In high school, in my AP Language Arts class, we had to do many essays featuring the expository method. Basically, the expository method is a clear, concise, step-by-step style of writing. This can be very beneficial when describing how to build a piece of furniture or writing a recipe out in longhand. For example, in my class, we had to choose something that we wanted to describe step-by-step; I chose baking chocolate chip cookies. I had to then list all of the steps you take in preparing and baking cookies. Usually expository writing has words like, “first”, “next”, “and then” to explain or describe a topic.

The pros of expository writing is that it’s first of all easy to understand and follow. The data that is written is delivered in a straightforward way, the author gives no opinion, just lists facts to give functional knowledge of a topic. When following a recipe, for example, expository writing will give you all of the instructions necessary to get the job done, there are no grey areas or questions that need to be asked.

The cons of expository writing is that it places limitations on the reader and the author when describing a historical event. There may be different variations of history, but this style of writing limits it to one perspective only. It can result in a narrow and selective understanding of the topic that is being explored. It may be useful for some topics, but not for others. Students who are taught to use this method only may be limited by a singular approach to a subject, versus being able to explore other avenues.

Expository writing is just one of the many styles of writing that is utilized both by companies and teachers. It is beneficial for students to learn how to list every step in a topic, but it may also be too limiting when describing certain events.

Pros and Cons of Expository Writing