6th Grade - Write Expository Compositions

Write expository compositions
Write expository compositions (e.g., description, explanation, comparison and contrast, problem and solution): Offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed.
Write an expository composition that includes persuasive evidence to support its arguments.

Sample Problems


If you are asked to write an expository composition, what are you writing? (An analytical essay, writing to explain)


What is evidence? (something that provides proof)


What is persuasive evidence? (evidence that effectively moves the reader to accept the author’s position)


What are some examples of evidence you can use in an essay? (citations, anecdotes, statistics)


If you were writing an essay about the dangers of smoking, what types of evidence might be persuasive? (the story of a person with lung cancer; statistics from the American Heart Association, a quotation from a doctor)

Learning Tips


Determine the author’s position on global warming from this statement.

The Science of Global Warming in Perspective (from “Science is Broken” website, http://nov55.com/gbwm.html)

The real cause of global warming could be an increase in solar energy, as critics generally claim; but there is evidence that it is due to variations in heat from the earth's core. Ice ages are caused by oceans heating, which appears to result from increased heat from inside the earth. The primary evidence is the exact cycling of ice ages. Environmental factors would not be so precise. Also, the oceans heating more than the atmosphere points to the heat coming from inside the earth.

(global warming is caused by changes in the temperature of the earth’s core.)


Do you think the author provides sufficient evidence for his position? (No; there are no statistics and no sources cited.)


What is the author’s position on fluoride?

From “Fluoride in Drinking Water: Science Shows it Softens Bones and Teeth”, from the “Science is Broken” website, (http://nov55.com/fld.html)

At one time, fluoride therapy was recommended for building denser bones and preventing fractures associated with osteoporosis. Now several articles in peer-reviewed journals suggest that fluoride actually causes more harm than good, as it is associated with bone breakage.

A 1992 University of Arizona study yielded surprising results when they found that "the more fluoride a child drinks, the more cavities appear in the teeth."

The words of Dr. John Yiamouyiannis: "The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic."

Yiamouyiannis adds, "In highly naturally-fluoridated areas, the teeth actually crumble as a result. These are the first visible symptoms of fluoride poisoning."

(fluoride causes more harm than good)


Do you think the author provides sufficient evidence for his position? (Yes and no: it cites a study and quotes a doctor, but we don’t know who the doctor is.)


What type of doctor(s) or other experts would be the best source of an expert opinion on fluoride? (dentist, toxicologist, pharmacist, chemist)

Extra Help Problems


Problems 1-12: Choose three of the following facts about global warming to use as evidence for an informative essay. Note: some of these facts do not belong! (Facts from “Global Warming FastFacts, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warmi...)


Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


The Earth’s diameter is 12,753 km (7,926 miles). (does not belong)


The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.


Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.


The Earth has one satellite: the Moon. (does not belong)


Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.


An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.


The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.


Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.


The Earth’s maximum distance from the sun is 152 million km (94.5 million miles) (does not belong)


Problems 13-25: Choose 3 or more of the following facts to write an essay about the problem of skin cancer (note: some of these facts do not belong!) Sources: http://cancer.about.com/od/skincancermelanoma/tp/skincancerfacts.htm


More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure.

The UV rays of the sun are responsible for non-melanoma skin cancers. Unprotected exposure to these rays can be from being outdoors, tanning booths, and even through your car or home windows.


Each hour, 1 person dies from skin cancer.

About 2,800 people will die of non-melanoma skin cancer and about 8,000 will die of melanoma in the U.S. this year. The sad thing is that many of these deaths could have been prevented by simply protecting ones self from the sun.


When you are going through adolescence, your body is trying to adjust to changes in the hormone balance, and this affects your skin big-time. (does not belong)


Skin cancer accounts for more than 50% of all cancers combined.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men and women.


More than one million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1.5 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year.


Skin cancer is most deadly for African Americans, Asians, and Latinos.

Although the risk factor is rather low for African Americans, Asians, and Latinos, skin cancer can be the most deadly for these groups.


The basic skin types are dry, oily, and combination. Dark skins have a tendency towards greater extremes of dryness and oiliness than paler skins. (does not belong)


1 in 3 Caucasians will be diagnosed with skin cancer sometime in their life.

1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetime with skin cancer. The risk factor is higher for Caucasians, with it being in 1 in 3.


One bad burn in childhood doubles the risk factor for melanoma later in life.

Protecting children against UV exposure is essential for skin health into adulthood. A blistering sun burn during childhood increases the risk of melanoma as an adult. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.


Men are diagnosed with skin cancer more often than women.

According to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely to develop skin cancer over women. In fact, it is more common than prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer in men over 50. This makes skin cancer the most common cancer in men over 50.


If you want to treat yourself and your skin, give yourself a facial. It's not only good for you, if feels great too. ((does not belong)


The sebaceous glands located in each hair follicle or tiny pit of skin, produce oil that lubricate the skin and keep it soft. Sebaceous glands are found in large numbers on the face, back, chest and shoulders. If this oil becomes trapped, bacteria multiply in the follicle and the skin becomes inflamed. (does not belong)

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