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What is an exposition?

An exposition argues for or against a certain point of view based on a certain topic. An exposition is a well-structured argument or persuasion. The point of view must be supported by facts and relevant information on that topic.

An exposition needs to:

  • clearly state the point of view
  • use research to support that view
  • address other points of view
  • defend that point of view from others.

Examples of an exposition

Expositions can be used to persuade other people to share your point of view.  They can also be used to share your point of view on a certain topic that may have two (or more) distinct sides.

Some places that you might find expositions include:

  • newspaper editorials
  • letters to the editor
  • political speeches
  • advertisements
  • debates

Structure of an exposition

Expositions can be either written or spoken. Often, an exposition is first written down before being presented orally.

An exposition should have a title or heading. This will introduce the topic of the text and may even show the writer's point of view on the topic.

The first paragraph is the introduction. This is where the writer states the topic that is addressed in the text. The introduction is important because this is where the writer establishes the point of view of the exposition.

The following body paragraphs are used to make different points, called claims, about the topic. Each paragraph addresses one part of the exposition topic. Each paragraph will make a point, give the reason for that point and then provide evidence for that point.

The conclusion is used to re-state the writer's point of view on a certain topic. This is where the writer sums up the ideas discussed in the text. A conclusion can also address and respond to another point of view on the topic.

To help support the point of view, visual elements can be used. These elements include charts, photographs, drawings or graphs. Visual elements often help the audience to better understand the topic.

Many expositions use evidence from other sources. If you do any research or use any facts, figures or quotes in your exposition it is important to list all these resources in the bibliography.

Preparing your own exposition

Before writing an exposition you must first establish a topic and a point of view on that topic. It is then important to research that topic and find evidence and facts to help support your point of view.

The structure of an exposition is important. Each body paragraph should have the following:

  • main point (also called a claim)
  • Your reason for that point
  • Evidence to support that point

Make sure that your writing is easy to understand and that it is relevant to the topic through the entire exposition.

Always check your text for correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.