Do you have a big essay assignment and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve been struggling with your writing all semester and could use some help. No matter your situation, these expository prompts can give you the guidance you need to write a powerful essay. Each prompt will introduce a different topic, and it will be up to you to develop a good thesis statement and supporting arguments. With these prompts, you’ll be able to improve your writing skills in no time!
15 Expository Writing Prompts
- The importance of learning a second language: Do you think it is important to be bilingual in today’s world, or do you think mastering one language is enough? What are some of the benefits of being fluent in multiple languages, and what might be some potential challenges?
- The value of failure: Is it better to never fail, or is it better to experience failure and learn from your mistakes? How can we learn from our failures and use them as a catalyst for growth rather than letting them hold us back?
- The role of technology in modern society: From social media platforms to smart devices and artificial intelligence, technology has become an increasingly integral part of our everyday lives. How is technology changing the way we live and interact with each other, both positively and negatively?
- Creative expression through art: We all can express ourselves creatively, whether through painting, music, dance, or something else entirely. But what role does creativity play in our lives, both personally and collectively, as a society? And how can we nurture our creative impulses while also inspiring others to do the same?
- Navigating interpersonal relationships: Relationships are complex and often wrought with misunderstandings and hurt feelings. What are some effective strategies for communicating effectively with friends, family members, partners, coworkers, or anyone else in your life? And how can we work towards building more meaningful connections with others that are based on trust and understanding?
- Embracing change: Change can be difficult at times; it forces us out of our comfort zones and into uncharted territory. But in what ways can we embrace change rather than seeing it as a threat? How can we channel our discomfort and fear into productive, creative energy that helps us grow and evolve?
- The importance of time management: Time is precious, and every one of us has only so much of it to spend on any given day. How can we use our time wisely to achieve our goals while at the same time maintaining a healthy balance between work and leisure activities?
- The power of perseverance: We’ve all experienced failure and disappointment, and it can be easy to give up when things get rough. But how can we find the strength to press on despite our failures, and how can we turn our failures into tools for success?
- The art of giving: What would it be if you could give anything to the world? Do you think it’s more fulfilling to give to others, or do you think it’s better to focus on receiving? And what does it mean to give without the expectation of receiving anything in return?
- Exploring new places: We’re often so busy with schoolwork, family, and other responsibilities that we have little time to explore the world around us. And yet, travel can offer new experiences that enrich our lives and expand our minds in exciting and unique ways. Do you think exploring new places and cultures are important, and how can we empower ourselves to do so?
- The meaning of success: What does it mean to be successful? And what does success mean to you personally? Do you think it’s the same for everyone, or does it depend on the individual? Do you think it’s better to be successful in the eyes of others or to be successful in your own eyes?
- The art of writing: Everyone can write. But what is it that makes writing so meaningful and powerful? What are some ways we can harness the power of writing to transform our lives in positive ways?
- Unconditional love: Love is a powerful force capable of transforming lives and relationships in dramatic and significant ways. What might it mean to love unconditionally, and how can we create more love in the world?
- The importance of forgiveness: When we harbor resentments and bitterness towards others, we hold ourselves back from living life to its fullest potential. In what ways can we learn to forgive others and ourselves, and how can we do so without letting go of our boundaries or sense of self?
- The creative process: How do artists and musicians create the things that they do? How do they harness their creativity to create new and meaningful work, and what obstacles might they face along the way?
4 Types of Expository Essays You Can Write
When it comes to writing, there are four main types of essays that you can write. These include expository, persuasive, narrative, and descriptive essays. Here, we’re going to focus on expository essays.
What Is an Expository Essay?
An expository essay is a type of essay that communicates factual information about a topic. Unlike other kinds of essays, such as persuasive or argumentative essays, an expository essay does not attempt to persuade the reader to take a certain position on the topic. Instead, it simply presents the facts about the topic objectively.
How to Write an Expository Essay
There are several steps you can take to write an effective expository essay. First, choose a topic you are interested in and feel comfortable writing about. Once you have your topic, brainstorm a list of ideas or points you want to communicate about that topic. From there, narrow your focus to one main idea or point and develop it further into a thesis statement.
Once you have your thesis statement, start writing your essay by introducing your topic and stating your thesis statement. After that, present the facts about your topic in the body paragraphs of your essay. Be sure to support your claims with evidence from reliable sources. Finally, conclude your essay by bringing everything full circle and restating your thesis statement in light of the evidence you presented.
Types of Expository Essays
Now that we’ve gone over some tips for writing an effective expository essay let’s take a look at some different types of expository essays you might encounter during your academic career.
An analytical essay analyzes a particular subject matter and provides information about it to the reader in detail such that they gain knowledge about that particular subject matter. The analysis is done through observation and study so that this knowledge is communicated clearly in the form of an argument based on findings. To make sure that this argument is effectively communicated, analytical essays follow a specific structure which includes an introduction (with a thesis statement), body paragraphs (each with their mini-thesis statements), and finally, a conclusion paragraph that summarizes the key points of the essay while also reaffirming its central argument or thesis statement.
A process essay communicates detailed instructions on how something is done or works. This type of essay aims not only to provide readers with step-by-step instructions but also to help them understand why these steps are necessary for something to work effectively. To do this effectively, process essays need to follow a specific structure which includes an introduction paragraph (in which the purpose or goal of the process being described is stated), body paragraphs (each describing one step in the process), and finally a conclusion paragraph (which may either reiterate the importance of following these steps or provide additional context for why these steps are being taken).
