marizes the thought of the whole and returns to the first sentence.
Prove this statement.
286 Composition and Rhetoric
I. Write an expository paragraph according to
T3rpe I., taking for your subject the causes of the
American Revolution. Of course the number of sen-
tences should not be limited to five as in the model.
The coordinate relation will remain the same no
matter what the number of sentences may be.
II. Write a paragraph upon the benefits derived
from out-of-door sports. Follow the first type as
190. Type II.â Subordination in the Para-
graph. In the type of paragraph represented by
the following quotation each sentence is directly
subordinate to the one immediately preceding, but
only indirectly to the first sentence :
Still, we do not think that the blame of Bums' failure
Kes chiefly with the world. The world, it seems to us,
treated him with more rather than with less kindness
than it usually shows to such men. It has ever, we fear,
shown but small favor to its teachers; hunger and
nakedness, perils and revilings, the prison, the cross, the
poison chalice have, in most times and countries, been
the market price it has offered for Wisdom, the welcome
with which it has greeted those who have come to
enlighten and purify it. Homer and Socrates, and the
Christian apostles, belong to old days ; but the world's
martyrology was not completed with these. Roger
Bacon and Galileo languish in priestly dungeons ; Tasso
pines in the cell of a madhouse, and Camo6ns dies beg-
ging on the streets of Lisbon. So neglected, so " perse-
cuted" they the prophets, not in Judea only, but in all
places where men have been. We reckon that every
poet of Bums' order is, or should be, a prophet and
teacher to his age ; that he has no right to expect great
kindness from it, but rather is bound to do it great kind-
ness; that Burns, in particular, experienced fully the
The Expository Paragraph
usual proportion of the world's goodness ; and that the
blame of his failure, as we have said, lies not chiefly
with the world. âThomas Carlyle, Essay on Burns,
Suggestions â Prove that the first sentence states the funda-
mental idea, the last sentence summarizes, and the others develop
the thought of the first sentence. Point out the minor devices
used in this paragraph.
191. Sentence Relation in Type II. The fol-
lowing is a diagram of the second type of the expos-
itory paragraph :
Explanation of the Diagram
The line marked i stands for the first sentence, which expresses
the leading thought. What is the thought ?
The figure marked 2 stands for the second sentence, which is
subordinate in thought directly to the first. Prove this by showing
what expression in the first sentence is developed by the second.
The figure marked 3 stands for the third sentence, which is sub-
ordinate in thought directly to the second. Show what expression
in the second sentence is developed by the third.
The figure marked 4 stands for the fourth sentence, which is
288 Composition and Rhetoric
directly subordinate in thought to the third. Prove this as before
by indicating the words developed.
The diagram will show that the same kind of relation continues
through sentences 5, 6, and 7. Prove this statement by studying
the paragraph itself.
The figure marked 8 stands for the last sentence, which sum-
marizes the whole and returns to the first sentence.
Write an expository paragraph of the second
type. Choose your own subject and observe the
laws of unity, emphasis, and coherence as applied
to the paragraph.
192. Tjrpe III.â Coordinate and Subordinate
Sentence Relation. The following model is a
mixed type, formed by the combination of the two
principles embodied in the first and second types of
the expository paragraph ; namely, coordination and
People, as a rule, only pay for being amused or being
cheated, not for being served. Five thousand a year to
your talker, and a shilling a day to your fighter, digger,
and thinker, is the rule. None of the best head work in
art, literature, or science, is ever paid for. How much
do you think Homer got for his Iliad, or Dante for his
Paradise? Only bitter bread and salt, and going up
and down other people's stairs. In science, the man
who discovered the telescope and first saw heaven, was
paid with a dimgeon ; the man who invented the micro-
scope and first saw earth, died of starvation, driven from
his home. It is, indeed, very clear that God means all
thoroughly good work and talk to be done for nothing.
â John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild O live.
Suggestions. â Prove that the first sentence in the above quota-
tion states the fundamental idea, the last sentence summarizes,
and the intervening sentences develop the thought of the first.
Find the minor devices used in this extract.
The Expository Paragraph
Z93. Sentence Relation in Type III. The fol-
lowing diagram represents the sentence relation in
the third type of the expository paragraph:
Explanation op the Diagram
The numbers, as in the two preceding diagrams, indicate the
order of the sentences in the paragraph. The first sentence states
the leading thought and the last sentence summarizes as in the
first and second types. Sentences 4 and 6 are in coordinate relation
to each other, both elaborating sentence 3. Sentences 2, 3, 4,
and 5 are in subordinate relation, each developing the thought of
the preceding. Prove that this diagram represents the sentence
relation in the extract quoted by showing what particular thought
or word contained in the first sentence is developed by the second,
and so on.
