In this lesson, you will begin writing an essay of an expository essay in which you examine how Gogol’s definition of home changes throughout the novel.

The purpose of expository writing is to logically explain and examine a topic or concept. In this essay, you will use information from The Namesake to support your explanation and examination. Expository writing presents an unbiased and balanced explanation of the facts—you do not take sides, include your opinion, or try to persuade readers in expository writing. Expository essays should always be written in third person and use the words he, she, it, and they. Never use the words I or you in an expository essay (unless you are using a direct quotation from another source).

There are several main components of expository writing that should appear in your rough draft, including the following:

Thesis statement: The thesis statement includes the main points that you will cover in your essay. The ideas you include in your thesis statement will be further explained in the body paragraphs of your essay. The thesis statement helps you organize your essay and provides a “road map” to follow when you begin writing your body paragraphs. It should be specific and is often written with the key supporting points in a list.

Imagine you have been asked to write an expository essay in which you examine the major themes of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Your thesis might look something like the following.

While Romeo and Juliet was written hundreds of years ago, it remains relevant today due to its three major themes: love, disguise, and fate.

By using the thesis statement to guide the essay, readers will know that the main points covered in this particular essay will be love, disguise, and fate. Each of the body paragraphs would then cover one of these concepts from the play in the order that they are presented in the thesis.

Introduction: The introduction is just that—the first paragraph where you make readers familiar with the topic that you are writing about. The introduction should begin with a sentence or phrase that will make readers interested in the topic. This is often called a “hook.” Once you have hooked your readers, the introduction should explain the general topic that you are writing about. The introduction should also give readers any necessary background information that will help them understand the topic. One of the last sentences of the introduction should be a thesis statement.

Main content: The main content of your essay, also known as the body paragraphs, is where you will explain and examine your topic or concept in detail. The main content should always include information and quotations from the novel (The Namesake) to support the ideas from the thesis statement. Each item of the thesis statement should have its own body paragraph in the main content of the essay.

Conclusion: The conclusion should return to the “hook” from the introduction and remind readers about the general topic. The main points of the thesis should also be reinforced in the conclusion. Do not introduce new information or ideas in the conclusion.

Writing

  1. Create your thesis statement using the Four-Column Chart graphic organizer as a reference. Your thesis and subsequent essay should address the following question: How does Gogol’s definition of home change throughout the novel?
  2. Begin writing the essay of your expository essay.
  3. Develop your introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs, making sure to use lines from the novel to support your ideas.
 
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