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FORMAT FOR EXPOSITORY ESSAY WRITING

Remember that this is a formula to use when you do not know how to organize your essay.  It is a crutch to use when you have not yet figured out how your ideas fit together logically.  This formula for organization should help you learn to organize ideas and evidence; it shouldn't be used for every essay you write, particularly after you have learned how to structure an argument.  Your teacher may require you to follow this format until you prove that you have mastered it.  Good expository writing involves a constant interplay between the thesis, the ideas that prove the thesis is true, and the evidence which supports the ideas.  In addition, a good writer will describe the context where good evidence is found.

Introduction Paragraph

  • Interest-Creating Device (optional)
  • Thesis Statement
  • Statements of Organization (3)
  • Concluding or Transitional Sentence

Body Paragraph I

  • Topic Sentence (S of O 1) with brief transition
  • Major Support 1
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 2
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 3
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Concluding or Transitional Sentence

Body Paragraph II

  • Topic Sentence (S of O 2) with brief transition
  • Major Support 1
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 2
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 3
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Concluding or Transitional Sentence

Body Paragraph III

  • Topic Sentence (S of O 3) with brief transition
  • Major Support 1
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 2
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Major Support 3
  • Context + (Quotation or Concrete Detail) + Analysis
  • Concluding or Transitional Sentence

Conclusion Paragraph

  • Restate three Statements of Organization (in three separate sentences worded slightly differently than the S of Os in your Introduction or your Topic Sentences)
  • Restate Thesis
  • Concluding Device (optional)