Category Archives: Expository Writing

What are forms of expository writing?

Forms of Expository Writing

Expository writing is writing to show knowledge of a subject. It is commonly used. If you have ever read a how to article or an article in a magazine that explains a piece of content, you have read expository writing. Expository writing is used in most professional environments so it is very important, and I think the most important, type of writing for students to learn. Here are some forms of expository writing that a teacher can assign in a classroom environment.
  • Expository Paragraph
  • Expository Essay
  • Data Based Question Essay
  • Expository Newspaper Article
  • Textbook Writer Activity
  • Expository Children’s Book Writer offers an expository writing system that teaches students the writing process using levels or steps.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

What is a DBQ essay?

Primary Source for an Expository DBQ Essay

A DBQ essay or a data based question essay is a form of expository writingDBQ‘s are commonly seen in social studies. It depends on the state stardards when or even if this form of expository writing will be introduced to the student. In NY, students are required to write a DBQ as young as fifth grade. That means they might be introduced to it as young as fourth grade. In GA, it is only introduced if the students take an AP, advanced placement, class or is in the gifted program, but even the latter is up to the personal preference of the teacher.

Data Based Question Essays use documents to reinforce the point the expository writer is making. The documents are usually primary sources however secondary sources can also be used. The documents are cited by the writer of the expository DBQ essay. offers an outline included in it’s expository leveled writing system that can help organize students.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can you teach expository writing in paragraph form?

How to Teach Expository Writing


Expository writing can be taught through the use of ability levels. It is a great way to differentiate instruction also because many students will be on different writing levels at the same time but they can all still be writing about the same content. This is particularly useful for social studies and science teachers. Leveled writing is also called scaffolded writing and tiered writing. All of these terms are interchangeable.

When teaching how to write an expository paragraph, you first must look at the parts of the expository paragraph. Break this down for your students because expository writing can take on a formula-like appearance, this will help your SPED students especially.

1. Topic Sentence: States what the writer will be writing about without specifically saying “I am going to write about this”.

2. Facts: The facts support the topic sentence.

3. Elaboration: These support each of the facts provided in the paragraph and should be after each of them. They come in the form of examples and details. The more elaborations, the better the expository paragraph.

4. Concluding Sentence: This states what the expository paragraph was about without saying “this paragraph was about…”.

If students need more than this explanation an expository writing outline is always useful. It can keep them and their thoughts organized. I recommend that most SPED and ELL students use an outline before they write. It might look like this:

Expository Writing Paragraph

A. Topic Sentence:

B. Detail 1:

C. Elaboration of Detail 1:

D. Detail 2:

E. Elaboration of Detail 2:

F. Concluding Sentence:

The outline should be a fast exercise. This means that full sentences should not be used except maybe for the topic and concluding sentences in the expository paragraph. All of the other information should just be words or better, abbreviated words. The purpose of the outline is only to guide. offers a leveled expository writing system using outlines. The teacher can create all of the writing levels they need in about 5 minutes.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

What is Expository Writing?

Expository writing is writing to show knowledge of a subject. The writer needs to write as if their audience knows nothing on the subject matter being written. The more information, details, examples or in other words, the more the writer elaborates, the more beneficial the piece of expository writing is most likely going to be for the reader. In school, expository writing is usually associated with social studies, science and even sometimes math if the school is progressive enough or the standards include writing like in NY. In the adult world, expository writing takes the form of most magazine articles, newspaper articles, as well as reports in the government, financial, education, medical and business worlds. Most likely no matter where adults are employed, if they are considered professionals, they have been required to create or read expository writing.

Expository writing can be done with a formulated process. This means that it is very easy to teach through steps or levels. Once a student learns the steps, they only need to input the information for all other assignments. This way of teaching expository writing works particularly well with SPED students because they need repetition and leveled writing gives them that repetition. Leveled expository writing also allows the teacher to differentiate instruction easily because students in a single class can be on different writing levels but still be writing about the same content. offers a leveled expository writing system that requires about 5 minutes of teacher planning.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

Why should you give examples of Expository Writing?

Examples of Expository Writing

As teachers we need to lay it out and show students exactly what we expect from them. So when assigning students a social studies essay to write, we should give examples of expository writing. Expository writing is writing to show knowledge of a topic. An example of expository writing that students encounter almost daily is the text in a social studies or science textbook, newspaper articles, magazines etc. They read these to gain knowledge on a topic. They read to learn. So that means that expository writing is writing to teach. They need to tell their audience what they are going to write about, write about it, and then tell the audience what they just told them. Expository writing is allowed to be “dry”. It is not there to entertain, but to educate. When writing a social studies essay, they are showing their knowledge. They need to assume that their audience knows nothing about the subject, which will help them elaborate on the subject they are writing about. Elaboration is explaining in detail or giving examples. They are backing up what they know and showing how they know it. Persuasion can also be involved in an expository essay especially in social studies. In that case, while they are elaborating they are backing up their opinion on the matter. Expository writing can also involve cause and effect, question and answer, comparison, sequence, description (Tompkins). It is the most widely used form of writing in adulthood due to the fact that businesses and services all need reports done. offers an expository scaffolded/leveled/tiered writing system engine that helps social studies teachers create up to nine different ability levels for their students, all on the same topic, in about 5 minutes.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico