The expository and argumentative essay

The expository essay

Expository texts are used to present or clarify the true or true meaning of a word, text or doctrine. They serve to inform us objectively about a topic in a clear and orderly manner.

The intention of the expository texts is, then, to inform. Predominates, in this sense, the referential function. And, as for the modality, the socalled enunciative prevails.

The exhibition can present two degrees of difficulty:

  1. to. Informative exhibition: normally the issuer presents topics of general interest to an audience that does not know what is going to be exhibited. The intention is didactic: to teach and get the receiver to understand the message. The structure is orderly and the language clear and without technicalities.
  2. b. Specialized or technical exhibition: we use this type of exposition when the receiver has previous knowledge on the subject. The issuer, on the other hand, is usually a specialist in the field. The intention is to make known some contents without any didactic pretension. The structure is usually ordered and precise and the language used, specific to an area of knowledge and technical (technicalities abound).

In terms of genres, the expository texts are ascribed to the following forms of discourse:

Investigation work




Analysis and comments.

Articles, reports, lectures, dissertations, textbooks, essays, etc.

Structure of the expository text

The structure that usually presents an expository text presents the following parts:

1. Introduction. It constitutes the presentation of the topic.

2. Development. It implies the explanation or clarification of essential aspects, exemplifications, classifications, etc. For this, the expository text can be used, in addition, titles, epigraphs, scripts, lists and other similar resources.

3. Conclusion. It represents the synthesis of the previously discussed aspects.

Considering the abovementioned parts, we can talk about the following types of structure:

Analyzing. A deductive method is chosen: the general questions are exposed at the beginning and details or specific data are added. At the beginning of the text the subject is introduced, which will be developed throughout it. It has no conclusion.

Synthesizer. It follows an inductive method: it exposes to the beginning data or particular ideas to arrive at the end at the determination of the fundamental subject. It has no conclusion, since it would coincide with the definition of the topic.

Framed. At the beginning the theme is presented, which develops throughout the text and, finally, there is a final conclusion that reinforces and complements the initial idea.

Parallel. In the texts with this structure, the ideas are exposed without there being the need to coordinate them among themselves. All have the same level of importance. Precisely, this parallel structure is what we have just used.

These four types of structure are the most common among the expository texts, but we can also find others:

Narrative plot: are often used to explain historical or natural processes.

Of descriptive plot: they abound in classifications schemes, which organize the information into classes and subclasses. The definitions that include the dictionaries also respond to this type of structure.

Serialization / gradation: the data are sorted according to an order or according to their importance or relevance.

Causality: in this type of expository texts priority is given to the organization of content to substantiate the reasons that generate a fact or phenomenon.

Of problem / solution: first presents an unknown, then relevant data and finally provides possible solutions. This modality can easily connect with the argumentative text.

Comparison / opposition: the organization of ideas is done to present similarities or differences, advantages or disadvantages, between different methods or elements.

Linguistic characteristics of the expository texts

In the case of expository texts, the following linguistic characteristics are usually manifested:

The objective of objectively reporting and the need to organize the contents as clearly as possible leads to preference for the enunciative modality.

The lexicon is specific, with a greater or lesser number of technicalities depending on the intention (informative or expert) of the issuer.

The vocabulary must be precise and denotative. There is no room for ambiguity or polysemy in these texts.

Adjectives appear in small numbers and their character is usually denotative.

Verbs appear normally in indicative (present), due to their mark of timelessness; It is also common to find the imperfect past if the text includes a process.

The argumentative text

Through this type of texts we defend or reject, giving different reasons, some idea, project or thought. The sender uses this discursive form to try to convince the receiver and uses different arguments for this. When we argue, we try to validate our opinion or that of others or, also, we can reject that which does not interest us. For this reason, this type of texts tends to be subjective. Publicity or articles of opinion of the written press are examples of argumentative texts.

The intention of this type of texts is directly related to the appellative function of language: to persuade, to convince, to advise, to suggest implies a response on the part of the receiver and, depending on the same, the issuer will see or not fulfilled its objective. The referential function (when transmitting information) and the expressive function may also appear, depending on the degree of involvement of the issuer in the approach to the topic.

Structure of the argumentative text

The parts in which an argumentative text can be divided are:

Introduction The subject that is going to be discussed is considered.

Argumentative body. Constituted by a possible initial thesis and for all the reasons that the issuer contributes to defend his opinion or to try to convince us of something.

Conclusion. It is the summary of the text or the synthesis of the ideas presented. Sometimes the writing can be closed with an interrogation, an exhortation c with some ingenious phrase.

Linguistic characteristics of the argumentative text

The sentence modality is enunciative when the issuer intends to show some objectivity in its approaches, in order to give them greater credibility. We also find the exclamatory modality, when the issuer expresses its position on the subject with a high degree of implication, and the interrogative, when the sender wants to call the attention of the receiver.

The syntax is generally complex, because the coordinate and subordinate sentences that show the development of the issuer’s thinking are followed. The comparative, conditional, causal and consecutive subordinates predominate. Incisions are also common, with stripes or parentheses. Through these prayers the author gives his opinion, offers an explanation or clarifies.

Regarding the lexicon, we will find, together with a specific vocabulary and technicalities, polysemous words and with connotative value.