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– Used to inform, describe, explain, compare, or
summarize in a neutral and objective way
– Used to persuade the reader that your opinion is
– Opinion is clearly stated, rather than appearing
• Expository = Facts
Argumentative = Opinion
– Focused on information
– Main point: To tell the reader of the facts
• What does the reader need to know about the topic?
• How can I clearly summarize the topic?
– Focused on an opinion, a debatable claim
– Main point: Convince the reader of the validity of your
opinion using concrete evidence (studies, news articles,
expert opinion, statistics, etc.)
• What real-world examples can I use to support my thesis
• What experts in the field might agree with me?
• How can I address and refute the opposition’s claims?
– Introduction: Introduces the reader to the topic
– Body: Describes, explains, informs, classifies, summarizes,
and/or compares various issues regarding the topic
– Conclusion: Reminds the reader of main points and gives
sense of closure
– Introduction: Leads the reader to your opinion on the
topic, which is clearly stated in a thesis statement of 1-3
– Body: Discusses the ways in which external sources (ex.
studies, news articles, journals, interviews, etc.) are
evidence that support your thesis statement. Refutes
opposing arguments, saying why counterarguments are
– Conclusion: Restates overall argument and gives sense of
closure. (Do not introduce a new argument.)
Argumentative • Example:
– Thesis: “Mark Pagel is correct that language is uniquely human and
all his claims are true.”
• Paper then goes on to summarize Pagel’s speech, inserting quotations from
– A weak thesis statement that demonstrates little insight or individual
thought, and an overall essay that is highly expository in merely
summarizing what Pagel has already said.
– Thesis: “As Mark Pagel says, language is uniquely human; although
other species have their own forms of communication, none are as
sophisticated as human communication so cannot be classified as
• Paper then goes on to explain why Pagel is correct, using studies of human and
animal communication as evidence that human communication is more complex,
and therefore other species do not have language the way humans have
– A strong thesis statement that clearly states why the author agrees with
Pagel, addressing the counterargument that other species also have
language. Overall essay supports the thesis statement using concrete
evidence from external sources.
– Does not simply repeat Pagel’s claims, since Pagel never examines the
languages of other species in-depth.
It is not enough to simply state whether you
agree/disagree with the author or speaker.
Instead, you must clearly articulate why you
Always provide evidence from valid external
sources (newspaper articles, studies, interviews,
statistics, etc.) to support your thesis.
o Thesis statement:
Takes a position
o Body paragraphs:
Thesis statement is supported using external sources (newspaper articles, interviews,
studies, statistics, etc.)
How these external sources support your thesis statement is clearly articulated
Quotations and paraphrases are accurately documented in the MLA style
Counterarguments are refuted
Free of spelling, grammar, and citation errors
Avoids first person narration
Overall paper is not expository
Does not extensively summarize the text or speech
Is not a mere repetition of what the author or speaker has already stated
Is not just a compare and contrast