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Transcript of Expository
Purpose: to inform and explain.
The purpose is to explore the key ideas from the prompt – both the ways in which it can be seen to be true and the ways it is not. Examples need to be specific wherever possible. Do not generalise. Better pieces will use a wide variety of examples from a broad range. This is where those students who did the wider reading tasks will shine.
You may find that you already write expository essays in some of your other subjects; history, drama, legal studies and even some sciences all require you to demonstrate an ability to explore an idea or concept.
You must ensure that your ideas are clearly presented in your piece. A successful expository piece explores complex and sophisticated ideas, and includes highly relevant and well-researched evidence to support them. This is to be the main focus of your essay. Remember, while an extended vocabulary is desirable, you must NOT allow your ideas to get lost in big words and long, complicated sentences.
The most important element of your expository piece is your THEME.
You need to select something you are interested in, and that provides breadth for discussion.
Approaching the Sac
Influences: Your expository piece will be made up of ideas and responses to the following influences:
- The context (Exploring Issues of Identity and Belonging)
- The prompt ('Humans live in a world where everything tries to make you something else.' OR 'The groups we reject show us who we are just as much as the groups we choose to join'
= The text - ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll'
Characteristics of expository essays
- A well-written exposition remains focused on its topic and lists events in chronological order.
- Expository essays will not reveal the
opinion of the writer
- Expository pieces may include logical supporting facts, as well as details, explanations, and examples.
- These essays maintain a clear focus, and all evidence is highly relevant to the theme of the piece. Planning, careful selection of evidence and highly organised, well-structured paragraphs are essential in the construction of these pieces. It is rarely possible to present a successful expository piece without careful planning. Clever language devices will not make up for a lack of organisation in these types of essays.
Introduction to expository writing.
Forms of expository writing,
Letters, newsletters, definitions, instructions, guidebooks, catalogues, newspaper articles, magazine articles, research papers , manuals, pamphlets. reports, and essays.
'Summer of the Seventeenth Doll'
Task: Read over the sample expository essays, and determine the main theme (or focus) of each. How do the pieces of evidence selected to support the author's ideas link in with both this theme, and the other pieces of evidence? What strategies can you implement to ensure that your own writing is well-organised, logical, and focused?
Examples from 'Summer of the Seventeenth Doll'
- We are constantly exposed to idealistic images of what our lives should look like, and of what we should want, need, and believe.
- Our society values conformity over individuality
- It is only acceptable to express ourselves within our society if the selves we are expressing meet the social standards expected from it's members.
- We project many selves. We have a public self and a private self, and we choose which parts of ourselves to share with others. Society does not repress the individual, it just demands that we are mindful of who we express our individuality with.
- Pearl does not accept Olive, Barney or the lay-off for who and what it is. She is determined to 'snare' Barney and maintain her 'respectability'. While the others often dismiss Pearl as being stuffy, her attitude towards the group does change the perception of themselves that Pearl, Barney and Roo took for granted.
- The pressure to conform to societal expectations is obviously felt by Olive, who responds to this pressure with contempt for these standards and values, and defensiveness of her own lifestyle. She disowns Nancy after she leaves the group to assimilate into society, and rejects Roo when he shatters her romantic fantasy in proposing to her.
'Humans live in a world where everything tries to make you something else.'
'The groups we reject show us who we are just as much as the groups we choose to join.'
Examples from 'Summer of the Seventeenth Doll'
- We reject groups we think will challenge the idealistic images we have created of ourselves.
- We choose to belong to groups that reflect the image of ourselves we hope to project.
- The exclusion of individuals or groups from our communities or society shows us that we all fear that our ties to those who belong are not as strong as we tell ourselves they are.
- Belonging to an exclusive group can make us feel as though we are free to explore our true selves, without feeling the pressure to conform to the expectations of the wider community.
- Belonging to an exclusive group can lead to delusions of the way we are perceived by the wider community, and a disconnection with reality.
- 'Happy days, and glamorous nights!'
- Olive lives for the lay-off, and shuts herself away from the real world while Roo is up North. This prevents her from growing as a person, and ultimately leaves her isolated and shattered.
- Through her inclusion in an exclusive group, Olive is able to ignore societal pressures and focus on her fantasy world.
- Pearl is the only character who shows a willingness to adapt and change to suit her environment, which suggests that shutting oneself off from society does not make one as free as it may appear.