Example of an operation from “Hunting the Jackal”- By Billy Waugh.
1. Mr. Waugh’s life long journey in intelligence and special forces to catch Carlos “the Jackal”

IV. Reason # 3: Completing Objectives and Lifestyle
A. After the mission and assignments.
1. Where do agents go, rewards?
B. How do you live as an officer/agent/operative?
C. What the movies don’t tell the public.
D. Danger.
1. The price to pay for cloak and dagger operations.

V. Conclusion
A. Re-state thesis
B. Why I want to pursue such a career?
C. Why it’s necessary in the world.

Posted by: Nicholas Iafrate at October 13, 2008 08:31 PM

Thesis Statement- If someone does not complete college, it is likely that there will be severe consequences to their future.
I. Introduction
A. What is a drop out
B. How does someone drop out in college
C. Thesis
II. Vital Knowledge Being Missed
A. Business Knowledge
B. English Knowledge
C. Science Knowledge
III. Getting a Job
A. Job Interviews
1. What they are looking for
2. How to do well in an interview
B. Work Skills Learned in College
1. Why do you need this skills
C. What jobs you’ll probably get
IV. Income Challenges
A. Will not get high income
B. What can be purchase with a low income
C. Budgeting
V. Conclusion
A. Overview
B. Bottom line
C. Thesis

Posted by: Robert T at October 13, 2008 09:52 PM

Michael Hewlett
Academic Writing English 121
October 10, 2008
Thesis Statement
=Educators have the ability to help give a child a successful future, and sometimes will need to be a little strict to give a student the extra boost to want to succeed.
I. Introduction
A. Teachers are paid to teach students and help them get a successful future; some students stop caring and need the help from a strict teacher.
B. Reasons Why Educators Need to be Strict
1. To push students to try harder when they stop caring about school.
2. To prepare students for what lies ahead of them as they get older.
3. To show students that there are consequences for what they are doing or for what they will do.
II. Reason 1
A. To show students that there are consequences for what they are doing or for what they will do.
B. For example, if a student doesn’t do their work they get a zero or in high school they get a zero and a detention. Also is student is acting inappropriately such as fighting or being disrespectful to a teacher, the student can be suspended. Getting punished shows people that there are consequences for everyone’s mistakes.
C. I think students don’t understand their mistakes until they are punished, so they realize that there are consequences for the actions that occurred.
III. Reason 2
A. To prepare students for what lies ahead of them as they get older.
B. For instance, when students become an adult then they are going to need to get a job and their bosses will probably be strict. So if a teacher is strict to a student it can get them ready for a future job.
C. I think it does prepare someone for a job, because it shows that life doesn’t get easier just because u graduate from high school or college.
IV. Reason 3
A. To push students to try harder when they stop caring about school.
B. As I recall, when I was a student Stopped handing in homework, almost failed a class, or gave a teacher a bad attitude which could be a sign of a student who could care less about school. But if a teacher is strict to a student then the student might try harder to get through school. This is what happened to me in high school.
C. That makes me feel like teachers actually care about a child’s future.
V. Conclusion
A. There is nothing wrong when a teacher is strict to students, a strict teacher pushes a student to do better even when they don’t want to or don’t think they can.

Posted by: Michael Hewlett at October 13, 2008 11:02 PM

Vanessa Bell Bell 1
ENG 121 CA-16
Dr. Hobbs
13 October 2008
It’s a Boy!
I. Introduction: Thesis- Life for a college student will change once she has a baby.
A. No more going out or being with your friends a lot.
B. College is no longer your main focus.
C. You will need a job to support the baby.
D. You have to take time away from school to care for the baby.
II. Paragraph two -No more going out or being with your friends a lot.
A. Once you have the baby your life changes 100 percent.
B. The baby will need you almost all hours of the night.
C. All of your time will go towards the baby and you won’t have time for friends.
III. Paragraph three- College is no longer your main focus.
A. It’s going to be very hard trying to study for a test and be bothered by screaming.
B. The baby needs to be changed, fed, and monitored.
C. All your homework now comes second to the baby.
Bell 2
IV. Paragraph four- You will need a job to support the baby.
A. The baby will need food, diapers, and toys.
B. When the baby is sick you have to pay for the doctor.
C. Now that you have a baby you can live in the dorms and you now have to buy an apartment.
V. Paragraph five- You will have to take time away from school to care for the baby.
A. When the baby gets sick and you have class the next day, don’t plan on going.
B. You’re going to be the one responsible for taking him/her to all the appointments.
C. When the baby is first born most mothers don’t go back to work or school for a couple months.
VI. Conclusion- Restate Thesis- Life for a college student will change once she has a baby.
A. Less time for friends.
B. College will no longer be your main focus.
C. You will need a job to support the baby.
D. You will have to take time out of school to care for the baby.

Posted by: Vanessa Bell at October 14, 2008 11:02 AM

Jacqueline Carroll
Dr. Hobbs
English 121 Section 16 Academic Writing 12:30-1:50 Tuesday and Thursday
October 14, 2008
Outline for Expository Essay
Compelled to College
Topic: Explain/inform your audience why some students feel “forced” to attend college
Thesis: Immense amounts of people, every day, are forced to do things they do not want to, one of these being attending college; today, it is thought that college is mandatory and there is no other way. High school graduates now-a-days feel forced to attend college due to, parents and family, teachers, guidance counselors, friends, media, and many other things.
I. Introduction
A. Introduction Sentence
B. Thesis
C. Examples
1. Parents pressure their children to attend college, saying it is the only way
2. The end of junior year and all of senior year high school guidance counselors pressure their seniors into applying to the best schools possible
3. Society today gives the impression that college is necessary to have a good job and get into the big time work force.
D. Sentences to support my examples
E. Concluding Sentence
II. First Example-Parents
A. Introduction Sentence
B. Reasons why parents pressure college
1. They feel it is needed for most jobs today
2. Most students are not mature enough for a real job after college
3. Sending children away leaves an empty house and a nice break
4. They want to see the best from their kids
C. Wrap up
D. Conclusion Sentence
III. Second Example-Teachers, guidance counselors, friends, etc.
A. Introduction Sentence
B. Why these people pressure you
1. They feel it will help get you a better job
2. The more students that attend college after high school make the school look better
3. Most realize you are not mature enough yet to do anything but continue schooling.
4. They encourage going to school in order to get out and see a different place rather than the same town mostly everyone lived in their whole life
C. Doing this on your own with no reminder
D. Closing Sentences
IV. Third Example-Media and Society
A. Introduction
B. Reasons why society makes college key
1. Society today embeds in people’s minds that in order to get the high paying job college is needed.
2. Culture tells people if they make a lot of money they’ll be happy
3. Universities pressure society because obviously the more students they have the more money the school makes
4. The public makes college appear as a four or more year party to make it more irresistible
C. Concluding sentences
V. Conclusion
A. Introduction sentence
B. Restate thesis in another way
C. State examples again
D. Put in a few personal sentences
E. Closing sentence/concludes all

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 14, 2008 11:12 AM

My Blog

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved. 2006.