Teach The Difference Between Persuasive and Expository Essays

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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 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 writing.

Create an Appropriate Essay Tone

The tone is one of the distinguishing characteristics between persuasive and expository writing. To create an appropriate tone, students should first understand their purpose or ask an essay writing service cheap to help them with it. In a persuasive essay, students will need to convince their readers to consider their perspective—and perhaps change their minds. 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.

  • 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, to share 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 argue one point of view, using examples that will urge readers to change their minds and agree with the presented perspective. Additionally, students should incorporate one or more of the following appeals to be like pro essay writers and win over their readers:

  • 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 is 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 readers. Specific examples should be used to share a personal experience. Expository essays that reveal a personal revelation are likely to resonate with their readers.

Wrapping Up

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 analyzed, students can work towards developing an appropriate tone for their writing. Using specific writing techniques for each type of essay will help students compose effective drafts. Teachers can remind students that, just like life, writing is a process; it should not be rushed.