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how to write - enter at your own risk

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:38 pm
by mike m.
this is what kids are taught now

your thoughts
good or bad

useful or harmful

A 3x5 Essay about the 3x5 Essay
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by Richard Crews
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[First paragraph]

I-1. [Sentence of general introduction] An expository essay is a form of writing that presents information about a topic or explains a point of view.

I-2. [Key idea number one] An expository essay can be organized many different ways.

I-3. [Key idea number two] One way of organizing an expository essay is according to a "three-by-five" (3x5) format, so called because there are five paragraphs which are designed to cover three ideas or sub-topics.

I-4. [Key idea number three] Whatever form an expository essay takes, it should be written in interesting and accurate prose that conducts the reader comfortably toward the desired conclusion.

I-5. [Transition to the next paragraph] Before examining closely the 3x5 essay structure, let's consider the range of structures or organizations that expository essays can have.

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[Second paragraph]

II-1. [Sentence introducing first key idea] There are several possible essay structures that come readily to mind.

II-2. [Discussion of first key idea] The material might be presented historically with the earliest observations or foundation first followed by the developments year-by-year.

II-3. Or, depending on the topic, one might present the simplest, most basic, underlying concepts first and gradually progress to more and more complex ideas derived from these.

II-4. One interesting format is to present a leading question first and then answer it, or present a counter argument or negative position first, and then refute it.

II-5. [Sentence for transition to second key idea] However, the 3x5 form can be used for almost any topic.

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[Third paragraph]

III-1. [Sentence introducing second key idea] A 3x5 essay has five paragraphs, each of which has five sentences.

III-2. [Developing the second key idea] The first sentence of the first paragraph is a general introduction; the second, third, and fourth sentences of the first paragraph each introduce one of the three key ideas; then the fifth sentence of the first paragraph summarizes the first paragraph and makes a transition to the second paragraph.

III-3. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs each have five sentences; each paragraph has an introductory sentence, three development sentences, and a concluding sentence--each of these paragraphs is devoted to one of the three key ideas of the essay.

III-4. Finally, the fifth paragraph has five sentences that are used to introduce the conclusion, summarize each of the three key ideas, and draw a general conclusion for the essay.

III-5. [Sentence for transition to third key idea] Within this tight, formal structure, the writer must use great care, but also wit and imagination to create interesting prose.

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[Fourth paragraph]

IV-1. [Introducing third key idea] There are several general ideas to keep in mind in order to produce prose that is clear and accurate but also attractive.

IV-2. [Developing third key idea] First and foremost the author should be sure to have the facts straight and to present and explain them as simply and clearly as possible.

IV-3. In line with this, the author should be sure that words are used accurately and that grammar and punctuation are used correctly.

IV-4. To be sure, the author should try to work in explanatory metaphors--perhaps even poetic imagery--and be witty and charming, which keeps the writing interesting; but this is always in the service of expository accuracy and clarity.

IV-5. [Sentence providing summary and transition to last paragraph] An essay which is mainly meant to explain or inform should also be written to please the senses and entertain the mind.

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[Fifth paragraph]

V-1. [Sentence introducing the last paragraph] Expository writing may at first seem drab and dry but if done well, it can be both useful and interesting.

V-2. [Summary of key idea number one] The organizational format may be 3x5 or historical or one of many other possibilities.

V-3. [Summary of key idea number two] If the 3x5 format is chosen, it is very rigorous indeed.

V-4. [Summary of key idea number three] Whatever organizing format is used, the prose should be accurate and interesting.

V-5. [Sentence with overall, final conclusion] Writing an expository essay can indeed be a challenging and also useful endeavor.

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Here is the same essay without the distractions and interruptions.

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A Three-by-Five Essay about the Three-by-Five Essay

An expository essay is a form of writing that presents information about a topic or explains a point of view. An expository essay can be organized many different ways. One way of organizing an expository essay is according to a "three-by-five" (3x5) format, so called because there are five paragraphs which are designed to cover three ideas or sub-topics. Whatever form an expository essay takes, it should be written in interesting and accurate prose that conducts the reader comfortably toward the desired conclusion. Before examining closely the 3x5 essay structure, let's consider the range of structures or organizations that expository essays can have.

There are several possible essay structures that come readily to mind. The material might be presented historically with the earliest observations or foundation first followed by the developments year-by-year. Or, depending on the topic, one might present the simplest, most basic, underlying concepts first and gradually progress to more and more complex ideas derived from these. One interesting format is to present a leading question first and then answer it, or present a counter argument or negative position first, and then refute it. However, the 3x5 form can be used for almost any topic.

A 3x5 essay has five paragraphs, each of which has five sentences. The first sentence of the first paragraph is a general introduction; the second, third, and fourth sentences of the first paragraph each introduce one of the three key ideas; then the fifth sentence of the first paragraph summarizes the first paragraph and makes a transition to the second paragraph. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs each have five sentences; each paragraph has an introductory sentence, three development sentences, and a concluding sentence--each of these paragraphs is devoted to one of the three key ideas of the essay. Finally, the fifth paragraph has five sentences that are used to introduce the conclusion, summarize each of the three key ideas, and draw a general conclusion for the essay. Within this tight, formal structure, the writer must use great care but also wit and imagination to create interesting prose.

There are several general ideas to keep in mind in order to produce prose that is clear and accurate but also attractive. First and foremost the author should be sure to have the facts straight and to present and explain them as simply and clearly as possible. In line with this, the author should be sure that words are used accurately and that grammar and punctuation are used correctly. To be sure, the author should try to work in explanatory metaphors--perhaps even poetic imagery--and be witty and charming, which keeps the writing interesting; but this is always in the service of expository accuracy and clarity. An essay which is mainly meant to explain or inform should also be written to please the senses and entertain the mind.

Expository writing may at first seem drab and dry but if done well, it can be both useful and interesting. The organizational format may be 3x5 or historical or one of many other possibilities. If the 3x5 format is chosen, it is very rigorous indeed. Whatever organizing format is used, the prose should be accurate and interesting. Writing an expository essay can indeed be a challenging and also useful endeavor.
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