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Expository Writing – Graphic Organizers

Expository writing can be a challenge, especially if you have no idea where to start. Graphic organizers are a powerful tool that you can use to help you organize your ideas and come up with a plan. Choose graphic organizers that will help you focus on the main idea and the details that you’d like to include in your writing. You can use them to brainstorm ideas as well as to collect and organize information that you gather from other sources. Here are some good ones to use.

  • Mind Map or Idea Web – These start with a circle in the center, filled in with the topic or main idea. Off of the circle are lines that connect to secondary circles. Put your details inside this secondary set of circles. You can continue to branch off as much you need to. If you’re writing a longer piece, the secondary set of circles will become individual paragraphs.
  • T-chart – This organizer looks like a T that separates the paper into two columns. Put the topic at the top. On the left, put your first detail and on the right add information describing detail one. Again, on the left, put your second detail and on the right add information describing detail two.
  • An outline – This can be in many formats, but the basic structure looks like this:

Main idea

  • Detail 1
    • additional information describing detail 1
    • additional information describing detail 1
  • Detail 2
    • additional information describing detail 2
    • additional information describing detail 2

Time4Writing provides practice in this area. Sign up for our Middle School Essay Writing course or browse other related courses below to find a course that’s right for you.