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Using Expository Text in the Secondary Classroom

Autor:   •  April 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,375 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,770 Views

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The vast majority of texts studied in school and used in workplaces are expository, just as much of human oral communication is verbally-expressed exposition. Since expository text is defined as factually based prose from which the reader is expected to derive information relevant to the subject matter. Expository text is typically organized using structures such as descriptions, analyses like comparison and contrast, syntheses of information such as generalization, presentation of problems and solutions, and cause and effect (Daniels and Bizar, 2005). This type of text is found in every subject from mathematics and literature to social studies and science. Virtually every subject in school as well as every area in life utilizes exposition as a form of written communication. From this insight, one can readily conclude that the understanding and usage of this type of text is critically important to the academic achievement and advancement of all students. At the middle school level, significant changes begin to occur in the academic curriculum in content areas such as science as students are expected to comprehend and master increasingly complex expository texts in a variety of subjects which use broad vocabulary and more intricate sentence structure than texts of their former school years.

The advantages of using expository texts are significant, leading to its broad usage in curriculum. First of all, expository text makes it possible to present a great deal of information in a straightforward manner. These texts are also easy to write and read in the sense that they do not utilize archaic devices such as poetic iambic pentameter. These techniques were widely used in past centuries when the oral tradition was far stronger than any other because poetry makes texts easier to remember. Expository texts also have an advantage over narrative texts because they facilitate a clear interpretation without literary devices that can be understood differently by various people. While these advantages might seem obvious to most people because of the social expectation of using expository texts in most written material throughout academic subjects and society, they are worth noting because they explain not only the utility of specifically teaching students how to read and understand these texts but also the necessity of comprehending exposition as a part of basic life skills in modern society (Daniels and Bizar, 2005).

The disadvantages of expository texts must also be explored. Expository texts tend to be less intrinsically interesting than narrative texts because students tend toward enjoying stories more than their drier descriptive counterparts. Exposition is also far less common as reading material for young children. This leads to the problem in later grades of students who had limited exposure to expository texts in early childhood and thus did not develop a solid basis for comprehending it. If one were to only use expository texts, students


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