Presentation on theme: "Exemplification, Exposition, Illustration, Explanatory Writing Notes by Brian Yablon."— Presentation transcript:
Exemplification, Exposition, Illustration, Explanatory Writing Notes by Brian Yablon
What is exposition? Longer works: Memoir Biography Autobiography History Research report Newsletter Brochure Shorter works: Essay Speech Letter Memorandum Note Advertisement Instructions News or feature article
Why write exemplification? The overall purpose of writing exemplification has two parts: You state your assertion (your opinion, perspective, your point of view, or how you’re going to treat your subject). You support or back up your assertion with evidence.
Specific uses To inform/To explain To clarify To persuade To entertain To compare or contrast To show cause and/or effect To report
How do you do it? First, figure out who your audience is -- that will affect what you say and how you say it. Second, figure out what your purpose is -- that is the end result, the reaction you want to get from your audience.
Then what? You need to generate as many pieces of support (evidence) as you can to help back up your assertion.
What is evidence? Personal experience or observation Typical situations Hypothetical situations Generalized situations Facts Names Statistics References to authorities Experts Documents Anecdotes Explanations and interpretations Extended or brief Quotations
Evidence must be: Accurate Supportive, not contradictory Relevant Specific, detailed, precise, vivid Interesting Clear and easy to understand Representative (not the exception) Cited, if necessary.
Choose a point of view First person P.O.V. Uses “I” as the narrator. Is personal, which may be an advantage or disadvantage. Third person P.O.V. Uses “She,” “He,” “They,” or “It” to relay information. Is more distant, which may be an advantage or disadvantage.
Thesis statement A good thesis statement is clear, opinionated, and specific. It relays: The topic of discussion. How you will treat that topic. Perhaps the focus of the discussion about that topic. It includes every major idea in the essay.
A special note on structure An exemplification essay is usually highly structured. It has a stated, clearly identifiable thesis statement. Alas, if I cannot identify your thesis, the highest grade the paper will receive is a “D,” so this is important!
Ways to organize Chronological Spatial Emphatic Moderate-Weak- Strong Simple to complex You need: Strong thesis Clear topic sentences -- that support the overall thesis. Evidence that supports each topic sentence A clear conclusion
Transitions Use suitable transitional words and phrases. For instance For example To illustrate A classic example Also In addition Additionally A case in point is Avoid unimaginative transitions like “My first example is…”
Never! Never write the following types of sentences: “In this paragraph, I will explain…” In this essay, I will discuss…” Those are fine, even expected, in a scientific or mathematical paper, but for the typical English paper they are simply terrible, absolutely horrible! Additionally, you never really need to write: “I feel…” “I believe…” or “I think…” If it’s your paper, then the reader already knows they’re your thoughts, beliefs or feelings.
Significance Good essays have importance; they answer a need, a question or problem that has been posed. The reader never puts down the essay and says, “So what?” You need to convey to your reader why your essay is important to read.
Citing sources Within the text: After a quotation or a paraphrase, give credit to your source of information. That credit goes within parenthesis and has a name and a page number, such as (Jones 6-7). This brief reference should point the reader to the more detailed reference at the end of the text. At the end of the text: Create a “Works Cited” page where you give all of the detailed information where a reader could find your specific source.
Thoughts on quotations The MLA suggests that you limit your use of quoted material to no more than 10% of your entire essay. Try to quote or paraphrase only when the original author says something better than you can. Always: Lead in to your quotation Cite your quotation correctly Explain and/or interpret your quotation Show us why your quotation is significant
Thoughts on paraphrases When you paraphrase, you take someone else’s words and put them into your own words. You still must cite the source where you got your ideas. Both name(s) and page numbers should be mentioned within the text of the essay, as well as in the Works Cited page.
Sample in-text citation …Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3). The sentence above shows the writer using a brief quote -- in order to make a point -- from someone named Burke. The quotation, “symbol-using animals” was found on page 3 of Burke’s original work.
Sample Works Cited entry Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: University of California Press, The above entry would be one entry on a page full of entries, all at the end after the last page of the essay. This entry would allow the reader to find the specific source for the quotation or paraphrase cited (mentioned) within the text of the essay.
Possible essay beginnings Broad statement narrowing to a limited subject (end introduction with thesis statement) Brief anecdote leading up to thesis Comparative or opposite ideas leading up to thesis Series of short questions leading to thesis Quotations leading to thesis Refutation of a common belief leading up to a thesis Dramatic fact or statistic leading to thesis
Possible essay endings Summary of information presented Prediction based on information presented Quotation leading to concluding statement Statistics leading to concluding statement Recommendation or call for action Echo of the introduction Please do not write, “In conclusion…”
Be aware of your language Transitions show relationships between ideas, so make sure you’re clear and you make the choices you intend. Be wary of jargon Avoid slang and profanity. Remember that almost all words have a denotation and a connotation.
Some additional thoughts Exemplification is very descriptive and uses many of the same techniques as fiction. Be aware of the tone you convey. Vary sentence structure. Vary sentence length. Vary paragraph length.
Some final thoughts I assure you your first draft will be lousy. Subsequent drafts improve your writing. You make your writing worth reading by revising: Adding Subtracting Reorganizing Substituting
The end of the process First, concentrate on your message -- what you have to say. Second, concentrate on your organization -- how you say it. Third, concentrate on surface features -- spelling, grammar, mechanics, usage. Always do your best work -- every draft.