What have you done well?
What am I doing?
For this assignment, you will write a draft of an expository essay (600-800 words) that addresses one of the the following prompts.
1 – Mass consumerism and consumption can have negative effects on the earth and negative effects on the people involved in the production of the goods we consume. How can we be wise, informed, and considerate consumers?
2 – Describe the major stressors in teens’ lives.
3 – Identify what you think will succeed fossil fuels as an energy source and the possible steps to achieving this and/or the consequences of this shift.
*Remember to avoid using “In my opinion”, “I believe”, “I feel”, or “I think” in an English submission. We’ll assume that if you say it you also think it and believe it. Notice how much more confident you sound when you remove this kind of phrase.
Why am I doing it?
The purpose of this exercise is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your skill in drafting an expository essay.
How will it be marked?
This essay will be marked as a draft piece. You will need to demonstrate that you:
understand the purpose of an expository essay,
can write effective exposition with proper spelling and grammar
can apply the principles of CUE in essay writing.
Even though this essay is a draft, it still needs editing for spelling and grammar and it should follow standard essay format. Basically the draft needs to be the best you can make it! You will receive a mark for the draft and feedback for help with editing. Use the teacher feedback to improve the essay for the next (Final Draft) assignment. You will be marked based on the 6 Point Essay Rubric.
Your essay must present a thesis and then support it. You may use narration, description or persuasion to help strengthen your essay.
STOP! Make a PLAN for your essay
It is a good idea to follow the writing process to ensure a strong draft. You may want to:
organize your ideas into categories
compose a thesis statement
create an outline
INTRODUCTION OF ESSAY
Begin your essay with a hook: this can be a provocative question, an insightful quote, or a powerful insight
In the main part of the introduction, you should hint at what the body paragraph topics will be about. Your introduction should end with your thesis: the thing that the essay will prove (a statement of opinion, but stated without saying “I think” or “It is my opinion that”).
BODY OF ESSAY
Each body paragraph should have a strong controlling idea. Aim to have at least 3 strong, well developed body paragraphs.
In the body paragraphs, remember to begin with a topic sentence and do not wander away from that topic in the paragraph. The topic sentence “controls” the paragraph. In the middle of the body paragraphs think: PEE. Make a POINT; offer an EXAMPLE to support the point; and EXPLAIN the example and how it supports the point. Try use PEE two or three times in each body paragraph.
Remember the “U” in CUE means unity. Make sure there is unity in your body paragraphs. If your thesis states that “Excess is a sign of weakness”, discussing over-eating, our over-reliance on cars, and the excessively wealthy in your body paragraphs would probably NOT create unity because the topics have little in common.
CONCLUSION OF ESSAY
Your conclusion is essentially the reverse of your introduction: begin by restating your thesis; review the three body arguments; end with a clever clincher statement, or quote (but probably best not to use a question here).
If you follow this simple plan, you will be successful and the reader will get your point.
Here is a simple EXAMPLE of an expository essay:
“A dog is a man’s best friend.” (Hook) That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friend whose companionship people enjoy. For many people, a cat is their best friend. Despite what dog lovers may believe, cats make excellent house pets. (Thesis – What the essay will focus on = explaining why cats make good house pets.)
In the first place, people enjoy the companionship of cats. (Topic sentence – What the paragraph will focus on.) Many cats are very affectionate. (Point) They will snuggle up and ask to be petted, or scratched under the chin. (Example) Who can resist a purring cat? (Explain) If they’re not feeling affectionate, cats are generally quite playful. They love to chase balls and feathers, or just about anything dangling from a string. They especially enjoy playing when their owners are participating in the game. Contrary to popular opinion, cats can be trained. Using rewards and punishments, just like with a dog, a cat can be trained to avoid unwanted behaviour or perform tricks. Cats will even fetch!
(Transition) In the second place, cats are civilized members of the household. (Topic) Unlike dogs, cats do not bark or make other loud noises. (Point) Most cats don’t even meow very often. (Example) They are generally content to lead a quiet existence. (Explain) Cats also don’t often have “accidents”. Mother cats train their kittens to use the litter box, and most cats will use it without fail from that time on. Even stray cats generally understand the concept when shown the box and will use it regularly. Cats do have claws and owners must make provision for this. A tall scratching post in a favourite cat area of the house will usually keep the cat content to leave the furniture alone. As a last resort, of course, cats can be declawed.
Lastly, one of the most attractive features of cats as house pets is their ease of care. Cats do not have to be walked. They get plenty of exercise in the house as they play, and they do their business in the litter box. Cleaning a litter box is a quick, painless procedure. Cats also take care of their own grooming. Bathing a cat is almost never necessary because under ordinary circumstances cats clean themselves. Cats are more particular about personal cleanliness than people are. In addition, cats can be left home alone for a few hours without fear. Unlike some pets, most cats will not destroy the furnishings when left alone. They are content to go about their usual activities until their owner’s return.
Cats are low maintenance, civilized companions. People who have small living quarters or less time for pet care should appreciate these characteristics of cats. However, many people who have plenty of space and time still opt to have a cat because they love the cat personality. In many ways, cats are the ideal house pet.
Here is another example of an expository essay from a grade 12 student.
include a thesis statement which is proven in the body of the essay
include an original title for your essay
be typed in a file format like Word that can be easily annotated by the teacher for specific feedback
use a 12 point font and DOUBLE SPACE your work.
hand in this assignment on the following page.
Your essay will be marked with the rubric below.
Make sure that you also include a self-reflection on your essay: based on the instructions, the example literary essay, and the criteria, identify the quality elements in your essay. What have you done well?