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Expository Essay Prompts and Tips

Updated: Jul 11, 2016
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In an Expository Essay, the student-writer seeks to explain something to their reader, a specific topic, like poverty, through providing factual information in a well-planned, cohesive manner. One essay of this sort might include the telling of one’s favorite place to travel and why, an exciting book to read, their favorite subject in school, etc. Other topics may consist of the writer trying to inform the reader about Communism, SEO, Daoism, etc. – as long as the essay is appropriate to the course in which the assignment was given.


Writing the Expository Essay does not necessarily call for an argument to be made, nor does the writer have to prove anything. Their job is to simply convey an idea, perhaps even just an experience, to their reader.

Expository Essay Tips


Include a Thesis – which serves as the focus of the essay. Generally, the essay’s introduction paragraph contains a Thesis Statement, which articulates what the essay is essentially about. See “Expository Essay Prompts” below for a list of ideas for an Expository Essay.


Choose an interesting topic, one that the student-writer understands and finds appealing. Or else the writing process will be that much more tedious. The student-writer has to understand their topic quite well and present what they know and discover (often through conducting and incorporating research) to the reader in a clear, logical and convincing way.


Do the research and know the topic well. Once the student-writer has done ample research on the topic, understands its relevant issues, they can write about it at length with ease. But life is too short to spend its libraries - you can ask for help here and our professionals will conduct the research for you. 


Make an outline instead of just “winging it.” To help guide the student-writer through the writing process, the outline is a must-have part of writing any essay.


Use sources. They add credibility to any essay. Use them to demonstrate an argument, and use them to emphasize certain notions, and to defend certain assumptions and speculations.


Cite used sources. This helps the student-writer to avoid plagiarism when incorporating other sources, in whatever form, into their essay.


Keep tenses consistent. Use present tense (writes), use past tense (wrote), but don’t use both in the same essay.


Keep point of view consistent. Some essays, such as an Expository Essay on the student writers favorite book, for example, should be written in the first-person point of view – My favorite book. Other essays, such as one explaining the history of Greece, would be written in third-person point of view, Their country’s history, which never includes “my,” “I,” or “your.”


Write the first draft, then proofread and make corrections. Quite often the student-writer finds mistakes in their essay’s first draft, which is why rereading it for errors is crucial. When finding these mistakes, the student-writer should make corrections so the final version of the essay is error-free.


Proofread one final time before turning it in for a grade. Make sure the essay is as perfect as it can possibly be. The more perfect, the higher the grade.




See also:


     Expository Essay Topics

     Expository Essay Outline

     Expository Essay Sample



Expository Essay Prompts


A student writing an Expository Essay may choose to write about:


• One goal they would like to accomplish and give specific reasons why. They can give enough details so that their professor will understand their ideas


• Their thoughts on a certain part of history and what life was like for those living during that period


• A review or take on a favorite book, film, piece of art, etc.


• How ill health affects a nation’s economy


• The causes and effects of World War II


• The long-term effects of global warming


• Their favorite retail business, describing the history of that particular business, what it produces, sells, etc., how it profits


• The evolution of communication in the last 20 years since the advent of the Internet


• Their favorite poem, play, short story, novel


• A serious health concern that isn’t getting enough attention, describing the problem in details with appropriate, relevant research


• The importance of diversity in the workplace


• The implications of low voter turnout during certain elections


• How to conduct oneself on interviews


• Their hometown, its history, social aspects, etc.


• A celebrity’s life, including relevant biographical information


• The traditions surrounding their favorite holiday


• The life of a close family member


• The government of a foreign country


• How to interview someone


• Differing styles of music


• The cuisine native to their culture


• How something works


• How to do something, like change oil in a car or sew clothes


• A certain place, describing it in detail for the reader


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