Writing a Hook in the Introduction of an Expository Essay

What is an Expository Essay?

Expository writing is writing that focus on ‘exposing’ an idea, giving a balanced discussion of different views, considers pros and cons of each with logical and informative evidence.   Expository Essays are written to inform the reader about a particular topic.

The Types of Expository Writing can take the form of:

  • Essays = an educated audience in mind, with moderate language, usually in the 3rd person
  • Personal reflections/letters = an audience of one reader well known to the writer, with personal tone and descriptive language
  • News articles = the audience of a newspaper or magazine readers, detached tone for an objective account, written in the 3rd person
  • Biography/autobiography = with readers of special interest in mind in the subject, usually formal language
  • Research piece = readers with a special interest or knowledge, formal language, serious and specialised vocabulary
  • Diary entry/blog = the writer of a diary, readers with a special interest in the writer, personal tone, descriptive, uses the first person “I”

The Introduction

The first paragraph of an Expository Essay should introduce the reader to the essay topic and explain the purpose of the writing.  It should create interest in the essay, outline the writer’s main ideas, and suggest how these ideas will be presented within the body of the essay.

Writing a Hook in the Introduction of an Expository Essay

The first sentence (or sentences) of an essay should catch the reader’s attention (literally “hook” them into your essay).  It must introduce the topic of the essay in an interesting way and show that you understand the wider context of the topic.

Consider using one of the following strategies to “hook” the reader:

  1. Ask questions that are relevant to the prompt that you will address (3 maximum)
  2. Use a famous quote (by an expert on the topic) that begins the essay in a knowledgeable and authoritative way and reflect upon it
  3. Tell an anecdote (a story about a character, an individual or yourself) that is relevant
  4. Describe a scene (like a photo or a film setting)
  5. Create a hypothetical situation (imagine if …)
  6. An eye-catching statement using an interesting idea or an idea opposing the main contention to introduce the topic
  7. A surprising statistic using a detail that is not widely known to introduce the topic

Then still in the Introduction, continue on to state the contention or main focus of your essay.

Keys to Effective Expository Writing

  • write clearly
  • use a clear and logical structure
  • explain thoroughly the different ideas or arguments
  • emphasise reason rather than emotion
  • give considered thought to different perspectives and viewpoints

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

Exploring Issues of Identity and Belonging

Exploring Issues of Identity and Belonging?

The theme of Identity and Belonging asks you to consider many issues related to questions of a sense of self and how we gain the feeling of belonging to a family, group, place or community.  You will ask questions like: Who am I?  Where do I belong?  What things have shaped me into the person I am today?  How have they done so?  The groups we choose to belong to and the ways we connect with others help to form our own identity. Together, these issues go to the heart of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world.

Expository, Persuasive or Imaginative Writing?

Write your response in a form you are familiar and comfortable with.  Each form presents its opportunities and challenges.

  1. Expository style of writing: Can be in the form of an essay, personal reflection, personal letter or biography.  Its features include a formal style, serious tone and a reasoned, considered discussion of the prompt/stimulus material.  Its purpose is to explain or inform and to consider different points of view on the prompt/stimulus material.
  2. Persuasive style of writing: Can be in the form of an essay, opinion piece, letter to the editor or editorial.  Its features include the use of persuasive language techniques, language for presenting and sustaining an argument.  Its purpose is to persuade ie. to convince the reader that your point of view is correct.
  3. Imaginative style of writing: Can be in the form of a short story, drama ie. scene from a play, monologue or poetry.  Its features include poetic or descriptive language, can use informal or colloquial language if appropriate to characters, narrative voice.  Its purpose is to entertain, to make the reader think about ideas in a new way, to move the reader emotionally.

Incorporating Context Ideas

In your written pieces, it is very important to show that you understand the Context ideas in general as well as specific ideas about Identity and Belonging that are presented in your selected texts.  Think about some of these ideas when creating your own pieces of writing:

  • Discuss how a character’s decisions reveal a key idea, for example that staying with the group is more important than asserting their individuality in order to develop a clearer sense of identity.  This might be balanced by reference to another character in the same (or different) text who does leave the group in search of greater independence to develop their individual identity.
  • Discuss how the narrative’s events and turning points reveal a key idea, for example that a feeling of not belonging to any groups in society underpins a character’s actions, actions that lead to personal crisis.  This might be used to show that a sense of belonging is critical to a robust sense of self and identity.
  • Draw on character’s reflections to illustrate a key idea, for example, that a yearning for a greater sense of self is being stifled by the need to conform to society’s pressures.
  • Create a character that has a similar identity crisis but show how gender can be an added factor at critical times of an individual’s life.
  • Write a short story that has a similar theme, for example, that individuals use masks to disguise the fact that they are not authentic since they have no sense of genuine self.
  • Write short pieces that demonstrate an issue, for example, that choosing not to belong to a group can bring many personal rewards but just as many regrets.  You might create your own character who writes a short farewell speech to a group, a letter and a diary entry.

Some Suggested Writing using three texts that are being studied in terms of Identity and Belonging:

  1. Skin, film directed by Anthony Fabian
  2. Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Play by Ray Lawler
  3. Growing Up Asian in Australia, Narrative Edited by Alice Pung

If the prompt refers to ideas about the strength and power of the family unit in creating a sense of belonging, you could write:

  • An expository reflection on what it is like to discover that you are an outsider in your own family, referring to the moments in which Sandra is confronted with this realisation in Skin.
  • An imaginative piece in the form of a scene from a play about a group of unrelated people who create their own version of a family, drawing on ideas from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
  • A persuasive editorial on the need for local communities to offer migrant families more opportunities to integrate into mainstream Australia, with references to ideas in Growing Up Asian in Australia.

If the prompt refers to ideas about the power of the group to exert pressure on the individual, you could write:

  • An imaginative response in the form of a reflection by the young waitress on the incident in the cafe in Tony Ayres ‘Silence’ in Growing Up Asian in Australia.
  • An expository essay on the ways in which membership of a group can inhibit individual growth and change, with reference to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
  • An expository essay that discusses how racist beliefs can be transformed into discriminatory social exchanges and legislation, with reference to Sandra’s experience of growing up during apartheid in South Africa in Skin.

If the prompt refers to ideas about developing a strong sense of self as we mature, you could write:

  • An imaginative dialogue between the ‘blue-eyed Tans’ and the ‘brown-haired Wongs’ when they first meet the Chew children, with references to Joo-Inn Chew’s ‘Chinese Dancing, Bendigo Style’ in Growing Up Asian in Australia.
  • An imaginary story about a good girl who always tries to do the right thing, but the harder she tries, the more her actions are seen as rebellious and disrespectful, until she has no choice b ut to accept that she is bad.  Draw on Sandra’s experience in Skin.
  • An expository essay on the ways in which our perception of ourselves change as we grow older, and why some people find it difficult to adjust their self-image as they age, drawing on ideas from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.

If the prompt refers to ideas about isolation and alienation, you could write:

  • A formal document that makes an official apology to Sandra Laing for the years of emotional trauma inflicted upon her in Skin.
  • An imaginative short story that reveals ways in which disconnection from a group can destabilise a person’s sense of identity, leaving them feeling isolated and insecure, with reference to ideas from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
  • An imaginative short story that reflects on the situation of a young person who experiences discrimination at school, with references to ideas and incidents in Growing Up Asian in Australia.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.