Structure of a General Expository EssayThe following maps a commonly used structure for many academic essays. Use this outline to guide you
as you compose your own argument, research or even
Start your paper with a general statement about your topic that
catches the reader’s attention, a relevant quotation, question,
anecdote, fascinating fact, definition, analogy, the position
opposing one you will take, or a dilemma that needs
Provide the information the reader will need to understand the
State your arguable position on the topic that you
with evidence in your body paragraphs.
Provide the main idea of the paragraph.
Include specific textual evidence: cited quotes, paraphrases or
summary; or evidence that supports your thesis from
sources: anecdotes, first-person interviews or your
Explain to the reader the significance of the evidence you have
provided. Think about why you chose to include it.
How does the
piece of evidence support your thesis?
Connect each paragraph with a sentence or two that
how each idea leads into the next, and how they work together to
support your position.
Provide the reader an overview of the main ideas
but also be sure to highlight the progression of yo
process, offer solutions, next steps or present new
your paper generated. Don’t only restate your thesis but show the
significance of your synthesis of the information.
Yes or no: Americans with mixed genetic heritages still spontaneously identify as “black,” andfind it very difficult to identify as “mixed” even if they wanted to, because dominant-group
Americans still use dark skin color as a symbol of a difference so extreme it makes anyone with
dark skin too “unlike” the dominant group to be considered completely American.
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