Q3 Portfolios: Exposition

Prefatory note: Always refer back to the portfolio overview linked to here as we review your writing this week.

Mode of discourse: Expository writing

Revision prompt: What expository background can you provide about the novel The Invisible Man?

The original preface to our study of the novel (click here to read it again) gave you this prompt:

Preface I: Expository Background | Find information on a few of the following topics.

Your goal is to be able to answer the question, “What do you know about this novel?” by referring to specifics in a few of the categories below. You do not need to research all five categories, and you won’t be quizzed on what you’ve learned; you are interested in what you remember, how you found the information, and how you know it is accurate. You will need to discuss this information, either by writing about it or through an adversarial circle.

The Victorian Era
The novel’s author and publication history
Reviews of the novel
Resonance and influence of the novel
Study guides and SparkNotes derivatives

On 2/11, you wrote for twenty minutes about the research you had done. Your scores have been returned, along with brief feedback. Start with that spreadsheet:

Overall, you wrote limited responses that need a tighter focus and more details added in. Use the DAMAGES+ guide to start, reading over the section on Arrangement; then study the following notes as you revise. Remember to keep this under 500 words! The goal is to practice expository writing and revision, not to list as many facts as you can.

Revision #1: Meaning and focus

Your thesis is an answer to the question, “What expository background can you provide about the novel The Invisible Man?” You have to begin by deciding to focus on one topic from the list of five—or should you include multiple topics? If so, which ones? Was one of the topics worth exploring in detail beyond what you provided in a timed setting?

Another series of questions about focus: In your original draft, do you have a topic sentence? Or does your response list random details in no sort of particular order?

Revision #2: Detail and development

Each idea you raise must be developed in full. That means looking first at the number and specificity of details you’ve included in your timed response. Most of you need to increase that number considerably—while maintaining a focus on a few central ideas.

Do you define each concept? Do you provide examples of each one? Do you give specifics for each general statement—for example, if reviews are bad, how many of those reviews should you specifically mention?

Revision #3: Accuracy in detail

As you add in details to develop your essay, you must be certain that they are accurate. Double-check your original research, and look at each website for validity and credibility. You will be given links to ways to do this in class.

As you rewrite, ask yourself what sources need to be cited, and which articles need to be quoted.

Revision #4: Bias in style

You must be objective in this response, not subjective; that is the nature of this sort of expository writing. You must go through and strip out of your original draft all opinionated language. Your tone must be clinical: unbiased, precise, and clear.

Revision #5: Arrangement

Simply put: How many paragraphs have you written, and how many should you include? This speaks to main ideas and focus as much as arrangement. If you write many paragraphs, what is the thesis of the response? Are you placing the support for that thesis in order of importance, relevance, or time?

You might also consider your arrangement within each paragraph, returning (if it helps) to the writing resources located here from Q1 and Q2.

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