Expository Writing Explained

Expository Writing Explained

 

Exposition is a type of oral or written discourse that is used to explain, describe, give information or inform. It is important that you assume that the reader or listener has not prior knowledge or prior understanding of the topic that is being discussed.

There are a number of Expository Writing structures that fall under Expository Writing.

These structures are:

Process/Sequence: The process mode tells readers, usually in chronological order, how to do something by describing a process. Description and narration are often used in the process mode to show readers how something happens.

Sample:

The Olympic games began as athletic festivals to honor the Greek gods. The most important festival was held in the valley of Olympia to honor Zeus, the king of the gods. It was this festival that became the Olympic games in 776 B.C. These games were ended in A.D. 394 by the Roman Emperor who ruled Greece. No Olympic games were held for more than 1,500 years. Then the modern Olympics began in 1896. Almost 300 male athletes competed in the first modern Olympics In the games held in 1900, female athletes were allowed to compete. The games have continued every four years since 1896 except during World War II, and they will most likely continue for many years to come.

Cause and Effect: This mode either explores why something happens (cause) or the result of the cause (effect). The structure can move from cause to effect or from effect to cause. Do not assume that because one event precedes another it necessarily causes it.

Sample:

There are several reasons why so many people attend the Olympic games or watch them on television. One reason is tradition. The name Olympics and the torch and flame remind people of the ancient games. People can escape the ordinariness of daily life by attending or watching the Olympics. They like to identify with someone else’s individual sacrifice and accomplishment. National pride is another reason, and an athlete’s or a team’s hard earned victory becomes a nation’s victory. There are national medal counts and people keep track of how many medals their country’s athletes have won.

Definition: Definition takes a word, a concept, or an object within a class and then distinguishes it from other members of that class. Examples, details, and/or synonyms often clarify definitions further.

Sample:

The Olympic symbol consists of five interlocking rings. The rings represent the five continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America – from which athletes come to compete in the games. The rings are colored black blue, green, red, and yellow. At least one of these colors is found in the flag of every country sending athletes to compete in the Olympic games.

Comparison and Contrast: When you compare two objects, you point out their similarities. When you contrast two objects, you point out their differences. Comparison and contrast essays can follow one of two organizational patterns: either each subject is fully presented one at a time, or the subjects can be examined together by explaining one point at a time.

Sample:

 The modern Olympics is very unlike the ancient Olympic games. Individual events are different. While there were no swimming races in the ancient games, for example, there were chariot races. There were no female contestants and all athletes competed in the nude. Of course, the ancient and modern Olympics are also alike in many ways. Some events, such as the javelin and discus throws, are the same. Some people say that cheating, professionalism, and nationalism in the modern games are a disgrace to the Olympic tradition. But according to the ancient Greek writers, there were many cases of cheating, nationalism, and professionalism in their Olympics too.

 

Problem/Solution: Problem/Solution essays inform readers about problems and suggest actions that can correct them. They often analyze a controversial subject, take a stand on it, and give reasons and support. These papers urge readers to take a specific action rather than simply take a position.

Sample:

One problem with the modern Olympics is that it has become very big and expensive to operate. The city or country that hosts the games often loses a lot of money. A stadium, pools, and playing fields must be built for the athletic events and housing is needed for the athletes who come from around the world. And all of these facilities are used for only 2 weeks! In 1984, Los Angeles solved these problems by charging a fee for companies who wanted to be official sponsors of the games. Companies like McDonald’s paid a lot of money to be part of the Olympics. Many buildings that were already built in the Los Angeles area were also used. The Coliseum where the 1932 games were held was used again and many colleges and universities in the area became playing and living sites.

Remember that when you are writing an expository paragraph or essay you should consider the following:

Tomorrow we will talk about the types of Expository Writing that you are required to writing on the English A exam paper.

Resource site: http://www.umich.edu

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