Paragraphs: Expository Paragraph

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12755

Has anyone ever come up to you and said, "Hey! You're good at that! Can you show me how to do that?" It's important to be able to explain how to do something so others can follow along and be experts!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What can you do that you can teach others how to do?
  • Can you explain how to bake a cake, score a goal, build a birdhouse, write an expository paragraph?

There are so many things you know how to do that you can teach others how to do.

If you took just a moment to think of all the things you can do, you would probably have a long list. Perhaps you enjoy playing a sport, making something specific, or even cooking something special.

There are so many things we take for granted that we think everyone must know, but perhaps they do not.

Before continuing, if you missed or would like to review the previous Related Lessons in our Paragraphs series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

When you write to explain how to do something, you are writing an expository piece.

Expository writing is writing that is used to explain how to do something or how something works, and is used to inform. The writing is organized around one topic, and that topic is developed accordingly.

As you watch the video below, jot down the purpose for expository writing and the transitional words used when writing an expository text.

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  • What did the speaker in the video say is the purpose for expository writing?

If you said “teaching” or “to teach,” you are correct. Expository writing is used to teach someone how to do something or how something works.

It is also used to inform someone about a topic, which is also teaching. This kind of writing is considered non-fiction.

Expository writing is organized in a step-by-step format. If you are writing a how-to paragraph, you would explain the process in a step-by-step manner, starting with what you would do first, next, and so on.

The transitional words the speaker mentioned — first, next, for example, and therefore — are the type of words you would use in this type of writing.

  • What graphic organizer would be good to use to keep your steps in order?

Continue to the Got It! section, where you will put directions for an activity in the correct order.

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