Caution. â The student should not be led by th^ dia-
gram to think that the fourth and sixth sentences must
always be coordinate and the others always subordinate.
The coordination or subordination may occur anywhere.
Write a paragraph on the following subject :
" The inventor of a useful machine is more likely to
receive his proper reward in his own day than is the
writer of a great poem."
290 Composition and Rhetoric
194. Type IV. â A Single Sentence. The
fourth type of the expository paragraph, consisting
of a single sentence, generally contains an elaborate
simile. Point out the words that introduce the two
members of the simile in the following :
As some fair female unadorned and plain.
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
Slights every borrowed, charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of hfer eyes ;
But when those charms are pass'd, for charms are
When time advances, and when lovers fail.
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land by luxury betrayed :
In nature's simplest charms at first arrayed â
But verging to decline, its splendors rise.
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise.
â Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village,
What are the points of resemblance between the
two objects compared in this paragraph? Why is a
diagram of the sentence relation in this paragraph
unnecessary? Write an expository paragraph be-
longing to the fourth type.
195. Examples of Paragraph-types I.-IV. for
Classification. The sentence relation in each of
the following extracts should be studied by making
diagrams similar to those in sections 189, 191, and
193, and thus determining to which type each
Sometimes in history, just as in nature, we are puz-
zled to find an effect for which we can see no adequate
cause. One walks over green hills or across sunny fields
The Expository Paragraph 291
and comes suddenly upon a marked depression in the
earth ; the ground slopes abruptly downward, then
stretches flat and level as a floor ; com grows here as
nowhere else; it is the richest and best soil that a
farmer can find. It means, of course, that a body of
water once stretched across the blossoming expanse.
The effect is obvious, but who can give any exact details
of the cause; of the river or the lake that made the land
what it is ? Who knows anything of its course, of its
calms and storms, of the people who lived beside it,
paddling about in strange little boats, or living a half-
amphibious life in its shining waters ? Who can tell the
details of its slow subsidence ? The cause of the deep
hollow among the hills or in the plain has vanished
like a mist in the sun ; but its effect is as permanent as
the world. History has hundreds of lasting effects
whose causes we guess at, and wonder about, and
believe in entirely without knowledge.
â Margaret Deland, Studies of Great Women,
How comes it to pass that a captain will die with his
passengers, and lean over the gunwale to give the part-
ing boat its course ; but that a king will not usually die
with, much less for^ his passengers, â thinks it rather
incumbent on his passengers, in any number, to die for
him ? , . . , The sea captain, not captain by divine
right, but only by company's appointment ; â not a man
of royal descent, but only a plebeian who can steer ; â
not with the eyes of the world upon him, but with feeble
chance, depending on one poor boat, of his name being
ever heard above the wash of the fatal waves;â not
with the cause of a nation resting on his act, but help-
less to save so much as a child from among the lost
crowd with whom he resolves to be lost, â yet goes down
quietly to his grave, rather than break his faith to these
few emigrants. But your captain by divine right, â
your captain with the hues of a hundred shields of kings
upon his breast, â your captain whose every deed, brave
or base, will be illuminated or branded forever before
unescapable eyes of men, â your captain whose every
thought and act are beneficent, or fatal, from sunrising
292 Composition and Rhetoric
to setting, blessing as the sunshine, or shadowing as the
night, â this captain, as you find him in history, for the
most part thinks only how he may tax his passengers,
and sit at most ease in his state cabin !
â John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild Olive,
There is one very sad thing in old friendships, to
every mind that is really moving onward. It is this :
that one cannot help using his early friends as the sea-
man uses a log, to mark his progress. Every now and
then we throw an old schoolmate over the stem with a
string of thought tied to him, and look, â I am afraid
with a kind of luxurious and sanctimonious comparison,
â to see the rate at which the string reels off, while he
lies there bobbing up and down, poor fellow ! and we
are dashing along with the white foam and bright
sparkle at our bows; â the ruffled bosom of prosperity
and progress, with a sprig of diamonds stuck in it ! But
this is only the sentimental side of the matter; for
grow we must, if we outgrow all that we love.
â Oliver Wendell Holmes.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.
Scarce any man has the means of knowing a twen-
tieth part of the laws he is bound by. Both sorts of
law are kept most happily and carefully from the knowl-
edge of the people : statute law by its shape and bulk ;
common law by its very essence. It is the judges (as we
have seen) that make the common law. Do you know
how they make it ? Just as a man makes laws for his
dog. When your dog does anything you want to break
him of, you wait till he does it, and then beat him for
it. This is the way you make laws for your dogÂ»: and
this is the way the judges make laws for you and me.
