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EXPOSITORY ESSAY
Developing The Body Paragraphs
The Tasty Middle
The body paragraph’s structure may
remind you of a certain food.
Just as you may add
lettuce, tomato, cheese,
onions, and pickles to a
burger to spice it up or
add flavor, you need to
add flavor to your
body paragraphs
through elaboration.
Transition Sentence
The most important part of the Writing test essay is
the component of support. In order for you to score
well, you must fully elaborate on two
ideas.
As you write, think of the reader as saying, “Tell
me more!”
The reader should have no more questions after
reading the paragraph.
Importance of Elaboration
What Is Elaboration
Elaboration is the process of developing ideas by
providing supporting details. Elaboration means to
tell the reader more about an idea using:
• Specific words-adjectives, vivid words, examples
• Onion-like layering of detail
A writer elaborates on his or her ideas so that a
reader will understand more clearly what he or she is
saying.
You can elaborate by adding:
From the Sources:
• Facts
• Reasons
• Incidents/anecdotes
• Examples/expert testimony (quote)
• Statistics-numerical value for findings
e.g. 1 out 10 teenage girls gets
pregnant before the age of 19.
• Sensory details
Ways to Elaborate
FACTS – are pieces of information that can
be proven to be true.
The high school
dropout rate in the
US increases each
year (Smith, 2014).
(On the writing test, students can make up facts!)
REASONS – are pieces of information that
help support your thesis statement.
Students who do not
earn good grades
have a tendency to
give up (Hanes, 2014).
Using Anecdotes to Elaborate
Smith’s (2014) argued that
“most mechanically gifted
people dropped out of
school”.
INCIDENTS/ANECDOTES - An incident, also called an anecdote, is a
short narrative inserted into an essay that develops an idea or
argument. An incident might be introduced
by:
• For instance…
•Once…
• According to…
•Name (year) argued that..
•Name (year) suggested that..
EXAMPLES – are cases or instances of something
that provides more specific information about an
idea.
An example might be
introduced by:
• For example,
• For instance,
Students have way too much homework.
Many students claim that they cannot
possibly get it done. For example,
teachers made students read a whole
chapter, write out answers to the
chapter questions (in complete
sentences yet). Students are stressed
with the number of hours it took to
complete the assignments (Jones, 2010).
Another example is many English
teachers in high school assign students
to read books in short period of time
and write summaries and reflection
papers (Urvin, 2012).
Using someone's exact
words makes the writing
realistic and believable.
EXPERT TESTIMONY/QUOTATIONS –
are words someone says that can help
support your idea or argument.
“School sucks. I don’t need
any more school” (Vinh,
2012).
(On the writing test, get
statistics from the sources.
STATISTICS - are facts that
involve numbers.
Out of every 100 ninth
graders, only 70 will
finish high school (Smith,
2012).
SENSORY DETAILS – are words that appeal to the
five senses. These details show the reader how
something looks, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels.
The unpleasant smell of
musty old books always
reminds me of school.
By moving your details from bare to elaborated, you
utilize the technique of “showing” the reader what you
want them to know versus “telling” them.
• Telling is to provide a general statement that lacks the
visual clarity.
• Showing is the use of specific details that makes the
image the writer is presenting much more vivid and alive
– to create a picture in the reader’s mind.
Showing vs. Telling Example
Telling
Today is a great day.
Showing
The sparkling sun is shining
and breakfast is my favorite-
- waffles, drenched with
strawberries and whipped
cream! My 100% math
paper is stuck to the front of
the fridge. I feel a win
coming, with me as the hero,
at today’s game.
Now let’s take a closer
look at the supporting
detail sentences.
Transition Sentence
The transition sentence, the first sentence in your
expository body paragraph, it should be one of the
reasons mentioned in your thesis statement to help support
your opinion.
Transition Sentence
BARE
The first supporting detail sentence in your expository
body paragraph should be an example used to further
explain the reason provided in the transition sentence.
EXTEND
LAYER
The second supporting detail sentence in your expository
body paragraph should be a quote or a sensory detail
that further explains the transition sentence.
(a) The words said should be placed in quotation marks like
these: " “
(b) The reader should know exactly who said the quote.
If you write something like: Famous scientists say, "Nuclear
weapons should be banned," the exact speaker is still unknown
(which famous scientists?). It does not make your point clear and
strong - in fact it does the opposite, it makes your writing weaker.
It seems like you just invented this idea, not a scientist.
If you write: Albert Einstein said, "Nuclear weapons should be
banned." it is a real quote because we know who said it and
what he said.
