The term expository is an adjective that refers to explain, explicate or erudite. Expository texts are therefore texts or writings that totally the opposite of texts that uses a lot of emotions such as fictions novels (Bluestein, 2010).An expository texts is dynamic in nature and they exists to provide facts. They are factual in nature and are often used for educational purposes because of their nature to try and explain something in a much broader way. They are often based on purpose of exposing a hidden or unclear truth and it usually focuses on educating the reader more that entertaining the reader.
Expository texts are have descriptions that are clear and concise and they are organized in a very meaningful manner.
Expository texts as applied in middle-school content-area classroom
Expository texts are a common lesson in middle-school. They are commonly used because of the nature to educate and their coherence as far as delivering of knowledge is concerned. Middle school students, however, do face a lot of challenges when reading expository texts. Well, this has been attributed to the fact that some expository texts require critical thinking in order for them to be understood. It is important to note that expository texts could either be narratives or even informational notifications (Caldwell & Leslie, 2010).As a result of the challenges that middle-school students face when dealing with expository texts, it is important that they develop a positive attitude to the whole concept of expository texts so as become even much better readers and learners. Moreover, middle-class students usually need some really high amount of reasonable and also attainable goals for the purpose of reading expository texts. Most of the times, middle-class students depend so much on their teachers and/or tutors to simplify the text for them rather than having the urge to understand the idea and concepts being mentioned therein by themselves. It is therefore important that teachers be objective in nature and this could be achieved by setting different goals for different students but with consideration to their reading and understanding levels (Meyer & Ray, 2017).
Advantages of using expository texts
The use of expository texts for learning purposes is very advantageous. Some of the advantages that are associated with expository texts are outlined below;
Their scope of study is limited
Expository texts have a limited scope of study. This implies that the subject being discussed us narrow and is limited in nature. A narrow scope makes expository texts unique and much easier to understand
Unlike other texts, expository texts often contain some research and also evidence to substantiate and comprehend the main idea. They have a unique feature of eliminating any form of opinion and some personal preferences thus increasing the validity of ideas being conveyed in the text.
They are informative
It is the nature and purpose of expository texts to inform. They have a unique ability to build knowledge and increase one’s level of understanding on a given subject matter. Most expository texts don’t give assumptions but rather, they state facts that are often based on research.
Disadvantages of expository texts
Chronology of events
This is the main disadvantage of expository text. Usually, but not always the chronological nature of expository texts is not suitable for events that are non-sequential in nature. Expository texts usually focus on informing and therefore the issue of chronology is not put into consideration. It is for this reason that middle-class students find it hard to understand most expository texts (Bugg & McDaniel, 2012).Expository texts may for instance might place the author and/or maybe the reader in a position of understanding the text in a manner that the sequence of events is ignored and this makes them absolute irrelevant at times.
Expository texts are complex
Unlike other forms of texts and writings, expository texts are complex in nature. In as much as they try to create and bring in some new knowledge they do so in a much complex manner that makes it impossible for students not to understand it (Dymock & Nicholson, 2010). They comprise of ideas and thoughts that are not at times well-arranged due to the nature of the chronology and sequence of events in the texts itself.
Uses of expository texts in promoting comprehension and learning in middle-school content-area classrooms
Expository texts play a very crucial role towards promoting comprehension and learning in middle-school. Despite of the challenges that it brings with it to the middle-school students as far as understanding is concerned expository texts could be very useful.
Middle-school years are often the most crucial time for learners. It is during this stage of learning that most students turn away from reading at all. Expository texts have a very crucial role to play here. As a result of their nature of informing and creating new knowledge they from a very important basis of promoting comprehension and learning (Jitendra, Burgess, Gajria, 2011). Through various sets of expository texts student’s awareness and knowledge is boosted. Their level of creativity is also increased. Their creativity increases as a result of the nature of information conveyed in the texts. Usually most students lack the creativity and critical thinking abilities to understand expository texts. With the right teachers, however, who explain important and relevant concepts conveyed in the texts they are in position to understand the texts. The more texts they are engaged in the more their levels of creativity and critical thinking is increased (Wilson & Smetana, 2011).At long last, they become self-dependent students who can understand ideas without any supervision or explanation.
Therefore, expository texts generally promote comprehension and learning in middle-school content-area classrooms.
Graphic organizer for use of expository texts within my practicum activities
Graphic organizers play a very crucial role in understanding of concepts as portrayed in expository texts. They not only facilitate understanding, they also make it much easier for students to appreciate the issues being addressed therein (Akhondi, Malayeri, Samad, 2011).
For a graphic organizer to use within my practicum activities, there are a number of issues that I would consider. For instance, the following are some of the graphic organizers that I would incorporate;
For the case of making descriptions, the image below would be used. It is much simpler and it shows gives descriptions in a much compressed version. I prefer this to the use of long descriptive sentences in trying to describe a concept. For the case of expository texts, this can be used to describe certain ideas and thoughts conveyed in the text in a much simpler manner.
In the case of giving a sequence, I would use the image shown below. It very simple and easy to understand. It will show the order of events and the flow of ideas in the right sequence
For comparison between two related or different ideas and/or thoughts, the image shown below would be used. This image is very objective in nature as it clearly indicates point by point the differences and or similarities between the two ideas and/or thoughts.
When describing the causes of something and the effects that it causes, the image shown below would be used. This image is very effective since it clearly indicates the effect as a result of a certain cause
When indicating or identifying a certain problem and its solution as depicted in a text the image below would be used. This image is also very effective as it directly points a problem to its immediate solution. There can be various solutions to one problem and this can also be indicated by increasing the solution box.
Akhondi, M., Malayeri, F. A., & Samad, A. A. (2011). How to teach expository text structure to facilitate reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 64(5), 368-372.
Bluestein, N. A. (2010). Unlocking text features for determining importance in expository text: A strategy for struggling readers. The Reading Teacher, 63(7), 597-600.
Bugg, J. M., & McDaniel, M. A. (2012). Selective benefits of question self-generation and answering for remembering expository text. Journal of educational psychology, 104(4), 922.
Caldwell, J., & Leslie, L. (2010). Thinking aloud in expository text: Processes and outcomes. Journal of Literacy Research, 42(3), 308-340.
Dymock, S., & Nicholson, T. (2010). “High 5!” Strategies to enhance comprehension of expository text. The Reading Teacher, 64(3), 166-178.
Jitendra, A. K., Burgess, C., & Gajria, M. (2011). Cognitive strategy instruction for improving expository text comprehension of students with learning disabilities: The quality of evidence. Exceptional children, 77(2), 135-159.
Meyer, B. J., & Ray, M. N. (2017). Structure strategy interventions: Increasing reading comprehension of expository text. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 127-152.
Wilson, N. S., & Smetana, L. (2011). Questioning as thinking: A metacognitive framework to improve comprehension of expository text. Literacy, 45(2), 84-90.