Category Archives: What is exposition?

Exposition Through My Eyes

What is expository writing? This is a question that never crossed my mind prior to taking this course and if it were given to me I never would have had an answer or at least a solid one. This course has given me the knowledge to now give what I feel to be a pretty efficient definition.
Exposition I feel is a process. It is a process that requires a lot of digging and researching. Some serious in depth analyzing needs to take place. Exposition allows you to uncover things that could not be seen with the naked eye. You go deep into the history and into the background of what is being analyzed. I feel the difference between persuasion and exposition is that persuasion is trying to convince someone of something. You are trying to change their way of thinking and make them see things the way you see it. Exposition I feel is similar in the sense that you are trying to make someone see things the way you see it but you have the facts to back it up. What is being revealed is actually the truth that can be proved so that one is more likely to accept the information being given.
Expository writing allows you to awaken and personify what is being discussed. For example, throughout this course
I had to practically dissect a jar of cream. In the mist of me dissecting or analyzing this jar I began to give it an identity or better yet its identity became visible to me. Once it received an identity I able to better understand it therefore able to unveil its true meaning. That is another aspect that I feel really is the essence of expository writing. Expository writing really is unveiling what others can not see. It is so exciting to uncover the unknown.


Blog 10- What is Exposition?


Initially, I thought exposition was simply the beginning of writing. I thought we'd just be taught how to write and that be all. We did, in a way, learn "how" to write. It was not so much as the methodical process but the exploration process. Through research, analyzing, and discussing, we honed in on the expository aspect. When writing, it is often hard to develop an idea that follows a prompt. We are sometime limited by the parameters set by scholars. However, this course did not limit our scholastic minds. There was room to explore different angles of writing and to develop our ideas in a way that best suits use as students.


This class came highly recommended by another professor of mine. I was quite apprehensive due to my lackluster skills in the abstract nature of writing. I am more factual when it comes to literature. I see "A". "A" existence. "A" has a purpose. The purpose is "XYZ," No more. No less. That is how I have always approached things in life. Often times, I do not fancy the existence of overzealous writing. The first few weeks, I know that I said "WTF" at least three times a day in class. I just did not understand where Dr. Wharton was trying to take us. After taking a step back and speaking with her, everything became so much clearer. Her purpose was not to just bombard us with a ton of work but to weave our way through multimodality to achieve our expository goals. Once I grasped where she was trying to take the course, the course became more bearable. Granted, I struggled with some things but it was not without cause.


Exposition encompasses much more than its mere definition. It is a practice that, if approached correctly, reaps writing gains like no other. I am appreciative for the new insight to exposition that I have acquired while in this course. writing

Blog Post 10 – Expository Writing: An Unspoken Argument

What is exposition? I think even as English majors it is difficult for many of us to produce a precise definition for any category of writing. I think that different forms of writing blend together. For example, some people may say that expository writing is any writing that does not convey an argument. Truly, though, informative writing can serve as a rhetorical argument simply by the way the way the words are organized on the page.

This class opened up my eyes to the vastness of the category called expository writing. At another college, I took a course called Expository Writing 101. There, we practiced writing narratives, explanatory, and exploratory essays. I began to realize then that I thrive in this writing environment. My satisfaction in writing comes from telling people the facts, potential reasons, and then let them draw conclusions for themselves.

I think that is what expository writing is - stating the facts, providing evidence for these facts, and offering possible reasons/explanations. Unlike most forms of academic writing, expository writing allows us to state what we know while offering multiple explanations, instead of only one right answer. I personally hate that in most of my papers I feel "forced" to take a drastic position on a topic I could go either way with.

Throughout this course, I felt as though I could allow the audience to participate in my investigative process through my writing. Sometimes it was almost as if I was talking out my thoughts through my writing. That is what I appreciate about this form of writing - I am able to take my audience exactly through what I am thinking. While writing, we are able to discover so much... It is a learning process. I think that is where expressive discourse has such a place in life and academia.

As mentioned earlier in the post, although expository writing does not typically strive to produce an argument, and argument can be made "unspoken." I will give an example. In my object analysis, I did not come right out and say what I thought the reader should conclude about my doll head. I am sure I did, however, influence the reader's viewpoint in the way I presented the evidence and explained the evidence. I believe expository is linked to persuasion, but in a more indirect way than other forms of writing.

Through our object studies we are able to see the connection between material study and exposition as a rhetorical activity. In our class, we not only found out about our objects, but also composed writing to share findings and explanations to influence the way others think about these objects. As we have discussed in class discussions, objects have stories that do not always align with cultural interpretations. Through our writing, we held the power to try to clear up some misconceptions by offering a new story for our objects.

My main point is that expository writing allows us to inform without having all of the right answers. Through this type of writing we are essentially able to learn together, writer and reader. I think there is something so real about such a personal form of writing, where the rules don't always have to be followed. Importantly, expository writing can make a loud statement with an unspoken argument.

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#10: Expository Writing & Its Importance

(Process of expository writing)

Expository writing is..

a type of writing that is used to explain, describe, give information, or to inform.

