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Expository Essay Definition and 25 Interesting Essay Topic Ideas

An expository essay is a genre of essays that relays factual information. An expository essay gives and illustrates the information, making it easy for the reader to understand the topic at hand. Expository essays are sometimes confused with argumentative essays. Unlike expository essays, argumentative essays present arguments and attempt to prove the arguments. Expository essays are not concerned with convincing the reader to accept a particular point of view. They are simply concerned about educating the reader about the topic.

Types of expository essays

Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and effect essays explain the causes behind certain phenomena and their resultant effects. In other words, they discuss the events that led to certain results. For example:

  • Discuss the causes and effects of obesity among children
  • Explain the causes and effects of stress

Comparative Essays

Comparative essays discuss the similarities and differences between two phenomena. For example, you can compare and contrast:

  • An associate degree and a bachelor’s degree
  • The English Premier League and the La Liga

Process Essays

These essays take readers through the steps to accomplish a goal akin to a how-to guide. For example:

  • How to write an expository essay
  • How to prevent a heart attack

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays seek to provide a definition of a concept. The writer can write the essay from their perspective, although they will not tell it as they would in narrative writing. Since the main essay’s goal is providing a definition, they are sometimes referred to as definition essays. The definition goes beyond providing a dictionary meaning of the concept. It expands the concept’s meaning and provides an in-depth explanation. Examples of descriptive essay topics are:

  • My most embarrassing moment in school
  • Describe your experience in a haunted house

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Consequences of the American Civil War (Format: APA 7)

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Structure of an Expository Essay

An expository essay follows the five-paragraph format. However, it differs from other essay types because it is highly explanatory. It provides a lot of detail to explain the concept being discussed, provides evidence, and evaluates it. Generally, the structure would look like this:

  • Introduction: Provides the topic’s background information and has a hook and a thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs (at least three) provide the essay’s main points and supporting evidence. Transition words/phrases are effective tools for ensuring a smooth flow and connection between ideas. Use the transitions to link your body paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: Reviews the essay’s main points. It should have a call to action or author’s final thoughts and restates the thesis statement.

How to Get Started with Your Expository Essay

It is important to research your topic and ensure you have sufficient evidence to back up your ideas. This requires you to, first:

  1. Come up with a topic: If your professor has not provided a topic for you to write about, choose a topic that is exciting to your audience. Ensure the topic has readily available evidence, which will enable you to explain and back up your ideas with ease.
  2. Write an outline: This makes it easy for you to organize your essay and minimize mistakes, such as deviating from the essay’s structure. An outline is a great organization tool that will ensure your expository essay is organized. Writing an outline before starting to write the actual essay will also save you time that would otherwise be lost thinking of how to structure your essay.
  3. Introduction: Provide some background information about your essay topic. Remember to have a hook that will make your reader interested and glued. A thesis statement is also important as it sums up the essay’s main idea/standpoint in a few words.
  4. Body paragraphs: This is where you write most of your ideas and their supporting evidence. Research is required to obtain evidence for any claims you make.
  5. Conclusion: The conclusion should briefly capture the expository essay’s essence while restating the thesis statement. Avoid introducing new information at this point. You could pose questions or make a call to action, which will engage your reader further.
  6. Proofread: Mistakes are inevitable; therefore, ensure you check the essay for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and flow. The essay’s content should flow logically and be void of irrelevant information.

Expository Essay Topics

Expository essay topics vary depending on one’s level of studies, such as college, high school, and middle school.

Below are some useful ideas for your expository essays assignment:

College Expository Essay Topics

  1. Are people with autism geniuses?
  2. Discuss the negative effects of social media
  3. Discuss how one can deal with racism in college
  4. Have climate change conservation efforts improved in the last 15 years?
  5. How can we save our planet?
  6. Discuss why students fail exams

High School Expository Essay Topics

  1. Discuss why some people do not keep pets
  2. Are ghosts real?
  3. Discuss why most people prefer reading hard copy and not soft copy books
  4. The disadvantages of eBooks
  5. What causes stress among high school students

Middle School Expository Essay Topics

  1. Describe your favorite hobby
  2. Explain how you made friends when you joined school
  3. Describe your experience with your first teacher
  4. Describe your first teacher
  5. Who is a true friend? Explain

Other Interesting Expository Essay Topics

  1. How to avoid stress
  2. Discuss the consequences of the Civil War
  3. How is social media affecting students’ studies?
  4. Describe your most memorable vacation
  5. Explain how IQ affects a person’s mental capacity
  6. Explain why homework is important
  7. Discuss the causes of drug abuse
  8. Discuss gender inequality in society
  9. Explain why religious tolerance in schools is vital

Tips for Writing a Good Expository Essay

Choose a good topic

A good topic refers to a topic one you are conversant with and can explain in detail. It should also be a topic that interests you since you will be required to research it. Ensure that there are sufficient reliable sources you can use to facilitate your research on the topic.

Conduct thorough research on the topic

Gather sufficient evidence to back up your points. Ensure you use authoritative sources, such as peer-reviewed journals, books, and reliable websites. Always remember to cite any sources you use, using the appropriate citation style.

Write an outline

Draft your main points and key sections of the essay from the introduction to the conclusion. Use the five-paragraph essay format. An outline will ensure that you stick to the essay’s structure without leaving any important sections. An outline will also save you time once you get down to the writing process since all important points will have been written down.

Write the first draft

Now, get down to the actual writing. Stick to your essay outline, although you are at liberty to incorporate new ideas that emerge during the writing process.

Edit your essay

It is important to write your essay as soon as your professor asks you to do so. When you finish writing your essay in time, it allows you time to let it ‘rest.’ After that, you can look at the essay with a fresh pair of eyes. You are likely to overlook so much when you edit your essay immediately after completing the writing process. As you edit it, ensure you eliminate any noticeable biases. Also, ensure the essay has clarity in that the paragraphs are organized and flow seamlessly. Finally, proofread your essay to rid it of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, among others. You can also order’s editing and proofreading services.

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