Wacky Encyclopedia Entry

This assignment is an exercise in expository writing. Remember, the purpose of expository writing is to inform or explain.

Your job is to write three entries for The Weird Book Encyclopedia. The entries should be fiction, just like the encyclopedia, so use your imagination to explain/define them. There are no right answers.  Have fun with it. Be as creative as you’d like.

In case you are not familiar with how encyclopedia entries are written, here are two short examples from a real encyclopedia. Do your best to imitate the style and tone of these entries.

George MacDonald 1824-1905, Scottish author. Ordained a Congregational minister, he eventually abandoned his vocation to become a writer and free-lance preacher. His first published works were several volumes of poetry, including the narrative poem Within and Without (1855), Phantastes (1858), and Lilith (1895), the last two both moral allegories. Macdonald achieved his first real success with his novels of life in rural Scotland, notably David Elginbrod (1863), Alec Forbes (1865), and Robert Falconer (1867). His lasting reputation, however, rests upon his superb allegorical fairy stories for children; they include At the Back of the North Wind (1871), The Princess and the Goblin (1872), and The Princess and Curdie (1882).

Caddis Fly any of various insects of the order Trichoptera, with four hairy wings usually held back rooflike over the abdomen, long antennae, and chewing mouthparts. The aquatic larvae, or caddis worms, which somewhat resemble caterpillars, are food for many freshwater fishes; they are called creepers when used as bait. The larvae build and inhabit underwater cases or nets made from a silken threadlike material they produce, or from materials such as twigs, sand, and leaves. Most larvae feed on plants and debris caught in the cases; among the net-building species some are predacious. Many seal their cases, and spin cocoons and pupate within. Caddis flies are classified in the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Trichoptera.

Choose three of the following imaginary people, events, or objects and create an entry for each. If you prefer, you may come up with your own made up entries.

“Historical” Events:   

  • The Sideburn Controversy
  • The Battle of Gotham
  • The Hamster Wars
  • The Sports Mascot Kidnappings
  • The President Swap of 2042


  • The electric gizmometer
  • The burboscope
  • The hypostulator
  • The flatulometer
  • The shoe-boat
  • The electric dog polisher
  • The everlasting gobstopper
  • The time machine

Historical Figures:

  • General Sheldon Gutbuster
  • Lord Anthony Spatula
  • Gregarious IIIEthel Hammerthrow


  • The blue-billed twitter
  • The loaferbug
  • The Australian camelrooster
  • The dragon hamster
  • The one-legged elephant


  • The Umpire State Building
  • The Statue of Library
  • The Awful Tower
  • The Leaning Tower of Tallahassee
  • The Invisible Building
  • Mount Inversion
  • The Aluminum Foil Gate Bridge

Suggested Length: Each entry should be one to three paragraphs long.

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