Expository Writing

Expository writing is a completely different realm of writing that is unique because it is also creative and persuasive. In a way, expository writing encompasses all the skills and all the rhetoric learned in both of these different fields of writing.  This semester, we were able to learn expository writing by learning and reading about material culture and I believe that, by writing about objects, we were able to come close to discovering the definition of expository writing.

That being said, I think that expository writing is writing about objects and facts. It is using words, pictures, videos, etc. to present everything that you can about an object using factual information. That does not mean that expository writing cannot be creative. it takes a special kind of creative person to take an expository writing assignment and make it beautiful. They turn facts and random, seemingly irrelevant information into stories. They imbue theory and ideas into every aspect of their exposition and by doing so, become a creative writer as well. One can say that exposition writing is also creative writing.

An expository writer also wants to reveal things to the reader and by doing so, they become an expert researcher. Like a detective, someone creating an expository piece finds the facts and then brings these facts together to create a story. They do not overlook the small things and understands that each and every aspect of the subject if relevant in finding out the entire story. Expository writing is researching and finding clues to relate to the subject of the piece.

Learning how to use your persuasiveness in an expository piece can be difficult but if one considers that almost every single object in this world is already an argument, exposition writing becomes a whole other ballpark. Exposition writing requires one to pay attention to detail, even to the smallest things. In each and every little detail, one can see the "arguments" that are represented. For instance, one can consider a trash can to be an argument because it is arguing for whoever happens to be in its vicinity to throw out their trash and keep the surrounding areas clean.

Argumentative, sassy trash can

That just being one example, there are so many  ways that one can make an expository piece of writing an argument for something. Whether it be an argument for the environment, for social change, etc., expository writing is becomes so much more than just writing about things.

Although I do not believe that it is possible to give an absolute, final definition on what exactly exposition writing is, I think that it is a combination of many things. Researching, creative writing, critical thinking and persuasive writing embodies expository writing. It is all those things and so much more. One can safely say that expository writing is one of the most relevant aspects of writing that we have today.

Feature Photo Credit: www.jocelyndrake.com

Photo Credit: http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/linhishyra/free-detective-die


2 thoughts on “Expository Writing”

  1. I totally agree with your assessment of exposition and expository writing’s relationship with rhetoric. Creativity is definitely a huge part of the process due to the multi-modality that making an effective expository piece requires. One must be able to use varying mediums to convey the story they are trying to tell and in order to do this effectively there must be at least a cursory understanding of how different modes can and do work together. Your example of a trash can, for example, would require a muti-modal argument to discuss the importance of something like a trash can and its cultural relevance in the world. In this regard, I love that we were able to hone skills in this area in such a collaborative way and to work through the lens of material culture. Objects can seem like such mundane things in the everyday experience, but they carry with them the cultural climate in which they were created. Exposition not only shows the importance of this rhetorically, but allows for a more developed sense of that argument because it is expressed in such a dynamic way.

  2. I really appreciate how you described expository writing. lol. I agree with you that expository writing can also be persuasive and creative. We have so many examples of descriptive writing that we read in class whether it was Prown using table and chair designs to say something about culture or a writer using Lava lamps to guide us through the culture of the 60s.
    I think it is also important to note that expository writing is important for all kinds of writing because descriptions and tactile information can aid in any argument or creative story. Without description, a story can seem bleak or uninviting. Without description, arguments may not hold much weight. Description of objects make our arguments and creative worlds more solid, more real.

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