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Modes of Exposition Chart

Page history last edited by Don Pogreba 11 years, 5 months ago


Literary Prompt

Non-Literary Prompt

Crossing the Curriculum

English I

Process Analysis

Write a paper discussing how tragedy generates catharsis.

Write a paper that explains, in clear steps, how to do something that you are an expert in. You should assume that your audience knows little about the subject.

Explain how (some really interesting science application). (Biology)

English I

Cause/ Effect

One of the most important themes explored by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet is the idea of personal responsibility. Examine how one character’s actions are responsible for an outcome that he/she did not intend.

There is growing concern about the prevalence of cheating in schools, from copying homework to plagiarizing papers. Identifying at least three main issues, write a paper that examines the causes of student cheating.

Explain the causes of a weather phenomenon. (Earth Science)

English II

Compare/ Contrast

Compare and contrast the motivations that lead Cassius and Brutus to conspire against Caesar.

Compare and contrast engines that run using gasoline and diesel.

Compare and contrast the effectiveness of two different exercise strategies. (P.E.)

English II


Almost every culture used its mythology to explain the origin of the world. While the stories differed in detail, they contain powerful shared ideas. Discuss one of these shared ideas (themes) using three examples.

When people think about you, what are the dominant impressions they have‌ Write an essay in which you illustrate you, focusing on two to three dominant characteristics of yourself.

Write a thesis-based essay that demonstrates three different styles of leadership in African societies. (World Cultures)

English III

Classification/ Division

American transcendentalism has been called a “goulash of world religions and philosophies.” Identify three major philosophical viewpoints of transcendentalism, examining their relationship to the whole.

Write a paper examining different career options that you have considered. Classify and divide them in terms of their financial, personal and professional outlook.

Modern American presidents have been characterized as micromanaging, delegating, and absent leaders. Write a paper discussing how at least three Presidents fit these classifications. (U.S. History)

English III

Persuasion/ Argument

Both Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn argue that society has a corrupting influence on people, making them capable of evil actions that they would not perhaps be capable of absent the influence of “the mob.” In a well-developed paper, support, refute, or qualify this claim.

Your state legislature is considering a bill that would require a person to earn a high school diploma before he or she could receive a driver's license. What is your position on this issue‌ Write a letter to convince your state legislature to accept your point of view.

From the perspective of Jeanette Rankin, write a letter arguing that American involvement in World War I would be a terrible idea. (U.S. History)

English IV


When Henry David Thoreau argued for civil disobedience in the face of government oppression, his criticism was clear: opposition to slavery and the Mexican-American War. Civil disobedience is less clearly understood today. In a well-developed paper define what the term civil disobedience means by demonstrating both what it is and what it is not.

Perseverance is a steady effort to maintain a course of action, purpose, or belief, often in spite of difficulty. Write an essay about the meaning of perseverance as it applies to personal success. You may use outside resources as well as your own experiences, observations, and/or readings.

Write a paper defining the essential characteristics of a 21st century neoconservative. (Government)

English IV


According to critic Northrop Fry, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning.”
Using Things Fall Apart, discuss how a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.

President Bush has argued that if “we do not fight the terrorists over there, we will need to fight them over here.” In a well-developed paper, analyze the efficacy of this argument.

In his Federalist Paper #10, James Madison argued that the proposed Constitution would have the benefit of limiting the impact of factions on the nation. Analyze Madison’s argument in the context of modern American political life, focusing in particular on political action committees, interest groups, and campaign finance. (U.S. Government)

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