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.


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.


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.

Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.