Monday, January 26, 2015

Sample Expository Essays

Break ideas into smaller paragraphs in order to support claims.

There are several essay examples on the Gypsy Daughter Essays blog, but none are more prevalent than the expository essays, written to explain an idea or inform a reader about a topic.

Let's examine three different sample expository essays, each of which informs or explains in a slightly different way.

Sample Expository Essay in Chronological Order

First, let's look at the sample essay, "Ancient Greek Theatre: Origins of the Term 'Deus ex Machina.'"

Although this is not a typical five-paragraph essay, it is indeed expository.  Its overall purpose is to inform and explain. The essay's claim, or thesis statement, is "In order to fully understand the term "deus ex machina" as it's used today, it's important for a reader to understand the ancient Greek origin of the term."

The essay then develops as the thesis suggests; that is, the essay first offers an overview of the term's origins, offers an historical example of its use, then explains and gives an example of how the term is used today.  Evidence includes facts, examples, and reasons.  Where applicable, an expert source has been cited.  The essay ends after the most contemporary use of the term is explained to the reader.  The essay ends with its listed references.

Sample Expository Essay Written in Five-Paragraph Framework

Another expository essay example is "Stages in the Development of Critical Thinking."  The claim in this essay is stated: "Recognizing the stages of student development can help teachers better plan lessons and assessment activities to help their specific students become better thinkers."  This essay is written using the basic five-paragraph essay framework. The introduction states a thesis and offers an essay map based on Perry's theory of development, and each categorical paragraph covers one of the listed stages.

However, a simple discussion of the stages would not be sufficient to support the given claim, so another section appears at the end of the essay that details what teachers can do to help students through each stage.  Evidence includes facts, examples, and expert testimony.  Again, all source content has been carefully cited.  The essay ends with a brief conclusion and a list of references.

Sample Expository Essay with Process Analysis & Step-by-Step Strategy

Last, but not least, "Making Crochet Sushi Toys" is an expository essay written with a "how-to" strategy.  The thesis statement for this essay reads, "Making an amigurumi (Japanese for "cute crochet") set of sushi ingredients is a great way to create a child's gift in only a few hours and for only a few dollars."  This thesis emphasizes why a reader should want to continue reading the essay. This type of thesis emphasizes what's in it for the reader.  The rest of the essay is a process analysis essay (explaining how something is done) with sequential steps.  Evidence includes factual information and detailed descriptions. Specifically, in order to support the claim, the ease and low cost are emphasized within the paragraphs.

Please note that each section of the essay, though written as step-by-step instructions, still includes a topic sentence that acts as a "gate," keeping all ideas about that section within its own "fence."  The essay ends with a very brief conclusion.

Whether you want to read about crocheting sushi toys, ancient Greek theatre, or the development of critical thinking skills, there are sample essays on this blog that offer examples of efficient, unified, coherent, and clear expository writing.  Each essay includes a thesis statement, carefully ordered topic sentences, sufficient evidence to support each point, and a brief conclusion.

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.

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