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Mary DePew Resource Center for Research Writing: Expository Paragraph Writing

Expository Paragraph Writing

Introductory Paragraphs contain three elements:

  • A. An introduction to the topic which includes the
    • textual or historical issue you wish to address
    • method for solving the problem or answering the question
  • B. A central argument which
    • concisely expresses a debatable claim
    • unifies the argument
  • C. A roadmap, which outlines the structure of the argument to be presented in the body of the essay


Support Paragraphs:

  • A. The Topic Sentence must do three things:
    • Transition from the last paragraph if needed
    • Indicate what the paragraph will be about
    • Clearly link to the thesis statement
  • B. Supporting Points (a number sufficient to be persuasive) must
    • Introduce the evidence/example
    • Present the evidence/example
    • Interpret/analyze the evidence and connect to the larger argument
  • C. Conclusion (if needed) must
    • Synthesize the focus of the paragraph by connecting it to the topic of the paragraph and the thesis
    • Lead to the next paragraph


Concluding Paragraphs:

  • A. Concisely sum up the argument (thesis) in a non-repetitive, unifying way
  • B. Not introduce new evidence
  • C. Reflect on the argument at a higher level by
    • suggesting possibilities for further analysis and/or
    • explaining why the argument developed in the essay matters and/or
    • applying the specific argument to a more general context