Informational Essays – Structure and Brainstorming

For this unit’s writing assessment, you will write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided.

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

There are also different types of information essays with different structures –

 

 

For this first essay we will be writing a compare and contrast essay.  Our prompt is as follows:

      • Select two poems that you have read an analyzed from Fireside poets. Think about the themes and devices used in BOTH poems. Then write an explanatory essay in your own words comparing and contrasting how the poems, their style  and their themes are similar or different. Be sure to use information from BOTH passages in your explanatory essay.

In class we discussed the importance of the writing process, specifically brainstorming and planning, to write a high quality essay. You first step is to choose the two poems from class you would like to use and brainstorm ways that they are similar or different – use the venn diagram as we demonstrated in class, or a three column chart to organize your ideas. This is the first step to writing a solid essay, and you’ll need it in class later!

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019