It is organized around one topic and developed according to a pattern or combination of patterns.  You cannot assume that the reader or listener has prior knowledge or prior understanding of the topic that is being discussed.  Since clarity requires strong organization, one of the most important mechanisms to improve skills in exposition is to improve the organization of the text.

At the start of our course, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. All my prior English classes consisted of reading and writing multiple page papers. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in this course, we would be doing more than just those two. There was almost a sense of freedom in having the ability to incorporate different forms of writing to express what I wanted to say. Instead of just telling through words; I was able to describe my topic using pictures, videos, and sounds; the whole multimodal process.

It wasn’t until we got towards the end of our project when I able to notice a pattern and process with expository writing. There was a reason why our project was divided into multiple parts; each component curcial for the next step.

One of the most important parts of expository writing is to describe our subject in as much detail as we can. These may include characteristics and features, which provides information on how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, makes one feel, or sounds. The difference between creative writing (for example) and expository writing is that creative writing focuses on entertaining the audience, while expository writing aims to inform. This was a significant process in our object analysis and description, where we laid our focus on how our objects looked visually, and felt. Another important step of expository writing is the sequence, which is listing items or events in numerical or chronological order, which we did this through our timeline.

What I learned during this course was the importance of multimodality. Expository writing is sort of a slow gradual process of informing an audience. Like a 5 paragraph essay, it requires an introduction (our description of our artifacts), some type of a visual (including pictures or videos into our Twitter essays), a timeline, and a reflection. We use muultimodality on a daily basis, whether we notice it or not; so I think it’s important to notice how we use exposition in our daily lives.

What is Expository Writing?

Expository writing is the process of unraveling an image through words. Whether that image is of a teapot, a campus, or the ramifications of communism on the global economy, expository writing begins with a simple premise and ends with a more complicated perspective of the subject at hand. It peers behind the clock face and details the inner-workings of the world around us.

When I first signed up for this class, to be completely honest, I was not super excited to be taking it. That is not to say that I was dreading the course by any means, but as a rhetoric and composition major, my primary focus so far had been on persuasive writing. The idea of writing pieces that were not focused on an argument seemed...trivial? I'm can't say exactly what I felt at the time--nor was it anything particularly drastic--I simply didn't think this class would be wildly enlightening. My initial perceptions could not have been more wrong.

Even just from the twitter essay project we started the semester with, I was already growing a deeper understanding for what expository writing entailed. The process of experimenting with our personal definitions of what objects are helped to open my eyes to an entire art of writing I had had little real practice or exposure to. The process of working with our artifacts to create an entire object analysis using Prounian analysis took the seeds of that understanding and gave me a true appreciation for what expository writing is.

In a sense, there are similarities between persuasive writing and expository writing. I suppose it could be argued that expository writing is a practice in persuasion of one's opinions. But expository writing does not hinge upon whether the audience is convinced by what is being said. In fact, expository writing is unique in that it seems to be much more personal in its execution. These are observations based out of personal experience rather than arguments based out of research. If a piece of expository writing does not resonate with a reader, that does not mean the piece cannot still succeed in its goals. It is invested in the process of discovery, of coming to understanding rather than applying its products in a broader lens. Expository writing lives in itself rather than the reader, and that is not something I even truly understood until the end of this semester. In a sense, this post itself is a microcosm of the practice itself: a slow unraveling in the pursuit of some unknown truths.

Blog Post #10: What is exposition?

The full title of this class, from the course catalog, is "History, Theory, and Practice of Exposition." Over the course of the semester we have identified some of the formal and rhetorical characteristics of expository writing. In general, the purpose of expository writing is to explain, inform, and describe. Its organizational structure tends to be narrative or associative. Expository writing is often found in "essays," a form or genre that, as Lynn Z. Bloom explains, often operates as a catch-all category for the heterogenous canon of short works studied in first-year composition courses.  Expository writing that describes or explains the author's subjective experience and perception displays the markers of "expressive discourse," that is writing through which the author develops and comes to a better understanding of her identity as a human subject in the world.

Image credit: "Message #1" by John Nicholls on Flickr.

In this blog post, you will offer your answer to the question presented in the title: What is expository writing? Or, in a formulation that includes modes of composition that employ more than alphabetic text: What is exposition? How is exposition different from persuasion? And what is the relationship between exposition, as a rhetorical activity, and material culture studies, as an interdisciplinary field of cultural study and analysis? What, if anything, can we learn about the history, theory, and practice of exposition from material culture studies? Or, how does material culture studies draw upon the theories, or reproduce the practices of exposition?

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Category: What is exposition?

In your Blog #10 post, you should do more than offer a list of answers to these questions. Rather, you should offer a cohesive, reasoned answer to the central question presented in the prompt title: What is exposition? In the course of attempting to answer that question, you may also be offering answers to these or other related questions. Your post, though, should read as a coherent statement about, perhaps even an argument in favor of the criteria you are using to define what exposition is. You are encouraged to draw upon any of the texts we have read this semester, including Writer/Designer and Everyone's An Author.  Please carefully read and follow the guidelines and posting information for this blog as they've been outlined in the Blog Project Description.

Feature Image: "moleskine" by Jochen Handschuh on Flickr.