EDNA: Exposition

Many years ago when I began to teach English at the Kent School in Connecticut, I devised an acronym for my students based on two primary sources: Aristotle’s Rhetoric (4th century BCE) and Modern Rhetoric (1949) co-authored by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. 

Since then, I have introduced the acronym to thousands of students in the classroom and to even more executives in the workshops and seminars I have conducted.

EDNA

Exposition explains with information.

Description makes vivid with compelling details.

Narration tells a story or explains a sequence.

Argumentation convinces with evidence and/or logic (deduction and/or induction)

*     *     *

Almost all communications involve two or more of these levels of rhetoric. Let’s take a closer look at EXPOSITION.

The Greek word literally means to expose, open up, reveal, make clear, etc.

How?

There are several dozen tactics. They include analysis (a process of separation), cause & effect, classification (everything in its proper place), comparison (similarities), contrast (dissimilarities), correlation (parallels), expansion, and illustration (examples).

The ultimate objective is understanding.

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