A Little about Expos

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        Those who wish to leave the red-bricked walls of Harvard with a diploma in hand must take heed of the requirements they must fulfill in order to graduate, beginning with the expository writing requirement, also known as Expos.

         Expos is generally completed either first or second semester of your freshman year, and is fulfillable by completing any course from the list of available Expos Courses that much resembles the cheesecake factory dessert list. Be advised though, your choice may result in something less desirable than a tasty slice o’ cheesecake.

         Thus, the hard part begins, weeks before you step foot in class: the myriad of courses, ranging from Shakespeare to art to pop science to science, comparable to a field of both hidden gems and explosives, often makes it difficult to decide...which one should you take?

          Every person will decide differently. Perhaps they will choose a topic that is kindred and familiar, or perhaps they’ll opt for one that is way out of their comfort zone. When it comes to content choice, it’s each to their own, and there is really no good advice for the general public.

          However, there are other points to take note of before it comes time to choose.

          Expos is not exactly a lecture or seminar on the topic of interest, but more a seminar on how to write on that topic of interest. Its name, after all, is Expository Writing.

         Say, for instance, your Expos is called: HerCampus, and Other Awesome on Campus organizations. (Unfortunately, this Expos does not exist.) You won’t be doing very much research and investigating and commenting on the actual subject, but you will be learning how to analyze the writing (and criticism) and using that vicarious information to create a commentary on the subject at hand in hopefully a succinct manner. Clearly, from the labyrinth of words that I have provided for you, I have not taken the lessons of Expos to heart. Perhaps an example will be much more elucidating.

          In the aforementioned Expos, an excerpt from a paper of yours may look like this:

          In Blah blah blah, XXX applauds HerCampus for attempting to encapsulate Expos, but in doing so, ultimately reveals the futility in trying to do so. She calls the attempt “valiant yet in vain,” seemingly ending on a sour note, but in truth goes on to reveal the importance of giving advice to future students about Expos.

         It will generally not look like this:

         HerCampus Harvard is an online platform for Harvard students of all gender identities and orientations, and is dedicated to bringing a more fun and exciting college and/or graduate school experience to all those who are want one. Originally dedicated to “collegiettes,” or specifically college women, HerCampus Harvard has evolved to accommodate any and all who wish to write, plan, or have fun.

        You may not be focusing entirely on the topic of the course, and many who take classes on rocket science or interplanetary dust might find themselves disappointed due to the lack of quantum mechanics and extraterrestrial calculus. Topics regarding brains and engineering might be more exciting to take as a science course than as an expository writing one--these are things to keep in mind when you are choosing your courses.

        If the menu of Expos Courses doesn't quite suit your liberal arts appetite, you can always opt for its flavorful, canonical cousin, HUM10. Not all who wander are lost, and not all who apply will get in, and not all those who get in know what’s ahead. While academically intense, HUM10 is definitely rewarding, and the TFs are rumored to be amazing. Regardless of which one you choose, you will learn, and at the end of the day, if you feel that you chose incorrectly, you can always concoct an Expos or HUM10 horror story to tell to friends and all of posterity.

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