What is Expository Writing?Purely informational, objective writingWritten to inform, explain, or describeAuthor assumes the reader has no prior knowledge of the topic
Unlike argumentative/persuasive writing, the primary goal of expository writing is to deliver information about the topic, not to persuade the reader
Types of Expository WritingDescription
Topic is described using details, characteristics, features, and examples.
SummaryTopic is summarized in your own words
SequenceItems are listed in a numerical order
ComparisonCompare and contrast that explains how various items are alike and/or different
Examples of Expository WritingNewspaper articles, journals, textbooks, interviews, studies, letters, memos
New York Times article:
Using Expository WritingWhere to use exposition in an argumentative paperIntroduction:At the 2011 TED Global convention, Mark Pagel, professor at the University of Reading and head of the Evolution Laboratory, presented an interesting theory regarding the impact of language on humans as a species. Pagel states that language is unique to humans and the defining factor in our evolutionary success. Although Pagel makes a convincing case regarding language’s transformative power, his logic is flawed since it is confined to verbal language; it is not verbal language but written language that has enabled the technological growth of the human species. Expository writing is used to introduce the reader to background information about the topic
Using Expository WritingWhere to use exposition in an argumentative paperAs supporting evidence in the body of your essay:While other species may not have human language, all species have a method of verbal or visual communication, which can even be similar to human verbal language. For example, studies show that “dolphin whistle repertoires contain higher-order internal structure or organizational complexity. This suggests their whistle ‘language’ contains elements loosely analogous to grammar or syntax in human language” (Dorminey). Verbal communication, then, is not a uniquely human gift as Pagel claims. However, written communication is specific to humanity. Expository writing is used to inform the reader of the results of a study
Using Expository WritingMake sure that your argumentative essay is not actually an expository essayExpository writing should be embedded within an overall argumentative framework
Ask yourself: Is my entire essay a compare and contrast? Does the majority of my essay merely summarize the topic?
Does my essay only describe the events? If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes,’ then you have written an expository essay, not an argumentative essay