Video title: Crafting a Well-Written Explanation

Explanatory texts inform readers by providing clear and accurate statements that explain a topic.

Scientific explanations are often written in response to a question about scientific phenomena or to provide a solution to a problem. [icons of question mark, exclamation and puzzle pieces appear]

[image of claims, evidence and reasoning intertwined]

Claims, evidence and reasoning are the basis of a good scientific explanation.

Together, they help the reader to better understand the information, so before you begin writing your explanation, be sure that you have clearly identified each of these elements.

You may want to identify these elements by taking notes, highlighting text or using a graphic organizer.

[image of paper]

A well-written scientific explanation will include the following components:

An introductory sentence or paragraph that clearly states the claim

Relevant and sufficient facts, data, examples, research findings and quotes from experts that provide evidence to support the claim

Clearly stated and logical reasons why the evidence supports the claim

Transitions and appropriate sentence structures that connect the claim, evidence and reasoning

Appropriate vocabulary related to the topic

Formal writing conventions

And a concluding sentence or paragraph that reinforces the claim.

[image of graphic organizer appears with introduction (claim) on top; body (evidence and reasoning) in center; and conclusion (restated claim) on bottom]

A graphic organizer like this may help to guide you as you write your explanation.

Your explanation should include an introduction, body and conclusion.

The introduction is extremely important to establish a clear purpose for the reader.

Setting a clear purpose will help the reader to follow the development of your explanation and have a better understanding of the text.

Clearly state your claim in your introduction.

A claim should be supported with evidence and reasoning.

The evidence and reasoning will make up the body of your explanation and should be organized logically.

For example, keep related pieces of evidence together, and explain reasoning after you have given sufficient evidence.

As you craft your explanation, use transition words to connect the evidence and reasoning to the claim. [evidence and reasoning icons pointing to claim]

Words such as “because,” “therefore,” “for example,” “reason” and “as a result” might be helpful in connecting ideas.

Words such as “in addition,” “furthermore,” “at the same time,” “in conclusion” and “finally,”

may be helpful in transitioning between different ideas or paragraphs of the text.

Also, as you develop your explanation, be sure to include domain-specific vocabulary.

Incorporating vocabulary that is related to the topic will make your explanation clearer and more precise. [domain specific arrow pointing to topic]

Using a formal writing style will also help to ensure that your explanation is clear and accurate.

Your explanation should be objective and unbiased so that the reader can focus on making sense of the topic.

[image of graphic organizer re-appears with introduction (claim) on top with text that states: clearly state your claim in the introduction; the body (evidence and reasoning) is in the center with text that states: the evidence and reasoning will make up the body of your explanation and should be organized logically; the conclusion (restated claim) is on bottom with text that states restates or reinforces the importance of your claim]

After you have developed the body of your explanation, write a conclusion that restates or reinforces the importance of your claim.

A sound conclusion brings it all together for the reader and increases understanding of your explanation.