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Later in this chapter, you will work on determining and adapting to your audience when writing, but with an expository essay, since you are defining or informing your audience on a certain topic, you need to evaluate how much your audience knows about that topic (aside from having general common knowledge).You want to make sure you are giving thorough, comprehensive, and clear explanations on the topic.
Never assume the reader knows everything about your topic (even if it is covered in the reader’s field of study).
For example, even though some of your instructors may teach criminology, they may have specialized in different areas from the one about which you are writing; they most likely have a strong understanding of the concepts but may not recall all the small details on the topic.
If your instructor specialized in crime mapping and data analysis for example, he or she may not have a strong recollection of specific criminological theories related to other areas of study.
Providing enough background information without being too detailed is a fine balance, but you always want to ensure you have no gaps in the information, so your reader will not have to guess your intention.
Providing three body sections with one point each that supports the thesis should provide the reader with enough detail to be convinced of your argument or fully understand the concept you are explaining.
However, remember that some sections will require more explanation, and you may need to separate this information into multiple paragraphs.
An expository essay allows the writer the opportunity to explain his or her ideas about a topic and to provide clarity for the reader by using: Imagine you need to verbally explain a concept to your classmates, maybe a behavioural theory.
What are the key elements on which you would focus? You could explain who came up with the theory, the specific area of study to which it is related, its purpose, and the significant details to explain the theory.
Telling these four elements to your classmates would give them a complete, yet summarized, picture of the theory, so they could apply the theory in future discussions.
Although you did this verbally, you were still fulfilling the elements of an expository essay by providing definition, details, explanations, and maybe even facts if you have a really good memory.