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.