They won't tell a man beforehand what it is he should
not do â they won't so much as allow of his being told :
they lie by till he has done something which they say
he should not have done, and then they hang him for
it. What way, then, has any man of coming at this
dog-law? Only by watching their proceedings: by
The Expository Paragraph 293
observing in what cases they have hanged a man, in
what cases they have sent him to jail, in what cases
they have seized his goods, and so forth. These pro-
ceedings they won't publish themselves, and if anybody
else publishes them, it is what they call a contempt of
court, and a man may be sent to jail for it.
â Jeremy Bentham, Works, Vol, V,
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact :
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold.
That is, the madman : The lover, all as frantic.
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt :
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling.
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination.
â William Shakspere,
A Midsummer Nighfs Dream, Act V., Sc. /.
Suggestions. â Find in the first of the preceding examples of
the expository paragraph a rhetorical question ; in the second, an
antithesis and a simile ; in the third, an analogy and an effective
use of concrete words ; in the fourth, an analogy, and the use of
question and answer ; in the fifth, a series of comparisons.
Directions for Securing Coherence
1. The relation of sentences in a paragraph should be
2. Test the coherence (that is, the sentence relation)
of paragraphs you write or study by making diagrams
which show sentence relation.
3. Strike out in your composition any sentence which
does not find a place in such a diagram.
4. Classify the paragraphs you write as belonging to
Paragraph-types /., //., ///., or IV.
294 Composition and Rhetoric
196. Summary. We have now learned that ex-
position has four motives, that is, classes of ideas,
which it explains. These are the abstract idea, the
class name, the general reflection, and the general
method or process. We have also been told that
the material which is used in setting forth the
meaning of these motives is of six kinds : definition,
repetition, exemplification, analogy, classification,
and narration generalized. The expository para-
graph has been shown to be of four types, with sen-
tences in coordinate, subordinate, or mixed relation.
The two problems of material and structure,
which have thus far been studied separately, may
now be considered together.
197. The Two Ways of Organizing Expository
Material. The various kinds of material discussed
in section 182 may be organized into paragraphs in
two ways. One is the use of material all of one
kind, as, for instance, several repetitions of the
same idea ; the other, the use of material of differ-
ent kinds. A single paragraph organized accord-
ing to the second of these methods may contain a
definition of some term, an example, an analogy,
a repetition of some thought in other terms, â all
different varieties of expository material.
When paragraphs are studied for material and
not for structure they fall into either of these two
classes; that is, the material used is homogeneous
(of the same kind) or heterogeneous (of different
kinds). In writing a paragraph in exposition the
first question is that of material, the nature of which
determines the type of structure to be used.
The Expository Paragraph 295
198. The Use of Series in Type I. While both
of the methods mentioned in the preceding section
occur in paragraphs belonging to Type I., the use
of material of one kind is the more common. We
may thus have a paragraph made up of a series,
either of causes or eflFects, or definitions, and so
forth. Sections 199-208 treat of the different kinds
of series that the first type of the expository para-
graph may employ.
199. A Series of Instances or Examples. The
following paragraph belongs to the first type and is
made up of a series of instances or examples. Many
examples of this type may be found in literature.
Do you know that in the gradual passage from
maturity to helplessness the harshest characters some-
times have a period in which they are gentle and placid
as children? I have heard it said, but I cannot be
sponsor for its truth, that the famous chieftain, Lochiel,
was rocked in a cradle like a baby, in his old age. An
old man, whose studies had been of the severest scho-
lastic kind, used to love to hear little nursery-stories
read over and over to him. One who saw the Duke
of Wellington in his last years describes him as very
gentle in his aspect and demeanor. I remember a per-
son of singularly stern and lofty bearing who became
remarkably gracious and easy in all his ways in the
^ * â Oliver Wendell Holmes,
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,
I. How many examples are here given ? Make a
diagram of this paragraph showing sentence rela-
II. Write an expository paragraph of the first
type, using as material a series of instances.
296 Composition and Rhetoric
200. A Series of Repetitions. The following
quotation is an example of Type I., in which the
leading thought is restated in a number of ways :
The habit of too constant intercourse with spirits
above you, instead of raising you, keeps you down.
Too frequent doses of original thinking from others
restrain what lesser portion of that facultjr you may
possess of your own. You get entangled in another
man's mind, even as you lose yourself in another man's
grounds. You are walking with a tall varlet, whose
strides outpace yours to lassitude. The constant opera-
tion of such potent agency would reduce me, I am
convinced, to imbecility.
â Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia,
I. What is the thought repeated? How many
times is it repeated ? Make a diagram of this para-
graph showing sentence relation.
II. Write a paragraph following the above
model. Choose your own subject, and obey the
laws of unity and emphasis. Prove by a diagram
that the paragraph you write belongs to Type I.
