What is Expository Writing?

Posted by Tiara Swinson on April 18, 2019

how to help your child with expository writingExpository writing is used to provide a reader with explanations, the steps in a process, or reasons to back a thesis. It is defined by its logical sequencing, thesis, and transitions. It is written with the assumption that the reader does not have any prior knowledge about the topic that is being discussed. Expository writing can be used as a tool to show the reader why something is or how it works. Because of this, it is important for it to be extremely clear so that the reader will have an understanding of the topic when they are finished. Expository writing is important for your child to learn so that they can explain a process or form an argument. 

What Are the Building Blocks of Expository Writing? 

To create an expository piece, there are some primary components that serve as the building blocks of the essay. Since an expository piece is meant to explain something, it needs to use concise, easy-to-read language. This type of writing will not contain overly descriptive language or advanced vocabulary. The sentences should be simple and to the point and shorter sentences are better for the reader. 

The style should be the same throughout the entire piece and it is always important to consider the audience when writing it, making sure that it is explained in a way that the reader can easily understand. An expository essay will contain three primary sections. The first is the introduction which will state the thesis, idea, or process that is to be explained. The next section is the body which will include each of the steps or the reasons behind the stated thesis. Good body content will contain fact-based details. The piece should always be written in the second-person using "you" and "your" as you are explaining something. 

How Is Expository Writing Different Than Descriptive and Narrative Writing?

Expository writing is different from descriptive and narrative writing in multiple ways. There is no story to be told, and you will not use any descriptive language unless it is necessary to make a step or reason more clear. An expository piece does not set a scene or convey a story or a lesson. It is used to inform a reader of why an idea is valid or how a process or procedure works. It is to the point, concise, easy-to-read, and uses more simple language.

How Do You Know if Your Piece Is an Expository Writing Piece? 

There are a few components that a piece needs to contain for it to be considered an expository writing piece. A well-written piece will:

  • Have a Consistent Structure - It will follow the traditional essay structure with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
  • Present a Clear Thesis - The thesis is the basis for the piece, and it will be the process you will be explaining or the position of the argument.
  • Have Clearly Presented Steps or Reasons - The body of the paragraph will need to consist of clear steps or reasons, that are easy to follow, understand, and follow a logical order. 
  • Include a Concluding Paragraph - The conclusion of your essay should touch on how you proved your argument or wrap up the process you explained. It should also restate your thesis. 

How Do You Explain to a Child Who Has Never Written an Expository Piece How to Start?

To help your child get started on expository writing, you must first have them understand how the piece is supposed to function. Have them start by establishing their thesis. They will need to come up with a topic where they will either explain a process or make an argument, where they will be able to easily prove their side. Once they have established this, have them create a list of the step-by-step instructions or the reasons behind the argument. If they have chosen an argument, have them then find facts and evidence to support each of their reasons. Once completed, this will serve as the outline for their paper. They can use this outline to begin writing their piece. Once done, have them read it to someone who does not know much about the topic and get their feedback as to whether or not they now understand the topic after reading the piece.

Is your child having difficulty getting started with expository writing, or just needs some assistance in getting their skills down? Consider Math Genie. They have the tools and resources to help children aged three to 13 years to help them with their writing skills. 

Topics: Writing, Writing Skills, Reading Genie, Writing Stlyes

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