An expository essay prompt for in-class or take-home test practice is also accompanied with an organizational chart or thinking map to aid students with the production of a finished product. Finally, a rubric is included that I have students attach to the essay. They use this as a guide to the expectations for the assignment knowing that if they can answer "yes" to each item in the rubric, they will meet the standards to at least the minimum degree.
I find these essays as a perfect tool to help my students with the Common Core State Assessments. After a few weeks of doing one each week over various topics, the students feel confident they can do the work to the level expected by the State Graders and get it done in the time allotted.