When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.
At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.
One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.
Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.
I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.
This is what writing looks like in the real world.
Research by “Write Like This” author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate. My personal experience backs this up, as does the old adage “all writing is rewriting,” oft quoted by everyone from LA screenwriters to New York Times bestselling authors.
Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.
Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.
Expository writing examples for middle school
Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.
Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills.
Descriptive writing examples for middle school
Narrative writing examples for middle school
Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school
Reflective writing examples for middle school
If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.
Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: writing examples, writing samples
The explanatory essay (sometimes called an expository essay) is one of those standard essays that you’ve probably written at least a few times in your academic career. The explanatory essay often takes the form of a cause and effect essay, a definition essay, a how-to essay, or a compare/contrast essay.
Perhaps you’ve written this type of essay before. But even if you think you can write an explanatory essay standing on your head or standing on one foot and blindfolded, every once in awhile you find yourself with an essay assignment that you’re not quite sure you know how to handle.
If you’re in that position right now and could use a little help, check out these two explanatory essay examples. They will remind you of what a well-written explanatory essay looks like.
Hopefully, the examples also provide inspiration for your own paper.
2 Explanatory Essay Examples That Make the Grade
Explanatory essay example #1: How to Conduct a Good Job Interview
The first essay is a how-to essay that explains how someone conducted a job interview.
The writer speaks from experience, without the use of any evidence from sources to support ideas. While this strategy is certainly acceptable, you’ll want to check with your professor as to whether you should be using sources to support your explanatory how-to essay.
I’ve included a few additional comments to point out what the writer does well in this paper and what the writer might do to improve.
(Click any image below to enlarge.)
Explanatory essay example #2: Is the Little Mermaid a Bad Role Model?
This essay is a critique of an article. Remember, an explanatory essay essentially explains information. It doesn’t offer the opinion of the writer.
For the most part, the writer of this essay sticks to that rule and objectively reviews the article without offering personal opinion about the topic.
I’ve included a few additional comments throughout the paper to point out its strengths and identify areas that might be revised.
(Click any image below to enlarge.)
Writing Your Own Explanatory Essay
Armed with a few reminders of what to do (and not do) in an explanatory essay, you’re ready to move on to writing your own.
If you’re feeling a little unsure about a topic for your paper after reading the explanatory essay examples, read 24 Explanatory Essay Topics That Will Expand Your Horizons, or explore some additional example explanatory essays for inspiration.
And if you need help putting it all together, read How to Write an Explanatory Essay That Explains It All or this quick breakdown of an explanatory (a.k.a. expository) essay.
Still struggling? If you want a few more tips about getting started, try prewriting or outlining. These strategies are sure to help you get the creative juices flowing!
Of course, always remember to complete the final step of the writing process: revision. Kibin editors are at your service.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.