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What is Exposition Writing

12.3.2 Body

Now that you have your specific thesis, along with your sketchy outline, you must support your thesis claim by using concrete evidence and examples. You should exfoliate your thesis. Remember that expositional writing assumes that your readers have no prior knowledge regarding your topic, so you must explain things very clearly. Parallelism can be very important in your paper. It can give the readers a feeling of structure and importance. Pick a method of organization and stick with it.

In our example, we would explain in detail how much creativity is involved in gardening. We could write about the style of impressive European or Oriental gardens. Next, we would show how there are a variety of plants. We could write about plants found in different climates. Finally, we would explain the many uses of plants. We could write about floral bouquets and vegetables.

Because exposition’s purpose is to inform, you will want to establish common ground with your readers. You should write objectively, which will fulfill the purpose of explaining things.

Topic Sentence:

It may help to use a topic sentence to focus each paragraph and to keep the writer and the reader on point. This is a statement of the point you’ll make usually in the introductory paragraph.


Support should always come from the articles you found in your research, your author research, and through passages from the text. BE SPECIFIC when you refer to any text.  Paraphrase with detail, and use direct quotes when necessary. This is very, very important.

Developing Paragraphs:

To develop paragraphs, consider one of the following forms of support for your point of view:

  • Use examples and illustrations (exemplification)
  • Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others)
  • Examine testimony or authoritative statements and published passages (what other people say such as quotes and paraphrases)
  • Use an anecdote or story (narrative)
  • Define terms in the paragraph. These terms should be important to the topic under discussion.
  • Compare and contrast (describe and explain the characteristics of two objects or ideas to draw attention to similarities and differences)
  • Evaluate causes and reasons for the occurrences of an issue or condition in the world. What do you or others believe causes anything from car accidents or racism or juvenile diabetes.
  • Examine effects and consequences of a particular action or state of being
  • Analyze the topic, supporting texts or common beliefs about some aspect of your topic. For examples, tackle a stereotype or a common belief about the topic.

In each paragraph, explain what you believe the support means. Many of you were already doing this in your paragraphs.


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Expression and Inquiry by Christopher Manning; Sally Pierce; and Melissa Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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