Expository writing is the activity of explaining a particular event, process, concept, etc., to the readers. There are some rules and guidelines that the writer needs to follow in order to present information in an easy-to-understand manner. The writer has to be highly organized in the way he presents facts before the readers. In this form of writing, one has to explain a piece of information from scratch. The writer cannot assume that reader has prior knowledge about the topic being discussed. It is important to teach expository writing to your students considering all these points.
Teaching Expository Writing
Teaching the art of expository writing is not that difficult, provided you take a step-by-step approach. Don't expect your students to grasp everything in a matter of few weeks. After all, writing cannot be taught like in a crash course. It requires a great amount of patience and hard work to teach students to write. Some of the useful points and steps to be taken for teaching the art of expository writing are given below.
- The different sections of expository writing are topic sentence, elaboration, facts and conclusion. Students should be taught to write with the help of these points. The write-up is considered complete only if it incorporates all these points.
- Short sessions of teaching are far more fruitful than longer ones; it is observed that long sessions bore them and prove to be a waste of time. Short practice sessions bring out the best in students.
- In first few sessions, students should be asked to write on lighter and interesting topics. It helps them express their ideas in a better manner. As the student makes progress he must be asked to write on challenging subjects.
Expository Writing Exercise
There is one simple technique that can be used in teaching expository writing to students. First of all, select an interesting topic for writing. If you choose 'sports', then ask your students to list down sports they know (5-10 sports are enough). Write these names on the blackboard. Ask the students to write 2-3 lines on each sport. Once they finish writing these short descriptions, ask them to write about sports in general. By the end of the session, you will have as many articles as the number of students on a single topic and with completely different views and information.
This activity of writing seems fun and doesn't bother the students with doing work that they don't enjoy. However, this is not all. Students need to be taught about proofreading, formatting and other aspects. The above mentioned exercise functions like a trigger or starting point for students to learn the art of expository writing. You can think of repeating this activity with some interesting expository essay topics every few days.
Use of Cue Words
The cue words prove to be of great help in illustrating a particular concept. For example, you can use the cue words, 'first', 'second', 'third', etc., in the process of listing data in a sequence. Comparison is done with 'as a result', 'because', 'therefore', 'reason why' and other such words. Learning the cue words should help in organizing the data in a proper manner.
Points to Remember
Content presented in the write-up should satisfy the reader. You should understand the exact need of readers and write accordingly. For example, if you are writing about 'how to make a paper boat', try to explain the procedure in simple words. Since kids are going to be the readers of such topics, the content should be written in a way that is easy-to-understand. The language use for such kind of expository writing should contain a limited vocabulary that is easily understood by children.
Through all these lessons and practice sessions of expository writing, students should also be encouraged to use their natural style of writing. Even if you are teaching expository writing to the students, it is important to maintain flow of language that keeps the readers interested in your write-up. Most of the scholarly articles tend to become a bit dull and boring; however, if you are able to add a little spice even to this informational stuff, you would find more and more readers appreciating your work.