on WRITING TO EXPLAIN and INFORM USING SOURCE MATERIAL:
kind of writing--expository writing--is part of almost all
other kinds of writing. It explains (exposes...) the Why or
How about something, a situation or a process, or what something is.
This is not to be an instruction manual, list or recipe, but an
explanation...Although it takes a position about some part of the
topic, this is not just a bland report or review of materials and it
is not a formal argument, supporting and defending a claim. Please define any technical terms and direct the
writing to a general reader, not an expert in the subject.
To empower the ideas and thinking, authoritative sources must be
included. [For Definition essays:
Definition Essay HOW-TO ]
Possible STEPS in producing E2:
- Explore possible topics
Tutorial for Exploring and Developing
a Topic |
- Write 200-300 wds expanding Loop
parts 5 and 6 on the topic you want to use, then make an initial
Ashford thesis Gd).
- Find at least 3-5
outside sources that can support your thesis and reasoning.
Wikipedia is fine for getting familiar with a topic, but look
for information you want to cite other more authoritative sources.
- Make an outline to structure your paper
Planning Ex- optional)
- Write a rough draft, using the
thesis sentence and at least 3-5 sources
(Basic level 5 paragraph essay
can use 2-4 sources).
Sample full MLA paperw/notes
- Using peer and instructor feed
back continue to work on the final form of essay.
the full version of the paper, outside
sources of information (author and or web site title, etc.) will need
to be credited and introduced in a sentence (Signal
Signal Phrases 2
) and as MLA parenthetical citation at
the end of
the material (author last name +page or paragraph number where the data came
from) Example: (Smith 24). MORE:
Within the sentence, next to the
writers simply place in parenthesis, the
author's plain last name only
initials, titles, etc.) and the page
or paragraph number of the information being cited, e.g. for an independent source, (Brown
34), or in a collection, e.g. (Brown in Faigley 57)--don't use "page" or "p." in
MLA. As in the example here, the period which ends the sentence
goes outside the close parenthesis mark. Also see:
OWL Citing Guide
Consider things like these
(unless class page has possible topics listed):
- the brief history of something, i.e. development of electric
- what the "big bang" is said to be, how it was
- how dogs may have become "domesticated."
- theories of climate
Tutorial for Exploring and Developing a Topic
some of these examples of expository/explanation/informational
A Definition of Pantomime, by Julian
Hot Hands, by Stephen Jay Gould
Process Analysis in Barry Lopez's
Jessica Mitford on the Embalmer's
Contrast in Rybczynski's "Home"
Process Analysis in Richard Selzer's
Examples in Frank Trippett's "Loaded
Barbara Tuchman's Historical
Narrative: The Black Death