Expository And Persuasive Essay

Teachers can scaffold writing by discussing the characteristics of common essay types. Here is how to distinguish between expository and persuasive essays.

Teaching middle school students how to write a formal essay is an ongoing process that requires many scaffolded activities throughout the course of the school year. Writing isn’t something that students can master; that is, there is always room for growth. With this in mind, teachers should embark on essay writing by exploring the two most common types of formal essays: persuasive and expository. The following lesson will help students differentiate between the two as well as reflect on their own writing.

Create an Appropriate Essay Tone

Tone is one of the distinguishing characteristics between persuasive and expository writing. In order to create an appropriate tone, students should first understand their purpose. In a persuasive essay, students will need to convince their reader to consider their perspective—and perhaps change their mind. Students must then identify their audience and specifically name them, if appropriate. For example, if students are writing about one change they would like to see implemented in their school, they could address their principal directly.

Mrs. Owens, you must change the stifling dress code at our school.

If students want to persuade their reader by creating an urgent tone, they must also use strong, definite word choice that sounds convincing. Some effective words include the following:

  • must
  • urgent
  • necessary
  • Important
  • essential
  • vital
  • critical
  • crucial
  • It cannot be denied that …
  • One cannot argue that….

By incorporating strong, passionate language, students will achieve a more persuasive tone.

Conversely, the purpose of an expository essay is merely to describe or explain, with the goal of sharing a personal experience. Since students will be providing a window into their world, they should not address their audience directly. They should also incorporate descriptive, colorful language that paints a picture in the reader’s mind more consciously than they might in a persuasive essay. To do this, they can use imagery, similes and metaphors to add interest and creative flair.

Use Specific Writing Techniques

Persuasive writing utilizes specific techniques to connect with the reader. Students should keep in mind that they should strongly arguing one point of view, using examples that will urge readers to change their mind and agree with the presented perspective. Additionally, students should incorporate one or more of the following appeals to win over their reader:

  • Logical: Incorporate facts and statistics to add credence to the argument.
  • Ethical: Add details that appeal to a reader’s sense of right versus wrong.
  • Emotional: Emotional language that tugs at the reader’s heart will encourage them to see the argument in a new light.

Employing these techniques are a surefire way to convince readers to accept the position presented in the essay.

Expository essays can also employ specific techniques to enhance readability. Writers should keep in mind that with this mode of writing, they are sharing a personal experience and providing a window into their world. For this reason creative content will help the writing come alive. Students can incorporate descriptive language, such as imagery and figurative language, to add interest and connect with their reader. Specific examples should be used to share a personal experience experience. Expository essays that reveal a personal revelation are likely to resonate with their readers.

Before determining whether to write an expository or persuasive essay, student writers should first consider their topic, then consider their audience. Once these have been been analyzed, students can work towards developing an appropriate tone for their writing. Using specific writing techniques for each type of essays will help students compose effective drafts. Teachers can remind students that, just like life, writing is a process; it should not be rushed.

Now you know how are a persuasive essay and an expository essay different.

Copyright Marina Popova

Expository writing is writing that is used to inform. You can take the word "expose" from "expository," so in essence you are exposing something about your topic. In these types of essays, you are telling your reader about something. It can be information about a subject such as a person or product. It can be a description of something, such as a vacation. It can be a review of a book or a movie. Anything that gives the reader information about a topic is considered expository writing.

With persuasive writing, the author is trying to convince the reader to believe something. You may be asked to write an essay convincing your school to allow off-campus lunches. This would be considered persuasive writing. With this kind of writing, you choose an argument, and then convince your readers using details and examples.  A key element in this type of writing is to bring in different forms of rhetoric. These are ethos, pathos and logos.

Ethos- You use ethos by convincing your reader that you are an expert on the subject. If I want to write a persuasive essay about why smoking should be banned in restaurants, I might explain the amount of research I have done and provide the kind of education I have had that shows I have knowledge on the subject.

Pathos- Pathos appeals to emotion. A persuasive essay arguing against the death sentence might tell a heart-wrenching story about a man who was wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to death.

Logos- Logos is when a writer uses logic as part of his or her argument. When a writer gives specific, fact-based reasons for or against something and supports those reasons with specific details, that writer is using logic.

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