Expository writing is a type of writing that is used to explain, describe, give information, or inform. The text is organized around one topic and developed according to a pattern or combination of patterns. The writer of an expository text 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. The patterns shown below are frequently used to create an expository essay.
Expository essays are written by students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. For example, a student might use a descriptive pattern to emphasize the features and characteristics of a topic. Sequential writing emphasizes the order of events, listing items in numerical or chronological order. A writer might use a comparison or contrast pattern to emphasize the similarities or differences between two topics.
Assignment One: One Text, Making Connections Within a Text and Tracing Lines of Thinking
The first graded assignment asks students to make connections within the first assigned [url removed, login to view] assignment asks students to use the text to formulate a claim of their own.
Assignment Two: Two Texts, Independent Thesis
The second graded assignment asks students to make connections between texts. When texts are placed in “conversation” this way, the two may not address the same explicit topic or employ the same key terms, but careful reading and analysis will reveal commonalities that can be developed into a sustained claim or a line of thinking. Finding connections and developing claims are essential to writing in virtually every field.
Assignment Three: Three Texts
The third assignment adds one additional reading. Again, students need to explore and explain inter-textual connections, but the third assignment also requires them to develop an independent thesis that synthesizes all three readings. The first three assignments present students with multiple points of view, and ask them to make connections, solve problems and arrive at a new level of understanding based on creative and synthetic thinking.