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

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