Many teachers have bemoaned that the expository essay is a great way to teach argument organization but a poor way to teach argument writing.
With this issue in mind, we can separate out the two and focus instead on the benefits of the expository approach.
This can be done two ways: either students can write their essays with a “freeform” style and then adapt it to the expository format afterwards, or they conversely can make an outline that mirrors the expository format and then use that outline to write an essay that has no strict organizational requirements.
Both of these approaches use the “expository essay” more for its structure than its content.
All of these skills are important for their future educational and work careers – and all of them can be taught through the expository essay.
But how can we teach the strengths of the essay without stifling creativity and being too formulaic?
Generally, the introduction has two main purposes that should be reflected in your outline: to catch the readers’ attention and to present your thesis properly.
The thesis must be formulated in the most concise manner as it gives a clear direction for your further research.
Along these lines, relaxing the rules can be one of the best ways to insure greater creativity and avoid suspect motivators.
You should still require that every essay contain a thesis and introductory paragraph, but paragraph counts, sentence numbers, topic sentences, and quote usage do not need to be closely regulated.