The toddler climbed laboriously up onto the stool, determined to “help” her mother. But her mother did not notice; she was far too busy with the frantic preparations for the birthday party. Ten three-year-olds and their mothers coming for an afternoon of treats, games and face painting: a herald of another party, ten years from now, when make up would be the order of the day, the child’s father had observed. As the mixer whirred and the dishwasher swished and the oven beeped its warning of impending culinary disaster, the child’s attempt to be a part of the busy-ness was more than her mother could attend to. She did not notice when the girl reached the top of the stool, nor did she see the tiny hand reach out toward the glinting beaters as they beat the pale golden batter. As she faced the oven, removing the first cookie tray, she heard the scream. Whirling, she took in the tiny hand held high, the tragic face, and the stream of scarlet mixing itself into the cake. A kiss, a cuddle and a band-aid calmed the birthday girl; a shake of her head and a moment of revelation calmed her mother. A birthday candle in a cookie would be just fine.
Purpose: to tell a brief story
Structure: no real thesis statement, as there is nothing to be proven in this paragraph, but there is an introductory sentence that establishes character, setting and situation, there are body sentences, and there is a concluding sentence that summarizes the resolution of the main conflict
Language: language is relatively casual and includes a single example of the language of the three-year-old child to help establish character
Features: narrative components such as plot, characters, setting, conflict and resolution are evident; use of onomatopoeia (“whirred,” “swished,” “beeped”) to mimic the distracting effects of the busy kitchen
An expository paragraph explains something; its purpose is to help the reader understand. In order to