What Is an Expository Paragraph?
Cookbooks. The World Almanac. Scientific reports. These informative nonfiction texts are all examples of expository writing. Expository (or informative) writing explores, shares, explains, or defines a specific subject or idea. This type of writing does not include the writer’s opinion or tell a story; its goal is not to persuade, and the writer’s voice should be neutral.
For students in Grades 3 and up, expository writing is one of the most straightforward yet challenging writing types since it requires writers to present ideas and relevant evidence in an organized, concise, and precise manner. Teaching kids how to write an expository paragraph will allow them to develop their organizational, analytical, and research skills. Plenty of careers require expository writing—so by practicing and mastering this genre of writing, kids will gain skills they can use in real life.
A great way to introduce your students to this type of writing is to have them read picture books or easy readers. Never underestimate your students’ abilities to grasp new or complex information by reading these types of texts:
- Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes by Ellen Jackson and Nic Bishop
- The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey
- Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World by Nancy Castaldo
- The Great White Shark Scientist by Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen
Expository Paragraph Example
Read below an example of an expository passage (where the student writer classifies the types of planets in our solar system):
People often think all planets are alike, but there are actually three types of planets in the solar system. The terrestrial planets are made of rock and metal and are closest to the sun. These include the midsize planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. They rotate slowly and don’t have many moons. Farther from the sun are the planets called gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They are called gas giants because they are formed from gases such as hydrogen and helium. Gas giants rotate fast and have many moons. Finally, planetoids are objects made up of rock and ice and are too small to be true “planets.” Planetoids sometimes even get pulled into a planet’s gravitational field and become moons themselves. Whether they are terrestrials, gas giants, or planetoids, the planets in the solar system are fascinating.
Be the first to read the latest from Shaped.