For your first two papers, you will have the opportunity to apply your conceptual understanding of expository writing—with its goal of explaining ideas and its use of specific rhetorical methods and tools—to reveal an important and compelling insight to an audience of your peers and general readers. To accomplish this task, you are asked to employ specific expository methods covered in your readings and class discussions (ie… Narrative, Comparison/Contrast, Extended Definition, Illustration, Process Analysis, Division Classification). The essay should employ Descriptive language, regardless of other methods used, and no matter which expository technique you choose for your focus, you will invariably use the other techniques as well.
Essay 1: For your first paper, choose either Division Analysis, Comparison/Contrast, or Extended Definition. You might divide the constituent parts of an institution to show something important about life and the human condition, compare and contrast two things to reveal a greater truth, or explore the meaning and various contexts of a specific word to expose an insightful idea.
Essay 2: For your second paper, choose either Illustration, Process Analysis, or Classification. You might employ a series of different examples to illustrate a meaningful idea, explain how a particular process works or how to do something to reveal a truth, or divide and classify something into its constituent parts to expose some insight based on the relationship between the parts.
Your essay should be based on your experience and personal knowledge about your subject, and should not involve research. Consider subjects and activities you know the most about: important events in your life, cultural ideas that are important to you, as well as significant places, occupational experiences, historical occurrences, and people you are familiar with. Your goal is to understand your subject deeply, to distill from it an important idea which will enlarge your audience’s understanding of the human condition, and to present both in an expository format of essay length and complexity.
- The ability to generate ideas, organize, and produce coherent essay-length writing.
- A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the chosen subject that goes beyond the ‘everyday’ and seeks, instead, to provide insights worthy of an extended piece of writing.
- An ability to analyze subjects from multiple perspectives and in relationship to one another.
- A conceptual understanding of expository writing techniques, their characteristics, and strategies for implementation.
- The ability to relate expository models covered in class readings to your own writing and your understanding of expository writing.
- The paper must be 3-4 typed pages in length (this is a reflection of depth).
- The paper must work with a specific expository technique as its dominant method, and employ other expository techniques as needed.
- The paper should be presented in MLA format in the final draft. Rough drafts and and electronic copy must be turned in with the final.
- The paper should be well organized with a developed thesis, transitions, topic sentences for your paragraphs, and a conclusion that avoids simply restating what you have already said.
- The paper must employ proper grammar and spelling (if this is an issue for you, I strongly suggest you make use of the Writing Center and your LB Brief Handbook).
- Each of the first two papers must employ a different expository technique as its dominant approach to explaining the subject and main idea (Ex: if you work with comparison/contrast for the first paper, you may not choose that technique for the 2nd paper).