An analytical exposition is a type of text in which the purpose is to persuade the audience by making an argument. It can be either written or spoken; when written, it is often called an analytical exposition essay. This type of text often uses expert sources or personal experiences as evidence to support the argument being made. A written analytical exposition is often organized using a five-paragraph structure, in which the first paragraph is the introduction, the middle paragraphs are the supporting evidence, and the final paragraph is the conclusion.
In an analytical exposition, as its name suggests, the writer often analyzes a topic to persuade the reader that the thesis is true. This type of text is common in academia and often appears in academic journals or scientific texts. Analytical expositions also can be found in articles, magazines and speeches — basically, in any scenario in which an argument is being made.
When the analytical exposition follows the five-paragraph organization, the first paragraph not only introduces the topic, it also states the thesis. The thesis is the author's position or argument. It is what the remaining paragraphs of the exposition aim to support.
The main section of an analytical exposition, often referred to as the body, is usually no shorter than three paragraphs, which is often considered the minimum amount of evidence required to successfully support a thesis. The body might be longer if necessary. Transitional words, such as "first," "second" and "third," are commonly used to help the reader understand when a new point or piece of evidence is being presented. The types of evidence used to support an argument could include research conducted by other people or personal experiences; it often depends on what the writer's argument is.
The final paragraph of an analytical exposition is the conclusion. In this paragraph, the thesis is generally restated. The conclusion might begin with a restatement of the thesis, which is very specific, and might become more general as the paragraph continues. The general rule is that new information should not be included in the conclusion; if that is the case, then adding another paragraph in the body would be more appropriate.
Rich, descriptive language is common in an analytical exposition, because the writer might try to appeal to the emotions of the reader as well as present factual supporting evidence. If the writer is able to persuade the reader that the thesis is true, then the exposition is a success. Analytical expositions are also sometimes called evaluative essays or argumentative essays.