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FUCHS: Reasons to appreciate Expository Writing

Column: Questioning Jules

Expository Writing may be a headache for Rutgers students but it is a necessary one.  – Photo by

One of the biggest grievances I hear from other peers and first-years is about that one class everyone has to take, but everyone has a problem with. Expository Writing is a very emotionally charged topic and causes a lot of stress to students. Love it or hate it, it is extremely important to take this class and experience this style of writing. I am going to be the voice for Expository Writing and other required classes similar to it. 

Writing is an essential part of succeeding in college and in your later career. A lot of students may think if they are science or math majors that writing will not be important for them, and that it is a waste of time for them to take these classes. That said, think about how much we write just for communication.

You need writing to communicate with professors and other people who hold higher authority than you. Writing is also required for creating a resume, CV, answering application questions, lab reports or even scholarly articles. 

Expository Writing may seem like a pointless class that is a pain to take, but the formula of writing you learn is one that will become important for all other sorts of professional scholarly writing. There are many different types of professional style writing which come out in all different formats. The techniques taught in Expository Writing are the basis to professional writing and will guide you in any other field of professional writing. 

I, myself, was late to the Expository Writing party and took the class as a junior. I went in thinking that it would be an easy class I could float through since I already had a lot of basic writing skills and excelled in my writing based classes. I ended up doing well in the class, but still struggled as I began to learn the overall strengths and weaknesses of my writing.

I would argue that this course helped me to learn a lot of ways to be a better writer and helped me to be more critical with my own work. Since finishing Expository Writing, I have done even better in my writing based classes and have felt more confident in my abilities to be self-critical. 

A lot of people find that classes that do not relate directly to their major are annoying to take and may think it is a waste of time and money. The truth is, it is important for people to be well rounded and have a variety of skills. Writing is one that is essential that is often prevalent in humanities courses and English classes. Both styles of writing, similar but different, are equally important and helpful. 

It is easy to become frustrated with Expository Writing due to how specific and non-creative the style can be. Nonetheless, the point is to teach basic writing skills and techniques which will later on allow the writer to be more creative in their writing. Academic papers require a lot of creativity and analytical skills. This comes later on in the process of writing and in a more specific subject based setting. 

Historic or analytical based writing helps students to understand how to ask questions and which questions to ask when approaching a topic. A lot of these styles of assignments help people to become better critical thinkers and are more focused on this skill rather than the prose of writing itself.

Expository essays give you an introduction to analysis and synthesis which are essential skills in any type of academic writing. Once you understand how to connect analytical ideas and evidence from different sources you can begin to use more creative elements. 

In the end, these types of writing classes only aim to help students. It can be frustrating to have to use schedule space for these classes that you may not want to take. There is a very good reason these classes are necessary — to help make people more well rounded and to help you learn how to write. Every class you take, in the end has some sort of lesson you can apply to another area of your life. 

Julia Fuchs is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history and anthropology and minoring in French and archaeology. Her column, "Questioning Jules," runs on alternate Wednesdays.

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