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essay forms
Many people use the term “essay” to mean any paper written for a class. In actuality, there are many different types of essays, each of which has a unique purpose, form, and style.
We call these different types of essays “modes of discourse,” and they include expository, persuasive, and comparecontrast essays to name just a few.
This section of the Guide has a dual purpose. First, various types of essays are described and suggestions are included about how to approach each particular type of writing. Second, the sample essays are good tools for you to see how these different essays look in their final form. These are not templates (no essay can be a carbon copy of another even in form), but they will give you a good idea of what a final piece of writing for each mode of discourse looks like.
It would be advantageous to critically analyze the form and content of each sample against the instruction for how to write each type of essay.

chapter 21

expository essays
Jennifer propp

An expository essay explains something using facts rather than opinions. The purpose of this type of essay is to inform an audience about a subject. It is not intended to persuade or present an argument of any kind. Writing this type of essay is a good way to learn about all the different perspectives on a topic. Many students use the expository essay to explore a variety of topics, and do so in a wide range of formats, including “process” and “definition” essays.

Who Is the Intended AudIence for An exposItory essAy?
The audience for an expository essay is a general one, and can vary widely depending upon the topic chosen. Keeping this in mind, students should compose their essays to reach a broad selection of readers. A good rule of thumb to use is to assume the audience has no prior knowledge of the topic.

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