Category Archives: Expository Writing

All of the work in this section was for an Advanced Expository Writing course I took during the second semester of my junior year at Hollins University. After taking several creative writing workshops where I focused exclusively on poetry and fiction, I wanted to explore a new kind of writing that bridged the chasm between creative writing and non-fiction. Expository writing fit the bill and still counted toward my creative writing minor! This class treated the essay as its own genre with the first half of the semester focusing on personal essays and the second half focusing on argument essays.

An Evolving Writer

This personal essay was originally titled “Why I Write.” As the name indicates, it is about my reasons for writing, how I first knew I wanted to be a writer, and how the craft of writing has helped me to learn and grow as a person. Continue reading

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My South

The prompt for this assignment was: “Write a personal essay about your relationship with a place.” I chose to write not about one specific place, but about a region. Although I was born and raised in Boston, my father is from Danville, Virginia (close to the North Carolina border) and most of my mother’s family also lives in the state. As a result, I went down South several times a year growing up. Being “Southern” does not just mean being from a particular part of the country; rather, it is an ethnicity, a heritage. Some may say it’s almost a nationality in and of itself. As this essay explains, my relationship with the South has changed over time, but I still love it for all its assets and imperfections. I often feel that I am a misplaced Yankee who was born in the wrong place. Continue reading

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What is a Personal Essay?

After writing the two personal essays above, I was expected to be able to define this style of writing. In the present essay, I argue that “a personal or informal essay is an autobiographical genre that addresses a question that results in an epiphany or as particular significance to the author.” I compare and contrast the writing of James Baldwin and Annie Dillard, two essayists who serve as an excellent means of comparison in discussing the personal essay as a genre. Continue reading

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Colon Cancer; Early Detection is the Best Means of Prevention

In this essay, I argue that the recommended age for getting a colonoscopy should be lowered and provide case studies to prove my points. While this is an “argument essay,” my reasons for choosing the topic were personal. My mother died from colon cancer a few months before I wrote this piece and she was a day shy of 52 when the disease took her life. Continue reading

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