Comparison/contrast essays compare and contrast two subjects to highlight their similarities and differences. These essays are usually written when two subjects need to be evaluated side-by-side to determine which is better suited for a particular purpose or goal (although sometimes they may just be written for the sake of comparing and contrasting two subjects without any evaluative intent). Like all other types of essays, comparison/contrast essays need to have an introduction paragraph (with a thesis statement), body paragraphs (each addressing one similarity or difference between the two subjects), and finally, a conclusion paragraph that summarizes the key points made throughout the body paragraphs while also reaffirming the central argument or thesis statement.
Cause-and-effect essays explain how one event leads to another event happening (the “cause”) as well as what results from that initial event taking place (“the effect”). These sorts of essays can be written about real-world events and fictional events and are often used in history and science classes when students need to explain how certain events led up to other events taking place (e.g., The Great Depression led to World War II). Like all other types of essays, cause-and-effect essays need an introduction paragraph (with a thesis statement), body paragraphs (each discussing one cause or one effect), and finally, a conclusion paragraph which summarizes all that has been said in the body paragraphs while also reaffirming the central argument or thesis statement.
Detailed Tips on Writing Expository Essays
Step 1: Choose Your Topic
Your teacher will usually assign you a topic for your expository essay, but if they don’t, you get to choose your own! You can write about anything, as long as it is non-fiction. Some ideas for topics include:
- How to change a tire
- What NOT to do at a job interview
- How to make a PB&J sandwich
- The history of your town or city
As long as you can find enough information on your topic, you can write about pretty much anything! Once you have chosen your topic, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Do Some Research
Before you start writing your expository essay, you need to gather some information. You cannot just write about your topic without any backing up information—that would be an opinion piece, not an expository essay! Gather at least three sources of information about your topic. These sources can be books, websites, interviews—anything that will help support the claims you make in your essay. Once you have found some good sources, move on to Step 3.
Tip: When using websites as sources, check the date! Websites are constantly being updated; what was true last year might not be true today. For example, if you are writing about flu symptoms, make sure to use recent statistics from this year so that your essay is up-to-date.
Step 3: Write a Thesis Statement and Outline
After researching your topic and choosing three solid points to support your opinion, it is time to write a thesis statement. A thesis statement is one sentence that sums up the main point of your paper. It comes at the beginning of your paper after your introductory paragraph.
Here is an example of a thesis statement for our PB&J sandwich expository essay: “Despite popular belief, there is a right way and wrong way to make a PB&J sandwich.” After coming up with a solid thesis statement, create an outline for the rest of your paper. An outline looks like this:
I. Introduction paragraph
b. Background information
c. Thesis statement
II. Body Paragraph 1
a. Main point 1
b. Supporting details
III Body Paragraph 2
a. Main point 2
b. Supporting details
IV. Body Paragraph 3
a. Main point 3
b. Supporting details
V. Conclusion paragraph
a. Restate the thesis statement
b. Offer a suggestion
c. Wrap up
Step 4: Write Your First Draft
Get out your notebook or computer and start writing! Remember that expository essays are supposed to be informational. You are trying to inform your reader about a topic, not tell him what to think. So stick to the facts and don’t get too creative with your writing.
Step 5: Revise Your Essay
Once you are done writing your first draft, it is time to revise it. Go back over your thesis statement and outline. Make sure you are still sticking to your main points and thesis statement. Proofread your paper to make sure that all of your grammar is correct. Make any necessary corrections.
Step 6: Ask for Help
If you still have trouble with your essay after revising it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your teacher should be able to give you some pointers or provide you with some good websites with writing advice. Your teacher might even be able to turn in one of your drafts so you don’t have to write the entire thing yourself. Your friends, family, or classmates might also be able to help you out.
The Anatomy of a Good Expository Essay
An expository essay is a type of essay that is used to explain a topic or idea. The word “expose” means to reveal or uncover, so the goal of an expository essay is to offer information about a particular subject matter. When writing an expository essay, it is important to remember that your goal is not to argue a point or give your opinion but rather to provide information about the topic at hand.
There are three main components of a good expository essay:
- A catchy introduction
- Three body paragraphs that support the thesis
- A conclusion that wraps up the entire essay
Let’s break down each of these components in more detail.
The introduction is perhaps one of the most important parts of the essay because it is the first thing the reader will see. A good introduction should grab the reader’s attention and give them an idea of the rest of the essay. It should also introduce the thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument of the essay.
The body paragraphs are where you will develop and support your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should have a specific focus, and all information included should support your thesis somehow. Remember to include evidence from credible sources to back up any claims made in your body paragraphs.
The conclusion should be used to summarize the main points made in the body paragraphs and reiterate the thesis statement. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader, so make sure it is memorable!
Thesis Statements in Explanatory Essays
All essays need a thesis statement, and explanatory essays are no exception. A thesis statement is a single sentence that summarizes your entire argument. It tells your reader what your paper will be about and sets the tone for the rest of your essay.
A good thesis statement for an explanatory essay will do two things: inform your reader of what you’re going to be explaining and state the main point of your explanation.
For example, suppose you were writing an explanatory essay about photosynthesis. In that case, your thesis statement might look like this: “Photosynthesis is a process that occurs in plants in which energy from the sun is used to convert carbon dioxide into food.” As you can see, this thesis statement informs the reader of what will be explained and states the main point of the explanation—in this case, how photosynthesis works.