What is an
Expository Text
& How to Read
Them!
WHAT IS EXPOSITORY (NONFICTION) TEXT?
Non-fiction (True!)
Informative
Analytical- A big word that means you analyze things!
Descriptive
Sometimes, it can be…
Boring!
Expository text makes up the bulk of (most of)
what adults read.
 teachers read text books
 policemen read reports and records
 lawyers read legal papers
 veterinarians read medical books
In school, after 2nd or 3rd grade, this is also true
for students!
(Often the only exception is reading fiction books
during SSR time).
WHERE IS IT FOUND?
Expository text can be found in many different
informational resources including:
Academic websites
Textbooks
Non-fiction section of the library
WHERE IS IT FOUND? (CONTINUED)
Encyclopedias
Newspapers
Biographies
As well as any other non fiction text. If you are
learning, it’s probably expository!
HOW TO READ EXPOSITORY TEXT
Look for expository text features, or “clues,” that will help
you to understand the reading material. Some features
are:
Photographs
Headlines and titles
1
Captions (Often
appear below
pictures)
Footnotes
1
A footnote appears at the bottom of a text beside a number (in order), and
tends to provide background information on a subject, or provides
references as to where material was gathered from.
FEATURES (CONTINUED)
Graphs and tables
Maps
Table of Contents
CONTINUED…
Bolded words
• Bullets or symbols 
Glossary
FEATURES EXPLAINED
PRACTICE! IDENTIFY THE FEATURES IN
1
THIS SAMPLE TEXT
1
Source for all text and the picture of Jefferson material, and to see more examples of expository text
features: http://www.history.org/Almanack/people/bios/biojeff1.cfm
PRACTICE! IDENTIFY THE FEATURES IN THIS
SAMPLE TEXT 1
1
Source for text, map, and photograph regarding ancient Rome, and for further
examples if expository text/historical information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/romans/the_roman_army/
REVIEW
Explain why the Thomas Jefferson biography excerpt and
the historical information on the Romans is expository
text.
Because it’s non-fiction informational text. (It’s
true!)
Now let’s talk about Text Structures found in
Expository texts….
There are certain elements found in expository text, each type of
element makes its own demands on the reader:
 Informational (description)
 sequence or chronological (means time
order)
 compare & contrast
 cause & effect,
 problem & solution.
ELEMENTS OF EXPOSITORY TEXT:
Informational
(description) –
1.
The author lists
characteristics, features,
and examples to
describe a subject. Clue
words for description eat insects
include for example &
characteristics.
Have wings
They fly
Bats
ELEMENTS OF EXPOSITORY TEXT:
2.
sequence – The author lists items or
events in numerical or chronological
order. Clue words include first,
second, third, next, then and finally.
Modern Olympics
began in 1896
Olympics ended
in 394 A.D.
Olympics began
in 276 B.C.
Almost 300 males
competed in the
1896 Olympics
ELEMENTS OF EXPOSITORY TEXT:
3.
no snow
warmer temperatures
flowers
baby animals
Easter & 4th of July
seasons – sun shines
sports are played
snow
colder temperatures
no flowers blooming
bears hibernate
Christmas & New Years
Summer and Winter
comparison – The
author explains how two
or more things are alike
or different. Clue words
include different, in
contrast, alike, same as,
or on the other hand.
ELEMENTS OF EXPOSITORY TEXT:
4. cause & effect – The author explains
one or more causes and the resulting
effect or effects. Clue words
are reasons
why, if, then,
as a
result,
therefore,
and because.
ELEMENTS OF EXPOSITORY TEXT:
5.
problem & solution –
The author states a
problem and lists one or
more solutions for
the problem. Clue
words are problem
is, dilemma is,
puzzle is, solve,
question, and
answer.
SO TO SUMMARIZE….
Expository Non-fiction is...
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Expository Text