Important Tips About Quotes
ELABORATE
The third supporting detail sentence in your expository
body paragraph should be an anecdote/incident that
further explains the transition sentence.
The concluding sentence, the last sentence in your
expository body paragraph, should refer back to the
transition sentence and bring a logical conclusion to the
body paragraph.
Example
Thesis Statement: The biggest change students experience
when transitioning from elementary to middle school is the
need to be more responsible with managing time and
choosing friends.
To begin with, the move from elementary to
middle school required students to be more
responsible with time management. For instance,
between the changing from one period to the next,
it usually allows five minutes to use the restroom,
drink water, and speak to friends before the tardy
bell would ring; this required real time
management because students do not want to be
late to any classes (Turman, 2011). The thought of
being reprimanded because of not being on time
to class would twist a student’s stomach into knots.
Smith (2012) recalled his first day of middle
school, sitting in his first period Geography class as
his teacher went over the rules and consequences,
and the third rule spoke of punctuality; the
consequence for being tardy was a DETENTION!
Clearly, studets have to be responsible and
manage their time accordingly between the bells so
as not to obtain a detention and be on a bad list.
Body Paragraph 1 Transition
Sentence
(Reason)
Supporting Detail 1
(Example)
Supporting Detail 2
(Sensory Detail)
Supporting Detail 3
(Incident)
Concluding Sentence
In addition, the change from elementary to middle
school requires students to be more responsible with
selection of friends. For example, in middle school the
kids are not as genuine because they are so
concerned with being popular; they would do next to
anything to fit in, so students have to be careful with
who they choose to hang around and put my trust in
(Mitchell, 2009). Moreover, “Some kids do the
unimaginable just to be a part of the popular crowd.”
(Palor, 2010). For instance, two students named Kevin
Jerkins and Carl Smith died in a car chase running
from the police! Apparently, Kevin and Carl were
trying to impress some eighth graders who were
known trouble makers by stealing a car (Keller,
2010). In short, students need to be wise with choice
of friends so as not to end up in situations that may
prove harmful or impede my success in school.
Body Paragraph 2
Concluding Sentence
Transition
Sentence
(Reason)
Supporting Detail 1
(Example)
Supporting Detail 2
(Quote)
Supporting Detail 3
(Incident)
Remember to elaborate when writing your body
paragraphs in order to make them clear and/or
convincing to the reader of your essay.
If you write in bare statements the reader will not
fully understand your thesis, and your essay will
read as a lot of words with no meaning.

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Developing the Body Paragraphs of an Expository Essay

  • 1. EXPOSITORY ESSAY Developing The Body Paragraphs The Tasty Middle
  • 2. The body paragraph’s structure may remind you of a certain food. Just as you may add lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, and pickles to a burger to spice it up or add flavor, you need to add flavor to your body paragraphs through elaboration. Transition Sentence
  • 3. The most important part of the Writing test essay is the component of support. In order for you to score well, you must fully elaborate on two ideas. As you write, think of the reader as saying, “Tell me more!” The reader should have no more questions after reading the paragraph. Importance of Elaboration
  • 4. What Is Elaboration Elaboration is the process of developing ideas by providing supporting details. Elaboration means to tell the reader more about an idea using: • Specific words-adjectives, vivid words, examples • Onion-like layering of detail A writer elaborates on his or her ideas so that a reader will understand more clearly what he or she is saying.
  • 5. You can elaborate by adding: From the Sources: • Facts • Reasons • Incidents/anecdotes • Examples/expert testimony (quote) • Statistics-numerical value for findings e.g. 1 out 10 teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 19. • Sensory details Ways to Elaborate
  • 6. FACTS – are pieces of information that can be proven to be true. The high school dropout rate in the US increases each year (Smith, 2014). (On the writing test, students can make up facts!)
  • 7. REASONS – are pieces of information that help support your thesis statement. Students who do not earn good grades have a tendency to give up (Hanes, 2014).
  • 8. Using Anecdotes to Elaborate Smith’s (2014) argued that “most mechanically gifted people dropped out of school”. INCIDENTS/ANECDOTES - An incident, also called an anecdote, is a short narrative inserted into an essay that develops an idea or argument. An incident might be introduced by: • For instance… •Once… • According to… •Name (year) argued that.. •Name (year) suggested that..
  • 9. EXAMPLES – are cases or instances of something that provides more specific information about an idea. An example might be introduced by: • For example, • For instance, Students have way too much homework. Many students claim that they cannot possibly get it done. For example, teachers made students read a whole chapter, write out answers to the chapter questions (in complete sentences yet). Students are stressed with the number of hours it took to complete the assignments (Jones, 2010). Another example is many English teachers in high school assign students to read books in short period of time and write summaries and reflection papers (Urvin, 2012).
