Outlines are extremely helpful to students to organize their thoughts and ideas for expository writing. Students with a logical learning style will appreciate the use of an outline because it is systematic, which is something that they value. Students with a spatial learning style will also appreciate the use of an expository writing outline because they will be able to see their content in the expository writing in a different way. This can also help students diagnosed with ADHD because the outline will prompt them and refocus their efforts much more quickly. Students with learning disabilities may get overwhelmed by the task of writing an expository essay or a DBQ essay. An expository writing outline can be separated into paragraph sections, making writing a much more reasonable task.
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 ofexpository 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.