Expository Writing

  • Expository Writing

    Expository paragraphs are non-fiction.  They give reasons, facts, or details to support a main idea. 



    Topic Sentences


    Power Statements:

    Definition:  Power (number) Statements: contain a number in the topic sentence to help to focus the writer and reader on the information to follow. Helpful number words


                        Two                     A few                     Numerous

                        Plenty of             Three                        Some

                        A number of       Four                         Many

                        A myriad of        A couple                 Several



    Rules For Using Power Or Number Words In A Topic Sentence:


    1. A power or number statement can be long or short.

    2. A power or number sentence contains a number word.

    3. The number or power word tells the reader that the writer will present a certain

    amount of information.


    Example Topic Sentences that Use Power or Number Words:


    1.  In the winter, I enjoy doing a variety of winter activities.

    2.  The new orchestra students learned two ways to improve their playing.

    3.  Third graders learned two ways to write topic sentences

    4.  My friends and I read many good books this year.


    Occasion/Position Statements:

    Definition: An Occasion/Position statement is a complex two-part sentence with the Occasion (subject/reason for writing) and Position (what you plan to prove or explain).


    Rules:  Occasion/Position Statements usually begin with one of these words or phrases:


                            • After                    • Even though                   •Until

                            • Before                  • Although                         • When

                            • As                         •Whenever                        • While

                            •Since                     •Unless                               • If


    Examples: Topic Sentences that use an Occasion/Position Statement:

    1.                   1.  Although I have lived in several states, there is only one I would call home.

    2.                   2.  Even though being organized takes some effort, it will make your life much easier.

    3.                   3.  If citizens want to stay safe, they must obey the laws of their communities.

    4.                   4.  When students write paragraphs, they must start with strong topic sentences.


    And, But, Or Statements:

    Definition: An And, But, Or statement uses conjunctions to help create a topic sentence.


    Rules: And, But, Or statements usually use these conjunctions:


                            • And                 • But                         •Or

                            • Nor                  • Yet                        • So


    Examples: Topic Sentences that use an And, But, Or statement:

    1.  The girls were determined to win the game, but they knew it would not be easy.

    2.  The children made great plans for the party, and everyone had a wonderful time.

    3.  Our class decided to collect cans of food, so we could give them to families in our community.


    Action Topic Sentences:

    Definition: Action topic sentences contain an action verb.



    Examples: Action topic sentences:

    1.  Our class learned how to multiply fractions.

    2.  My best friend shared her enthusiasm about the book with everyone.

    3.  The author described the ways that he finds ideas for his stories.

    4.  My brother helps me all the time.


    Question and Statement Topic Sentences:

    Definition: Question and Statement Topic Sentences ask a question of the reader and then make a statement that guides the writing.


    Examples: Question and Statement topic sentences:

    1.  Have you ever scored three goals in a hockey game?  This weekend I did, and it helped my team win the state championship.

    2.  What is your dream for the future?  My dream is to play professional baseball.

    3.  Do you have a favorite cereal?  I have four favorites.

    4.  Does wearing a bike helmet really prevent serious injuries?  Doctors and nurses tell us that it does.



    Reasons, Facts, and Details


     Reasons, Facts, and Details support the topic sentence. Transition words are used to let the writer/reader know that a new reason, detail, or fact is being introduced. Here are some basic transition words, but there are many others that fit special purposes.  For example, In the spring...In the summer...In the fall....In the winter...


    Transition Words

        1st Supporting Word                 2nd Supporting Word                 3rd Supporting Word

        First,                                              Second,                                           Third,

        First,                                             Another,                                          Next,

        First,                                             Along with                                      Likewise,

        First,                                             In addition,                                     Equally important,

        First,                                             Also,                                                Finally,

        First,                                             After,                                               Last,

        The first                                       The second                                     The third

        To begin,                                      Next,                                               Last,

        To start,                                       After that,                                       The last step

        First of all,                                   Also,                                                Next,

        First of all,                                   The next                                          Another

        First of all,                                   In addition,                                     Finally,

        It started when                           As a result,                                     Therefore,

        One way                                      Another way                                  A third way

        For example,                               Also,                                                All in all,



    Examples, Explanations, Evidence, Elaboration


    These sentences tell more about the Reasons, Facts, and Details by giving examples, explanations, evidence, or elaboration.   E's make the writing interesting and believable.



     Conclusions are the last sentences in expository paragraphs.  They should remind the reader of the topic.  Conclusions should use key words or synonyms.  The purpose of a conclusion is to summarize information, encourage readers, convince the audience, or challenge them to think.


    Rules:  Writers should avoid writing things like, “Like I said,” or “That’s all about...”


    Good words to use in a conclusion sentence are:


    •All in all            •Definitely             •Obviously          •Truly
    •Certainly           •In conclusion       •Surely                 •Clearly
    •In fact                •To sum up


    Examples of some good conclusion sentences are:


    1.  All in all, Bob is the best friend I’ve ever had.

    2.  To sum up, writing a paragraph is simple if you just remember to organize and use transitions.

    3.  Clearly, there is no friend better than Bob

    4.  Obviously, dogs are the best pets any human could have.




    Titles should attract the reader like a worm attracts a fish.  You want your reader to take the bait so you can hook them on what you have to say. So titles should be more than one word typically.  Remember to capitalize the first word in titles and all the important words.  Words that don’t need capitals, other than when they are the first word, are a, an, the, in, on, by, to,