Blog 10: What is Exposition

I did not know what to expect when I entered this course. I just knew I needed another writing class for my minor. To be perfectly honest, I was worried the class would be boring. As a film student, I'm used to dealing with larger philosophical an psychological themes, so details and description often weren't interesting to me. Immediately after the first blog post, however, I realize that my ideas about exposition were about to be challenged.

The first blog posts talked about the failure of schools to teach concrete writing to students. I remember showing the article to my sister who was having her own writing problems in high school. This article also made me consider my own writing. Have I been using enough physical objects in my writing, or have I been relying on larger ideas as the article suggested I might?

As we have all learned through this course, expository writing should describe. The real writer, however, does not stop here. The real expository writer does not accept an object or idea at face value. Instead they use descriptive writing to dive deeper into the subject, which can often lead to new discoveries. An expository writer must be an avid researcher. One of my doll head classmates explained that she had to researching different types of materials, basque an porcelain, in order to properly describe her object. It seems expositional writers get to be students of many subjects because of this.

I think it's important to note that expository writing is often not a means to an end. Descriptive writing can support creative stories and bolster arguments. In fact, without description, our stories would be intangible and are arguments would be soft, without evidence. It's also important to note that expository writing is not merely description of physical objects. And expository writer can use description to theorize on much broader subjects. Many of the papers we studied in class exemplified this. Prown used objects to learn about the culture of when the objects were made along with other writers.

At its core, expository writing should describe, enlighten, and expose. At its most beautiful, it will expand a reader's understanding and entertain them.