Have you ever paid attention to the infinite scrolling feature on the internet? Whether it’s a Buzzfeed article or Twitter updates, you can’t seem to stop scrolling, hungry for more news. If you’ve read a ‘how to do something’ article or a condensed version of a long news report, then you’ve encountered various examples of expository writing.
While expository writing dominates the content world today, businesses have been relying on this writing style for ages. Every professional should understand the dos and don’ts of expository writing for effective business communication and workplace success.
What Is Expository Writing?
Before we explore the basic tenets of expository writing, let’s look at what exposition means. At its simplest, it means explaining something. The purpose of the expository writing style is to enlighten or instruct. In other words, it means to present an idea or relevant discussion that helps explain or analyze information. Some of the most common examples of expository writing include scientific reports, academic essays and magazine articles.
An expository writer can’t assume that potential readers have prior knowledge or understanding about the information that they present. It’s best to avoid beating around the bush and highlight things as they are. The main features of expository writing style include:
It needs to be informative and highlight relevant details for better understanding
There should be clarity and an expository writer should know what they’re talking about
Well-written expository pieces continue to focus on the main topic and list events in an organized manner
The use of the first-person narrative should be avoided; instead, second-person instruction is much more effective
It should steer clear of personal thoughts and opinions and present an unbiased version of the information
The Different Types Of Expository Writing
Most of us have written some form of expository writing whether it was in school, college or office. Here are the various types of expository writing that’ll help you deliver ideas clearly:
Problem And Solution
As the name suggests, you identify the problem, provide details about it to explain it and suggest a solution(s) to tackle it. You have to justify the solution with sufficient data and propose ways to implement those solutions.
Cause And Effect
It conveys why something happened and how will it impact something. The outcomes suggested can be either true or hypothetical but the author should validate them.
Compare And Contrast
In this type of expository writing, the writer compares the similarities and contrasts the differences between the two subjects. This is only possible when subjects belong to the same category. For example, a comparative study between indoor and outdoor stadiums.
Definition And Classification
It provides a complete description of a subject, elaborating on the meaning, types and examples. It includes terms that have concrete meaning (e.g., objects) as well as abstract meanings (e.g., emotions).
This type of writing is instructive and tells the reader about a task and how to do it. The reader may also include step-by-step instruction for easier understanding. Cook-books and user manuals are ideal examples of expository writing.
The Importance Of Expository Writing In Business
Take any typical day at work and reflect on the kinds of tasks you’re involved with. Written communication will be a commonly recurring activity. Business communication is one of the cornerstones of professional success. It’s important that you become familiar with the meaning of expository writing and establish yourself as an effective communicator. People are bound to take notice at work. Here are some expository writing tips that you should consider.
Work with the information that you’re most familiar with. For example, if you don’t know how to begin your email, write the body and conclusion before the introduction. It’s easier to map your purpose, identify your thoughts and then put them into writing.
Case-studies and projects can’t be considered authentic unless you back your report with ample data. In order to be persuasive and convince your clients or customers, you need to provide them with substantial evidence.
Always come straight to the point as readers won’t always have the required attention span. It’s best to present your data succinctly and directly because the topics are likely to be dry or boring. However, steer clear from jargon and other technical words and make your writing accessible.
Always pay attention to the format. An effective way to organize your thoughts is to prewrite and outline. It’ll help you narrow down the topics or details you want to discuss. It’s best to have a concluding paragraph that reiterates your position.
Most of all, make sure that you edit and proofread your draft. You don’t want to give a wrong impression, affecting your professional relationship and reputation. Pay attention to detail and never leave room for confusion.
Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course will help you structure your thoughts, polish your writing style and teach you to write clearly, concisely and compellingly. The Pyramid Principle will guide you in presenting key points of messages upfront with supporting evidence. Make your business communication effective and leave lasting impressions with your expository writing style.
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