201. A Series of Analogies. One of the strong-
est methods of developing a thought into an expos-
itory paragraph is by the use of a series of analogies
organized according to the coordinate type. The
following is an example :
All lecturers, all professors, all schoolmasters, have
ruts and grooves in their minds into which their con-
versation is perpetually sliding. Did you never, in
riding through the woods of a still June evening, sud-
denly feel that you had passed into a warm stratum of
air, and in a minute or two strike the chill layer of
atmosphere beyond? Did you never, in cleaving the
green waters of the Back Bay .... find yourself
The Expository Paragraph 297
in a tepid streak, a narrow, local gulf -stream, ....
through which your glistening shoulders soon flashed,
to bring you back to the cold realities of full-sea tem-
perature? Just so, in talking with any of the charac-
ters above referred to, one not unfrequently finds a
sudden change in the style of the conversation.
â Oliver Wendell Holmes,
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,
I. How many analogies are used in this quota-
tion ? Make a diagram of this paragraph showing
sentence relation. Find examples of parallel con-
struction in the above quotation.
II. Write an expository paragraph according to
Type I., composed of a series of analogies. Choose
your own subject, and observe the laws of para-
202. A Series of Definitions. We define a term
by giving first the class to which it belongs ; " Man
is an animaV (here the word animal is the class
name) ; and, secondly, by giving the essential attri-
bute which distinguishes the term defined from
others of the class, "Man is a reasoning animal.*'
The class name used in the definition is called the
genus. The attributes are called the differentia, A
definition may be represented by the following dia-
Here line i represents the term to be defined.
Line 2 represents the genus.
The figure marked 3 represents the attributes or differentia.
298 Composition and Rhetoric
We may have a paragraph formed by the enu-
meration of the different genera to which an object
or idea belongs, or by the enumeration of a number
of attributes or differentia, or by the use of a series
of complete definitions.
A, K Series of Differentia.
The proposition is peace. Not peace through the
medium of war ; not peace to be hunted through the
labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not
peace to arise out of universal discord ; . . . . not peace
to depend on the juridical determination of perplexing
questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boun-
daries of a complex government. It is simple peace,
sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts.
It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, and laid in prin-
ciples purely pacific.
â Edmund Burke, Conciliation with America,
I. We have in the last quotation both direct
definition and negative or obverse definition. Find
in it examples of each. How many differentia are
here given for the word peace? Does this quota-
tion contain parallel construction ? Make a diagram
showing the sentence relation in this quotation.
II. Write a paragraph consisting of a series of
differentia. Choose your own subject, and follow
the laws of unity and emphasis. (See Â§ 186.)
B, A Series of Complete Definitions.
Filial piety ! It is the primal bond of society ; it is
that instructive principle which, panting for its proper
good, soothes, unbidden, each sense and sensibility of
man ! It is an emanation of that gratitude which,
softening under the sense of recollected good, is eager
to own the vast countless debt it ne'er, alas ! can pay for
so many long years of unceasing solicitude, honorable
The Expository Paragraph 299
self-denial, life-preserving cares ! It is that part of our
practice where duty drops its awe ; where reverence
refines into love ! It is the sacrament of our nature ! â
not only the duty, but the indulgence of man â it is his
first great privilege â it is among his last, most endear-
^ ^ ' â Richard Brinsley Sheridan,
Speech against Warren Hastings in Westminster Hall,
I. How many times is piety defined in this para-
graph? Make a diagram of this paragraph showing
sentence relation. How many instances of parallel
construction does this quotation contain ?
II. Write an expository paragraph, using a
series of complete definitions. Choose your own
subject and obey the laws of paragraph structure.
III. Develop the following sentence into a para-
graph by the method of a series of complete defini-
"The dandelion has a many-flowered head with
achenes oblong-ovate to fusiform, the apex prolonged
into a very slender beak, bearing the copious soft and
white capillary pappus."
The above sentence can be amplified by defining
in the second sentence the word achenes; in the
third, oblong-ovate ; in the fourth, fusiform ; in the
fifth, capillary ; in the sixth, pappus.
203. A Series of Reasons. The quotation which
follows belongs to the first type and develops the
leading thought by means of a series of reasons
why the fact stated is true :
There are several obvious reasons why the English
should be better or more habitual walkers than we are.
Taken the year round, their climate is much more favor-
able to exercise in the open air. Their roads are better,
300 Composition and Rhetoric
harder, and smoother, and there is a place for the man
and a place for the horse. There country houses and
churches and villages are not strung upon the highway
as they are with us, but are nestled here and there with
reference to other things than convenience in " getting
out." Hence the grassy lanes and paths through the
fields. Distances are not so great in that country; the
population occupies less space. Again, the land has
been longer occupied, and is more thoroughly subdued ;
it is easier to get about the fields ; life has flowed in the
same channels for centuries.
â John Burroughs, Pepacton,
I. How many reasons are here given ? Make a