The Expository/Informative Essay Performance Task Guide supports educators in guiding students through a process of creating and sharing an essay that explains how to do something, gives information about a topic, or describes something.
Students will be expected to write a range of expository essays in college — often as final or midterm exams — that demonstrate their ability to organize and analyze content, and communicate complex ideas clearly and accurately. In professional settings, expository writing takes many forms. Doctors and other health care professionals use expository writing both within their field and to communicate medical advances with the public. Lawyers prepare legal briefings that carefully construct the details of a case. Scientific and historical journals communicate advances in their respective fields.
Opportunities for Student Choice
Student choice can be encouraged in a number of ways. Students can choose the topic and what facts and information to include. They can also choose the resources they review, as well as the audience.
Expository essays are written in many professions. A briefing in any field to others in the field is done in the form of an expository essay, as is a presentation of the facts in a legal case. Scientific and historical journals are composed of expository writing, as are textbooks and encyclopedias. Doctors and other health care professionals use expository writing both within their field and to communicate medical advances with the public.
Opportunities for Exhibition to an Audience
There are many possible audiences for position papers: if students are working on a school topic it might be an assembly; if it’s a community topic they might present at a city council meeting or at town hall. Students can submit essays to a newspaper, or they can create a guest blog post. Students can create their own class wiki, or put their papers together into a book on a self-publishing site like blurb.com. Students might also submit a paper to a conference.
Grade Level Exemplars/Models