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In this short course, students learn to write an expository essay. The expository essay is an essay form often assigned in high school, college, and in the workplace. The purpose of an expository essay is to explain or inform an audience objectively about a specific subject.
Students are taught several approaches on how to give clear and thorough written explanations on their topic of choice. For example, they can explain a step by step process, give a general overview, classify their topic into several types, or compare and contrast different aspects of their topic. Additionally, students are trained in a 5-step writing process they can apply to any type of writing project in the future.
Completion of this course will equal .125 credits in high school English. Please see our article on Evaluation of High School Credits for more information.
For a detailed explanation of our online classroom, our teaching method, and to view testimonials, please click here.
Please note that this short course is one of the four units that comprise our full Essay Rock Star program available for $197.
Course Introduction, Rubrics, and Pre-Assessment
First we introduce you to the course, then we explain how we review student work using rubrics. Finally, we ask you to send us a a writing sample. The writing sample or pre-assessment serves to let your instructor get familiar with your writing style and current skills before you begin the course. Videos with tips to approach each step in the writing process are on the lesson pages, and links to audios of all the lessons and resource articles are available too. Not only that, but whenever you click over to a resource article, you'll find pdfs available for you to download. Finally, this lesson includes a link to download and keep the rubric as well as samples of personal statement essays completed at both the proficiency and mastery levels. By the end of this lesson, you will have a very clear idea of what we seek from you, and we'll know where your writing skills are before you begin.
Purpose and Description, Brainstorming
In the Purpose and Description we explain why we chose this type of essay for a short course. Then we guide you to through the first of our five-step writing process, brainstorming. We also introduce you to a fun software program for multi-colored online mind mapping. Whether you decide to try mind mapping or not, we work with you to generate lots of content ideas for your expository essay. Samples of student work are available for your review at each step of the writing process.
Now that you've generated lots content ideas in brainstorming, it's time to move on to the second step of our writing process, organizing ideas. Here we carefully show you how to tell the difference between main ideas and supporting details and choose the main ideas you'll use in your essay. Then we help you choose supporting details that go best with each main idea. Finally, you'll follow our template to write a formal outline to use when you start your first draft in the next lesson.
Now at the third of our five step writing process, we begin our first draft. We call this step free writing because we want you to follow the order of ideas in your outline and write freely and completely about each of them. No attention to grammar, spelling or mechanics is given in this first draft. The focus in this step is to express and explain your main ideas and their supporting details in your own unique way from your unique perspective. It's your voice we want to hear.
In revision, step four of our five step writing process, we make structural revisions to your essay. We make sure each paragraph has a clear topic sentence and that the supporting details transition smoothly from one to the other. There also must be a smooth flow from paragraph to paragraph. Then you're instructed on how to create a thesis statement, introduction and conclusion for your essay. Here you'll start to see links to even more of our resource articles as we make sure your essay has a strong, solid structure.
Now we're on the fifth and final step of our writing process, editing. This lesson is quite long, as we go into descriptions of all the detail work you'll have to do to finish your essay. Transitions, sentence structure, mechanics, vocabulary, subject verb agreement, word choice and more are covered in this lesson. Your instructor won't correct your paper for you in this last step, but she or he will guide you to make those corrections yourself. This way, we train you to become independent on this final, yet extremely important, step when you face writing projects on your own in the future.
In this final lesson, we review what students have learned, provide a certificate of completion to add to their high school transcript records, and ask for a course evaluation.