  • 10. Using someone's exact words makes the writing realistic and believable. EXPERT TESTIMONY/QUOTATIONS – are words someone says that can help support your idea or argument. “School sucks. I don’t need any more school” (Vinh, 2012).
  • 11. (On the writing test, get statistics from the sources. STATISTICS - are facts that involve numbers. Out of every 100 ninth graders, only 70 will finish high school (Smith, 2012).
  • 12. SENSORY DETAILS – are words that appeal to the five senses. These details show the reader how something looks, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels. The unpleasant smell of musty old books always reminds me of school.
  • 13. By moving your details from bare to elaborated, you utilize the technique of “showing” the reader what you want them to know versus “telling” them. • Telling is to provide a general statement that lacks the visual clarity. • Showing is the use of specific details that makes the image the writer is presenting much more vivid and alive – to create a picture in the reader’s mind.
  • 14. Showing vs. Telling Example Telling Today is a great day. Showing The sparkling sun is shining and breakfast is my favorite- - waffles, drenched with strawberries and whipped cream! My 100% math paper is stuck to the front of the fridge. I feel a win coming, with me as the hero, at today’s game.
  • 15. Now let’s take a closer look at the supporting detail sentences. Transition Sentence
  • 16. The transition sentence, the first sentence in your expository body paragraph, it should be one of the reasons mentioned in your thesis statement to help support your opinion. Transition Sentence BARE
  • 17. The first supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be an example used to further explain the reason provided in the transition sentence. EXTEND
  • 18. LAYER The second supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be a quote or a sensory detail that further explains the transition sentence.
  • 19. (a) The words said should be placed in quotation marks like these: " “ (b) The reader should know exactly who said the quote. If you write something like: Famous scientists say, "Nuclear weapons should be banned," the exact speaker is still unknown (which famous scientists?). It does not make your point clear and strong - in fact it does the opposite, it makes your writing weaker. It seems like you just invented this idea, not a scientist. If you write: Albert Einstein said, "Nuclear weapons should be banned." it is a real quote because we know who said it and what he said. Important Tips About Quotes
  • 20. ELABORATE The third supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be an anecdote/incident that further explains the transition sentence.
  • 21. The concluding sentence, the last sentence in your expository body paragraph, should refer back to the transition sentence and bring a logical conclusion to the body paragraph.
  • 22. Example Thesis Statement: The biggest change students experience when transitioning from elementary to middle school is the need to be more responsible with managing time and choosing friends.
  • 23. To begin with, the move from elementary to middle school required students to be more responsible with time management. For instance, between the changing from one period to the next, it usually allows five minutes to use the restroom, drink water, and speak to friends before the tardy bell would ring; this required real time management because students do not want to be late to any classes (Turman, 2011). The thought of being reprimanded because of not being on time to class would twist a student’s stomach into knots. Smith (2012) recalled his first day of middle school, sitting in his first period Geography class as his teacher went over the rules and consequences, and the third rule spoke of punctuality; the consequence for being tardy was a DETENTION! Clearly, studets have to be responsible and manage their time accordingly between the bells so as not to obtain a detention and be on a bad list. Body Paragraph 1 Transition Sentence (Reason) Supporting Detail 1 (Example) Supporting Detail 2 (Sensory Detail) Supporting Detail 3 (Incident) Concluding Sentence
  • 24. In addition, the change from elementary to middle school requires students to be more responsible with selection of friends. For example, in middle school the kids are not as genuine because they are so concerned with being popular; they would do next to anything to fit in, so students have to be careful with who they choose to hang around and put my trust in (Mitchell, 2009). Moreover, “Some kids do the unimaginable just to be a part of the popular crowd.” (Palor, 2010). For instance, two students named Kevin Jerkins and Carl Smith died in a car chase running from the police! Apparently, Kevin and Carl were trying to impress some eighth graders who were known trouble makers by stealing a car (Keller, 2010). In short, students need to be wise with choice of friends so as not to end up in situations that may prove harmful or impede my success in school. Body Paragraph 2 Concluding Sentence Transition Sentence (Reason) Supporting Detail 1 (Example) Supporting Detail 2 (Quote) Supporting Detail 3 (Incident)
  • 25. Remember to elaborate when writing your body paragraphs in order to make them clear and/or convincing to the reader of your essay. If you write in bare statements the reader will not fully understand your thesis, and your essay will read as a lot of words with no meaning.