The Expository Writing Process - Miss Plummer's Guide to a Great Five-Paragraph Essay Introduction A. Grabber: Opening sentence in the form of either a question, quote, or anecdote that “grabs” the readers’ attention and makes them want to read further. B. Tie-In: Sentence that acts like a bridge, connecting the grabber to the thesis. The tie-in focuses the reader and explains how the creative attention-getter fits into the main idea of the essay. C. Thesis: The main idea of the essay (what the essay is about). This statement includes both the purpose for writing and the author’s opinion or argument (what the writer hopes to prove). D. Layout: This sentence gives the reader a game plan of what your three main points are going to be WITHOUT revealing too much information. Set up your three topics, in order, but only give a HINT about what you’re going to say, to keep the mystery alive. Body Paragraph # 1 A. Fact: Topic sentence that explains what the paragraph will be about (also called a “claim”). This statement always relates back to the thesis in some way. The fact sentence should also be an idea that is able to be proven. The way you prove your fact statement is by giving a solid reason, backing it up with an example, and elaborating on that example. B. Reason: This statement, written in your own words, backs up your fact sentence with a clear explanation of why it is the truth. C. Example: Supporting detail that proves your “reason” is true. If quotes are required in your essay, the example sentence would be a quote from your research that backs up your argument. Don’t forget your “lead-in” phrase and citation! D. Elaboration: Statement in the writer’s own words that explains the example sentence. If the example sentence is a quote, the elaboration sentence interprets the quote or explains why that quote was included. E. Transition: This sentence acts like a bridge, connecting the paragraph you’re currently writing in to the paragraph that comes directly after it. Transition sentences make the topics from each paragraph flow together by showing the common ground between two claims and prepping the reader for the next idea. Body Paragraph # 2 A. Fact: Topic Sentence/Claim B. Reason: Explains or Backs Up Fact C. Example: Supporting Detail/Evidence with Lead-In and Citation D. Elaboration: Interprets or Expands Upon Example E. Transition: Connects Paragraphs Body Paragraph # 3 A. Fact: Topic Sentence B. Reason: Explains or Backs Up Fact C. Example: Supporting Detail/Evidence with Lead-In and Citation D. Elaboration: Interprets or Expands Upon Example E. Summative Closing: What is the most important concept the reader should take away from your essay? Conclusion A. Clincher: This sentence is like the mirror-image of your grabber. It’s the attention-getter for the conclusion. The clincher keeps the reader interested long enough to finish reading your last paragraph. B. Verification of Thesis: This sentence should explain how the claims you wrote about in your body paragraphs have proven your main argument. C. Zinger: The zinger should be a creative idea that sums up what you’ve written and leaves the reader with something to think about. This is the last thought in your reader’s head before she puts your paper away, so your zinger should make you stand out. The zinger is what makes your paper memorable.