Previously, you have examined Gogol’s confusion about his identity and how it affects his relationships with his family and his girlfriends. You have learned that he
doesn’t really fit in with his American friends because of his Indian heritage—something that bothers him to the point that he legally changes his name. You’ve also
learned that he doesn’t really fit in with his Indian family because of his American attitudes.
Throughout the novel, Gogol is not only searching for his identity but also for his definition of home. Think of all the places Gogol has lived and traveled so far in
the novel. As a child, he is born into a small, cramped apartment, and then he eventually moves to the house on Pemberton Road. As a teenager, he lives in India for
eight months. In college, he lives in dorm rooms and eventually moves to New York City after graduating. At some points in life, he lives and stays with girlfriends.
Gogol also makes small trips and vacations in between these moves. All of these places and vacations help develop and influence his sense of home.
In this lesson, you will begin writing a rough draft of an expository essay in which you examine how Gogol’s definition of home changes throughout the novel.
The purpose of expository writing is to logically explain and examine a topic or concept. In this essay, you will use information from The Namesake to support your
explanation and examination. Expository writing presents an unbiased and balanced explanation of the facts—you do not take sides, include your opinion, or try to
persuade readers in expository writing. Expository essays should always be written in third person and use the words “he,” “she,” “it,” and “they.” Never use the word
“I” or “you” in an expository essay (unless you are using a direct quotation from another source).
There are several main components of expository writing that should appear in your rough draft, including the following:
Thesis statement: The thesis statement includes the main points that you will cover in your essay. The ideas you include in your thesis statement will be further
explained in the body paragraphs of your essay. The thesis statement helps you organize your essay and provides a “road map” to follow when you begin writing your body
paragraphs. It should be specific and is often written with the key supporting points in a list.
Imagine you have been asked to write an expository essay in which you examine the major themes of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Your thesis might look something like
While Romeo and Juliet was written hundreds of years ago, it remains relevant today due to its three major themes: love, disguise, and fate.
By using the thesis statement to guide the essay, readers will know that the main points covered in this particular essay will be love, disguise, and fate. Each of the
body paragraphs would then cover one of these concepts from the play in the order that they are presented in the thesis.
Introduction: The introduction is just that—the first paragraph where you make readers familiar with the topic that you are writing about. The introduction should
begin with a sentence or phrase that will make readers interested in the topic. This is often called a “hook.” Once you have hooked your readers, the introduction
should explain the general topic that you are writing about. The introduction should also give readers any necessary background information that will help them
understand the topic. One of the last sentences of the introduction should be a thesis statement.
Main content: The main content of your essay, also known as the body paragraphs, is where you will explain and examine your topic or concept in detail. The main
content should always include information and quotations from the novel (The Namesake) to support the ideas from the thesis statement. Each item of the thesis
statement should have its own body paragraph in the main content of the essay.
Conclusion: The conclusion should return to the “hook” from the introduction and remind readers about the general topic. The main points of the thesis should also be
reinforced in the conclusion. Do not introduce new information or ideas in the conclusion.