A substantial selection of classic essays allows readers to trace the history of the essay from Swift to Woolf and Orwell and beyond. A selection of the finest of contemporary essays—from Witold Rybcynski to David Sedaris and Elizabeth Kolbert—provides a broad sample of the genre in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The academic essays begin with classic selections from such writers as Darwin and Charles Lyell, but the emphasis is on recent decades. Emphasized as well are academic papers or essays that have been especially influential or controversial, from Luis and Walter Alvarez’s suggestion that an asteroid caused the extinction of the dinosaurs to Judith Rich Harris’s argument that the influence of peers may be at least as influential in the formation of personality as that of parents.
Works of different lengths, levels of difficulty and subject matter are all represented, as are narrative, descriptive and persuasive essays. Also included in the text is a range of questions and suggestions for discussion. The text selections are numbered by paragraph for ready reference.
Added to the second edition are new selections by Malcolm Gladwell, Doris Lessing, Eric Schlosser, Binyavanga Wainaina, and over twenty others. This new edition also provides pairings of informal and academic articles that address the same topic, allowing readers to consider contrasting approaches.
“The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose is an excellent resource. Not only does the text contain an array of stimulating literary works and thought-provoking persuasive pieces, but it also includes useful questions that lead to true discussions, rather than simple answers. My students’ responses to the readings have sparked meaningful and productive conversations about culture, education, and our ways of viewing the world. To my delight, at the end of a typical meeting we are left with even more questions than when we began. This text fosters students’ growth as inquisitive, critical readers and opens the doorway to future academic work.” — Alixandra V. Krzemien, Canisius College
“What a wonderful and insightful collection of essays. My writing courses improved by leaps and bounds when I adopted the first edition. … [W]ith a diverse and engaging range of essays, The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose challenges writers to read beyond the purview of their experience and knowledge so that their writing can consider and cross more horizons. This collection invites students into serious academic discourse via groundbreaking essays by prominent and influential voices from within and without academia; the second edition will prepare writers to understand how any topic or discipline cultivates networks of dialogue across popular, lyrical, scholarly, experimental, and theoretical styles. Don’t be surprised when students read more than the assigned material from The Broadview Anthology, as was the case when I adopted the first edition for my courses; the accessible organization and appeal of this book make it a useful resource for ongoing learning and research.” — Beth Staley, West Virginia University
“The editors of The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose have managed to make significant improvements to what was already an above-average prose anthology. One of the things I appreciated about the first edition was the diversity of authors, topics, perspectives, and styles; the second edition introduces a wider range of contemporary voices through the addition of twenty new essays … from writers ranging from Barack Obama to Jonah Lehrer to David Sedaris. A particular strength of the new edition is the inclusion of paired articles (two articles on the same topic but directed toward different audiences), which provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of audience, voice, and purpose in writing.” — Lisa Salem-Wiseman, Humber College
“[A]ccessible to first and second-year university students, [the essays in this volume are] relevant as prompts for writing and discussion, and lend themselves to rhetorical analysis. Welcome additions to the second edition include selections from a broader range of academic disciplines (including works on engineering and neuroscience topics) and paired essays providing divergent perspectives on the same topic. While updating content to reflect current issues (Barack Obama’s 2008 speech on race relations “A More Perfect Union” has now made its way into the anthology, along with Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderfully satirical “How to Write about Africa”), Broadview has retained excerpts from classic texts such as Milgram’s Behavioral Study of Obedience and Darwin’s On The Origin of Species.” — Suzanne James, University of British Columbia
“I’m happy to see that the new edition of The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose has included a selection of newer articles that, on top of the articles maintained from the older edition, will work well in a course on critical reading and writing. Articles such as Binyavanga Wainaina’s “How to Write about Africa” and Malcolm Gladwell’s “None of the Above: What I.Q. Doesn’t Tell You About Race” provide material that is both current and controversial, making it perfect for class discussions focused on the critical expression of relevant issues. The [editors offer] insightful questions at the end of each article and have chosen readings carefully—[this is an anthology] … that can be used beneficially in class discussion and as the basis for written assignments.” — Louise Nichols, Université de Moncton
“Broadview has surpassed itself. This eclectic anthology represents the essay as a supple form of expression, and its subject as all that pertains to the human condition. Invaluable for the classroom, this collection will also challenge, amuse, provoke, and console the general reader.” — Susanna Egan, University of British Columbia
“The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose is one of the best essay anthologies I have seen. The remarkable diversity of the essays covers an impressive range of authors, styles, topics, and viewpoints. Included are essays from the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences; scholarly essays, literary essays, and popular essays; traditional essays and contemporary ones; short essays and long ones; essays in a wide range of tones and of voices, by men and women from a wide range of backgrounds. An added bonus is the historical range of prose styles from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. The quality of the essays also deserves high praise; again and again these readings demonstrate how the most common questions may provoke uncommon insights. Many selections have a sharp edge but they challenge a reader’s mindset without being confrontational. The topics make one take notice; the essays then lead the reader through the complexities of analysis. This anthology of significant, incisive, diverse essays should make a significant contribution to the recognition of the essay as a vitally important genre—and of essay writing as a vitally important literary and argumentative art.” — Paul D. Farkas, Metropolitan State College