Exposition is the Communication (written/oral) of Arguments in the form of a Report.
The drafting/delivery of a Report is usually preceded by the sketching of an Outline that contains the list and the sequence of the main points that will be fully developed in the Report.
An Outline is a sketch, usually arranged in a sequence, of the main points to be treated in the Report, and functions as a guideline for the final text or talk.
- Introduction (presentation and arousal of interest)
- Body (illustration and analysis of subject)
- Conclusion (recapitulation and completion)
A Report is an organized account based on Information (documents, observations, experiments) and presented through Arguments (reasoning).
- Word - a series of (purposefully) interrelated words makes a
- Sentence - a series of interrelated sentences makes a
- Paragraph - a series of interrelated paragraphs makes a
- Chapter - a series of interrelated chapters makes a
A word is a small unit of meaning.
Words employed in a Report should be:
- prefer specific and concrete, simple and familiar words
- explain them when uncommon or technical
- or when having a newly-given/acquired meaning
- choose words able to convey the intended meaning
- omit words when this does not affect the overall meaning
A Sentence is made of a series of interrelated Words that produce a single unified set of meanings.
A Sentence should be:
- Correct : faultless grammatically and syntactically
- Concise : economical in the use of words
- Effective : conveying the intended meaning
A Paragraph is a distinct part of a written Report, usually made up of a series of interrelated Sentences dealing with one main idea.
A Paragraph should express/achieve a:
- Unity of Argument : no loss of coherence on the part of the writer
- Unity of Attention : no distraction on the part of the reader
In order to differentiate each Paragraph, there should be:
- indentation at the beginning
- blank space at the end
A Chapter is made of a series of interrelated Paragraphs that produce a whole sub-unit in relation to the total Report.
A Chapter should be:
- Homogeneous : focusing on a limited range of topics unless it is a brief introduction
- Manageable : to be accessed in one go, e.g. one reading session
In a short Essay, the headings of the main Paragraphs perform the same function as Chapters, subdividing the text into homogeneous and manageable parts.
Report : requirements (^)
Overall, a Report has to satisfy the following requirements:
- truthful / meaningful / useful
- words (clear, appropriate, essential)
- sentences (correct, concise, effective)
- Relation Content - Form (global structuring of the report)
- formal coordination of sentences
- topical coordination of sentences
- logical coordination of sentences
The relation Content-Form is intended to produce Patterns.
Report : patterns (^)
The global structuring of a report aims to produce patterns.
Patterns of exposition can be the result of a structuring based on:
- Time : sequence of chronological steps
- Space : sequence of topological progression
- Topics : sequence based on traditional or original topical classification
- Logic : sequence based on logically linked ideas
- General to Specific : from a general subject area to a specific topic
- Specific to General : from a specific topic to a general subject area
- Cause to Effect : from causal origin to end result
- Effect to Cause : from end result to causal origin
- Problem-Solution : from presenting the problem to detailing a solution
- Solution-Problem : from presenting a solution to detailing the problem
Report : format (^)
A Report has to adhere to certain rules of format in the way the text is laid out.
The aspects examined here concern :
A Quotation is the reporting in its original form of a piece of text taken from an external source.
Quotations should blend with the text (content) but, at the same time, should clearly appear (form) as an external contribution to the text (generally by the use of quotation marks).
Quotations reinforce a point but do not constitute proof of it.
- The omission of a word or sentence is marked by three dots, i.e. ...
- If the omission is at the end of a sentence, a fourth dot is added as punctuation mark of the original sentence, i.e. ....
- If the intelligibility of a quotation requires the addition of one or more words, these should be enclosed in square brackets, i.e. [and]
- If the original quotation contains an error of any type (fact, grammar, spelling, etc.) the word "sic" should be written in brackets after the error, i.e. [sic]
- A comma (,) or a period (.) at the end of a quotation should go inside the closing quotation even if not part of it, i.e. "--- ," or "--- ."
- Any other punctuation (; : ! ?) should go inside the quotation marks if it is part of it, i.e. "--- ;" but outside if it is an addition, i.e. "---";
Rules : short quotation
- A short quotation is initiated and ended by double quotation marks
i.e. " --- "
- A short quotation within a quotation requires single quotation marks
i.e. " --- ' ---' --- "
- A third quotation within two quotations requires again double quotations marks
i.e. " --- '--- "---" ---' ---."
In England, single quotation marks are used for a first quotation; double for a quotation within this; single again for a further quotation inside that.
Rules : long quotation
A quotation longer than three lines should be set off as a new separate paragraph, indented in its entirety and without quotation marks.
A Note is an addition to the text placed in a separate position so as not to break the concentration of the reader.
A Note can be a:
- footnote, when placed at the bottom of the page
- endnote, when placed at the end of a chapter or report
- hypernote, when placed in an electronic report (e.g. pop-up field)
A Note can:
- provide sources of reference
- provide cross-reference
- present quotations or paraphrased materials
- offer further elaboration of the point in the main text
A Bibliography is a list of the sources of references employed in producing a Report.
A Bibliography is made up of Bibliographic Records.
A Bibliographic Record should include:
- Author's Name : Kuhn, Thomas S.
- Editor(s) (if any)
- Title : Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The
- Volume (if more than one)
- Edition : Second Edition, Enlarged
- Publisher : University of Chicago Press
- Place of Publication : Chicago
- Date of Publication : 1970
- Isbn (International Standard Book Number) : 0-226-45804-0
- If the Author's Name is not provided, give the name of the Institution who produced the material or, in the absence of this, give only the title.
- If the Place is not provided, put n. p. (no place).
- If the Date is not provided, put n. d. (no date).
Exposition : summing up (^)
The Exposition of an Argument based on Information that has been carefully searched and selected (see : Documentation, Observation, Experimentation)
It represents a powerful step from the delineation of the Problem to the Clarification of a Solution.