Expository Paragraph

EXPOSITORY WRITING                                                                                                   English 9            Mr. Castellano

       Expository writing is writing that explains, sets forth, or defines a given topic.  Expository is the adjective form of the noun exposition.  Both words are derived from the verb expose, which means to make visible or known, to lay open, to put forth.  Basically, all the writing you do in school is – in one sense or another – expository writing.  You are always in the process of trying to explain something, whether it is your view of a particular work of literature, the causes of a particular historical event, the moral reasons to act in one way rather than another, why a chemical reaction did (or did not) take place, etc.  In some ways, even a letter you write to a friend is expository in nature.  Descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and literary writing (all of which we will do this year) are each examples of expository writing.

      For your first writing assignment, I want you to write one paragraph about an activity you enjoy.  Name the activity, describe it some, and (most important) say why you like it.  You could probably write pages on this topic: I want this to be only one paragraph.  So pick a topic that is appropriate to and can be fully explored in one paragraph.  I have printed a sample paragraph below; it is an expanded (and better) version of the sample I gave you yesterday.  Remember the sheet I gave you and that we said in class on Thursday about the characteristics of a good paragraph: 

·         clear, focused, opinionated topic sentence;

·         sufficient details to support and illustrate the topic sentence;

·         an explanation of those details that need explaining;

·         staying focused on one, limited controlling idea;

·         a concluding sentence that brings the paragraph to closure.

This assignment should be a fun; it is a chance for you to write about something you love and for you to share that with me.  Take some time to brainstorm this weekend; do some focused free writing.  Start to get ideas down; give it time.  The paragraph is due next Friday, 24 September; it is worth 50 points.  Do your best.


     Although I have not baked bread on a regular basis for more than ten years, it is an activity I love and from which I can derive great emotional and physical satisfaction.  For the first in a long time – and the first time with my daughters – I recently baked some bread.  The experience served to re-kindle for me the great joy I can find in the simple act of baking bread.  What makes baking bread so great?  First of all, it is one of the simplest things anyone can do in the kitchen.  Take some flour, yeast, and water, mix them together, let the dough rise, and bake.  In a world filled with too much complication, taking time to make bread can be a beautiful and simple antidote to the perils of life in a technological world.  Out of this great simplicity comes great satisfaction.  Of course, nothing beats eating warm bread, butter instantly melting into it, right out of the oven.  But even the process of making the bread is great.  Kneading the dough time and again is a sensual pleasure and highly relaxing.  Then setting the dough to rise seems like magic.  Working with my daughters only served to enhance the magical aspects of the rising dough.  Eating bread I have made with my own hands and from scratch (or as close as possible from scratch) creates great emotional pleasure.  I take pride in the work and feel tremendous satisfaction when it is finished.  Finally, there is a spiritual joy to baking bread.  We live in a world of instant gratification, where we are far removed from not just the food we eat but from everything we use.  Baking bread helps me to re-connect with my world.  It also forces me to slow down.  There is no fast way to bake bread; and, as frustrating as that may be, that is good for me.  Some things in my life need to be fast or stream-lined.  But I like holding onto a few old-fashioned and slow things.  The pay-off of the delicious, unadulterated bread more than compensates for the time invested.  I continue to struggle to find the time to bake bread regularly.  But I know that, whenever I do, I can count on a rich, fun, different, and thoroughly satisfying experience.