Middle School Expository Writing

(12 customer reviews)

From: $93.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 6th–8th

Live Class: Thurs 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET

Dates:  Mar 28–May 13

Price: $249

Instructor: Dr. Lauren Bailes

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Lauren Bailes

Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description

Course Syllabus

This seven week live mini-course will introduce your middle schooler to the basics of expository writing. Consider this their training wheels for research writing so that students can hit the ground running when they get to high school.

Middle School Expository Writing offers an essential skillset for all students, and especially for those who plan to take intermediate and advanced writing classes in high school. It’s a great starting point for any middle schooler. Each week centers on a different guiding question and some examples include:

  • “How do I choose a topic?”
  • “How do I summarize what I’ve been reading?”
  • “How do I know my sources are trustworthy?”

We begin at the very beginning—What is expository writing?—and students conclude the course with a five-paragraph expository essay.

Expository writing is designed to be shared, which is why we focus not only on clear, well-sourced writing, but also on how to talk about what students are writing. Being able to clearly communicate that writing to a variety of audiences is just as important as the writing itself. In order to practice that skillset, students also produce a five-slide research presentation based on their research.

Course Structure

Each week includes both reading and writing assignments designed to scaffold students toward a successful expository essay and short presentation. We meet for live, one-hour classes each Friday, although students are welcome to view the recordings if they cannot attend synchronously. Steps on the scaffold include identifying a topic, finding sources, giving proper credit to other authors, and putting ideas together.

Middle School Expository Writing Target grades: 6-8 Prereqs: none Product: research report  
Week Guiding question Product stage Other notes
1 What is expository writing? Venn diagram: expository writing vs. another type of writing

Identify two examples of expository writing and explain your reasoning

2 How do I choose a topic? Questionnaire (KWL)
3 How do I find resources?

How do I know my sources are trustworthy?

Identify sources


4 How do I give proper credit to other authors? MLA references page

Introductory sentences

5 How do I summarize what I’ve been reading? Summarize five sources


6 How do I put my ideas together? Introductory and closing paragraphs
7 How do I share my ideas? Five-slide PowerPoint with main ideas

Who should enroll?

This class is designed for grades 6-8 and is best for students who have some familiarity with the structure of a five-paragraph essay. It may be paired with content classes (e.g., social studies, government, or science) and student may use the subjects of those classes for their expository writing.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Webcam, sound card, and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and the ability to scan or create PDF files

Evaluation and Feedback

I believe in ample, individualized feedback so that each student can successfully engage with the expository writing process in a way that is exciting and intellectually satisfying. Expository writing should center on things that interest students.

Rubrics are available for each writing assignment; they address the major components of quality expository writing. Students will receive feedback via Canvas, and each student will have at least one session of one-on-one feedback time in advance of the final submission.


Parent support is essential to success in this class, and I welcome any questions parents have throughout the class. Parents and families are welcome to contact me before registering at [email protected] New registrants will receive a welcome email with additional startup information.

Introduction to Middle School Expository Writing:

Required Texts


All texts provided by instructor via Canvas. Student must be able to open, read, and annotate PDFs and documents (.doc, .docx, .pdf).

12 reviews for Middle School Expository Writing

  1. Eden Smith (verified owner)

    I thought this writing class was excellent! The part of the class that I liked the best was the Week 6 homework, putting together the slide presentation. I had never done this before and I learned a lot. Thank you, Dr. Bailes!

  2. Alivia Southall

    I Loved this class, and the teacher! Dr. Bailes did an amazing job explaining how to take notes about expository! I came into this class not even knowing what expository writing was, and now i’m coming out of it knowing not only how to find and identify expository writing, but also writing it! I highly recommend this class! Sometimes the homework can look overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time, and do a little every day, you will do well in this class!
    Thank you Dr. Bailes!

  3. Claire L

    This class was amazing. Everything was well organized and Dr. Bailes was a great teacher. The homework for each week was understandable and gave a good challenge. My writing has expanded to places I thought I would never know. Thank you, Dr. Bailes, for your wonderful classes!

  4. Jack W.

    I loved this class. Dr. Bailes, you are one of the best teachers I know. I enjoyed writing my essay a lot. This was an amazing experience for me.

  5. Liliana S.

    I absolutely loved this class! I didn’t know research writing could be so interesting. Dr. Bailes was such a good teacher, and was very clear in her assignment descriptions. I loved how she had us working during the class and presenting along the way. Everything she taught me will definitely be a huge help for me as I dive deeper into writing. I would highly recommend this. thank you Dr. Bailes!

  6. Kim (verified owner)

    Great Class! Ms. Bailes did a nice job making the class interesting and helpful. My daughter learned some fantastic things! The only thing that would have made it better would be a little bit more assistance in helping with the homework uploads. Often it was very difficult to figure out and my daughter spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to post correctly (the interface of the assignments/upload/submit).

    • Debra Bell

      Thanks for the feedback, Kim. We will add this topic to our Aim Academy orientation! Problems like this are often caused when the student is logged into Canvas under the parent’s account or vice versa.

  7. Ann Marie M. (verified owner)

    My daughter learned a lot about researching a topic and what resources were reliable. I especially liked the final essay they had to compose since they also had to incorporate slides. This was the first time my daughter has done this and I was impressed with her report.

  8. Melanie A.

    This was a very good class, I learned a lot about Expository Writing. Dr. Bailes was very helpful and I learned lots in her class. The step by step prosses helped me a lot when it came time to write the essay.

  9. Harrison

    I love this class! I learned a lot about expository writing that I didn’t even know there was to learn great class overall.

  10. Ryan C

    It was a great class, and I learned a lot, specifically about finding and citing trustworthy sources. The powerpoints help to enforce the material. The only con is that it was hard for me to complete my assignments, as I could only find them on Microsoft Word, and not Google Docs.

  11. Kyla I

    This class was truly amazing! You’ll feel the challenge, but don’t give up it’s all for the benefit of your future. Mrs. Bailes is just an overall AMAZING teacher. During this class, I learned a ton about expository writing, and I think that every kid should learn different styles of writing. The only thing I might suggest is assigning due dates to the homework, so if you sent out 2 pages of work, have a due date for Tuesday and one on Thursday or something. I just thought it would keep us on our toes. Thank you for the remarkable class, Mrs. Bailes.

  12. Mia B

    This class was great! I learned a lot about idea collection, and how to find out what sources are reliable. The only thing I might suggest in the future is to start actually writing the essay earlier in the week, as it was challenging to finish by the due date.

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Instructor Bio

Dr. Lauren Bailes

Lauren was homeschooled K-12. She was an AP Scholar and a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist, which resulted in an academic scholarship to Eastern University, Templeton Honors College, where she received her BA in English Literature and Secondary Education. Lauren taught Middle School English Language Arts (ELA) in Brooklyn, New York for four years and served as an ELA instructional coach for five years in Columbus, Ohio. She has written English curriculum for grades 5-8. Lauren is an author on Readers in Residence, Volume 1 and also taught Middle School Tools and Pre AP English Language through Aim Academy for four years. She has also received her Master’s degree in Literacy Instruction from Columbia University Teachers College and her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy from The Ohio State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Delaware.

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Email: lpbailes@gmail.com

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