High school students are often given an assignment of writing expository essays.
Expository essays are commonly assigned throughout elementary, middle and high school, according to the International Reading Association. An expository essay is composed of an introduction with a general idea, or thesis statement, supporting information, and a summary that takes the presented information into consideration. There are several methods for organizing and developing the essay. The facts contained in an expository essay must directly support the thesis statement.
The Study Guides and Strategies website (Studygs.net) recommends choosing a topic that can be managed within the limitations of the essay. You may not have enough space to cover a topic that is too broad. The introduction must include the main idea you are attempting to express to the reader. As with the topic, make sure your thesis statement is not too broad to be developed within the confines of the essay. Purdue University notes that the idea should be clear and concise.
Methods for the development of your essay include comparison and contrast, cause and effect, definition, example, classification and process analysis. You can choose the method that is most appropriate for your topic and thesis. An example topic presented by Purdue University is a discussion of the causes of the Great Depression and how that period currently affects individuals who lived through it. This would be an example of the cause-and-effect method.
The body paragraphs of the essay must include the information you found through research and the evidence that supports your thesis. Studygs.net suggests that you begin with the major ideas and fill in each area with the facts you have found. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement and then provide the evidence and information that supports that topic sentence. The support may be statistical or factual in nature, but may also be logical statements.
Purdue University also notes the importance of making certain that the body of the essay flows naturally from one paragraph to the next in a way that makes sense to the reader. The International Reading Association provides an online interactive graphic organizer at readwritethink.org. Designed primarily for students in grades three through 12, it allows you to move throughout the outline to develop and complete your essay online.
In the conclusion of the essay, you tie the information you have presented to the thesis. Studygs.net emphasizes that you should avoid presenting new information and ideas in the conclusion. Instead, you must use the evidence you provided to prove the point of your thesis.