Expository writing is text meant to inform, describe or explain something. This type of writing can be difficult because it needs to be logical and clear while capturing and holding readers' interest. Spend time organizing information before writing and follow general rules of thumb to keep any piece fresh and readable.
Intrigue the Audience
Grab readers' attention by opening your piece with startling facts, an intriguing or controversial question or an interesting narrative. Back up facts with reliable sources or further information as necessary. For example, if your topic is the nutritional value of prepackaged foods, you might begin your piece with, "The Centers for Disease Control recently found that 75 percent of prepackaged foods marketed for children and toddlers contain more sodium than is recommended."
Step Outside the Box
"The New York Times" recommends stepping outside of the conventional essay format, which typically includes an introduction followed by supporting evidence and a conclusion. Instead, grab readers' attention by using an "inverted pyramid" where you begin with the most important facts and details, then gradually add in the other details. For example, if you are writing a how-to piece on gardening, begin with a description or narrative of last year's harvest before describing the process or dos and don'ts of gardening.
Organize Your Facts
According to Stanford University, one of the most important elements of expository writing is organization. Good organization allows you to express relevant points without confusing the reader. Consider grouping related facts or using narrative to support facts. You can also introduce your topic, then divert your narrative to discuss a related topic in the next paragraph. Drive your point home by restating ideas with different words or symbolism.
Use Expository Patterns
Writers commonly use different expository patterns to discuss complex ideas. Stanford University cites five patterns that can be helpful in organizing your text: description, sequence, comparison, cause and effect and problem-solution. Consider beginning your piece with a clear description of the topic or problem. Delve deeper into the topic by comparing it with another issue, giving possible solutions or defining the causes of the problem. Use sequencing when you need to describe chronological circumstances.
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