Expository Essay Sample College

Prompt: Explain a career goal you have and the steps you plan to take to achieve it. Be sure to include specific steps you must take.

Example :

The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, "when it is obvious that a goal can't be reached, one should adjust the steps to take and not the goal." I have found this to be true in my own pursuit of my career goal. Confucius' statement reinforces the idea that certain goals in our lives are important and immovable. If a goal is starting to seem unreachable, that doesn't mean we should abandon the goal, but rather adjust our plans. Having a firm goal for a future career is important to me as a high school student. Although I have chosen a very lofty goal, I won't let it go. In fact, I have had the same career goal since I was six years old: the goal to become a veterinarian.

The career goal of veterinarian is one that requires extensive preparation. I am doing everything in my power to achieve my goal. Because a veterinarian needs to have a depth of knowledge about all of the sciences, I have chosen to take as many science courses as I can during this time in my life. Further, a veterinarian needs to have a high degree of comfort and ease around animals of all kinds. This has inspired me to read as much as I can about the animal kingdom and spend as much time as possible with animals. My goal requires that I become an expert in animal care, so I have even started a side business as a pet babysitter. All of these steps take me closer to my future goal.

Additionally, my future goal requires me to skillfully manage my time. The more I can achieve during my high school years, the better prepared I will be for the next required step towards my goal of attending college. For example, my skills in time management combined with my subject knowledge will serve me well when I enter the college chapter of my veterinarian training. If I manage my time successfully, I will be ready to tackle the advanced academics in veterinarian school. I will also have plenty of experience with animals to bring to my future practice. The more knowledge and experience I have, the more I can serve animals and make a difference in their lives.

Academic achievement is a large part of preparing for my goal, but there are other skills I must acquire. In fact, Veterinarians must also be excellent communicators and have skills in leadership and public speaking. To this end, I will need to participate in community outreach. I plan to volunteer at animal shelters throughout high school and college, allowing me to interact with community members and make decisions as part of a committee. When I finally enter Veterinarian graduate school, I plan to attend the University of Illinois, a school with high standards for admission. If, for some reason I am not admitted, I will revisit my goals and decide which specific steps I need to take to be successful the second time.

Ultimately, I will need to stay motivated throughout the various steps towards my goal. To keep myself inspired, I will think of how wonderful it will be to work with animals and to do the thing I love most in the world. I will also remind myself that my future career choice is lucrative and will allow me to support myself and my family. Ultimately, Becoming a veterinarian will be rewarding to me both personally and professionally. It will also be the culmination of my goal-setting process. I will also be satisfied by knowing I am saving the lives of animals. Once I am in my own veterinarian practice, it will be time to set new goals based on my desire to eventually teach at a Veterinarian school and pass on the fruits of my hard work to other goal-oriented animal lovers.

After you have a topic idea, what's next? You have to develop information that you will put into your essay and decide on your audience and purpose. Then you will need to decide the point of view, tone, and style of writing you will use. Sound confusing? Don't worry. Just answer the following questions to get ready to write. You can open up a word processing program, copy these questions, and then answer them, or do it the old-fashioned way with paper and pen.

  1. Topic idea: ______________________________________________. (Write yours out.)
  2. What kind of expository essay is this? (How to? How does it work? Definition? Fact? Cause? History of?)

Gathering Ideas:

  1. List or cluster different aspects or parts of your topic.
  2. Circle the aspects which are most interesting to you. Cluster those.

Topic Evaluation:

  1. Do you have enough to say or too much? Do you need to narrow your topic or expand it?
  2. What sources can you use? Where can you find them?

Audience Evaluation

  1. What are some things your audience would be familiar with which you can compare your topic with?
  2. What do they already know?
  3. What would they be interested in knowing?
  4. What kind of tone would be best for this audience? (informational, satiric, humorous, folksy, professional?)
  5. Considering your audience, which point of view would be the most effective one to write in? Would it be better to write in the first person ("I" or "we"), second person ("you"), or third person (impersonal)?

Write Your Thesis

  1. Your purpose (What do you want audience to think, do, or know after reading? This will be related to what your audience doesn't know.)
  2. Turn your topic into a question: ___________________________________________
  3. Answer that question: __________________________________________________
  4. Make a thesis statement: _______________________________________________
  5. Essay map—sentence(s) which list main sub-topics: ______________________________________________________________ (These can be headers for sections of the paper.)

Essay Organization

  1. Which sort of organization would work best for you? Examples: chronological (in time), spatial (in space and time), process (step-by-step), topical (part-by-part), cause/effect, historical overview, comparison and contrast, or reverse expectations.
  2. Write a brief outline for how you will structure the body of the paper.

Intro and Conclusion

  1. Which of these introduction and conclusion ideas could you use? Reverse expectation, expectation fulfilled, scenario (imagined typical story, also called a case study), personal story, frame story, vivid description, conversation, definition, comparison and contrast, analogy, startling statistic or fact, quotation, story from book or movie.
  2. Choose the best one(s) for your essay and explain what you will do.

Tone, Voice, and Style

  1. Which person will you write in for your essay? (1st “I,” 2nd “you,” or 3rd “he, she, it.”) Why?
  2. What sort of tone will you have? Why? (Example: serious and informative, humorous, sarcastic, enthusiastic.)

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