Scarlet Letter expository essay notes
  • Introduction – starts broad, some hook
    • Must include title of text, name of author, genre or medium
    • Narrows to the thesis
      • Thesis = topic + opinion
      • Body paragraphs
        • 3 body paragraphs
          • must use 6 pieces of textual evidence
          • 2 per paragraph
  • Start with a topic sentence
    • Supports the thesis
    • Include a transition in later paragraphs
  • Offer context
    • What part of the story are you referring to? What part of the character’s development?
  • First example from the text
    • MLA style – include the signal phrase!
  • Explain first example
    • Tying it to topic sentence
  • Second example
  • Explain
  • Conclusion
    • Start with thesis restatement
    • Then relate the topic or thesis to something outside the scope of the essay.
Helpful hints
  • No “I,” “me,” “you,” etc. in a formal essay
  • No “In my opinion”
    • Be bold!
    • No passive voice
      • No: It is often thought that . . .
      • But: People think . . .
      • Format rules
        • Size 12 font, some normal font
        • Heading on top left
          • Name
          • Teacher’s name
          • Class and period
          • Date

  • 1” margins – whatever Google Docs does is fine
  • double spaced
  • no space between paragraphs
    • indent beginning of paragraphs