Fourth Grade Literature and Composition

Florida Animal Research: Expository Essay

DUE Tuesday, February 26: 

Topic sentence (main idea) – participation grade

DUE Tuesday, March 

5: 3 detail topics (for body paragraphs) – participation grade

DUE Tuesday, March 12: 

Final 5-paragraph expository essay – assignment grade


In conjunction with your Florida History and Technology classes, you will research your assigned Florida animal and write a five-paragraph expository essay. Remember: an expository essay informs, explains, defines, or instructs the reader.

To help you write your essay, the topic sentence and 3 detail topics must be turned in on the dates listed above. You will have time for research during Media and Technology classes, but you are responsible for making time for additional research if necessary.

1. Your five-paragraph essay must include:

 A title

 A clear overall topic sentence in the introductory paragraph

 Three well-defined body paragraphs, each on a detail supporting the overall topic.

 A well-formed conclusion, summing up your essay.

2. Required resources (AT LEAST TWO):

 AT LEAST one print resource (book, magazine, etc.), and

 AT LEAST one online resource (website, etc.).

 A list of resources on a separate page at the end of your essay, cited correctly using MLA format.

3. Your Topic sentence and 3 detail topics may be hand-written or typed. However, your final essay must be TYPED AND PRINTED.


Topic sentence (participation grade)

 Clearly states the main idea of the essay 70%

 Correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. 20%

 Turned in on time 10%

3 detail topics (participation grade)

 Clearly support the essay’s main idea 35%

 State the main idea of each detail paragraph 35%

 Correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation 20%

 Turned in on time 10%

Final 5-paragraph essay (assignment grade)

Followed directions: 20%

 The essay includes all required elements

 Resources are correctly cited using MLA format, on a separate sheet of paper

 Turned in on time

Content and organization: 60%

 The essay explores only one topic, clearly stated in the topic sentence.

 The essay shows attention to word choice, including a “hook” in the topic sentence.

 The essay contains only factual information.

 Information is organized in a logical manner.

 Each paragraph has a clear main idea, in support of the overall topic.

Presentation: 20%

 The essay is neatly printed on one side only of each sheet of paper.

 The essay follows proper mechanics, including paragraph structure, spelling, punctuation, and grammar

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