The number of academic writing genres is so expanding, that students always confuse the features of each of the styles. In college, teachers practice to assign them different types of an essay to train their writing skills. But they continue to confuse such elementary things as "narrative" and "expository" essay. However, the difference between these essay types is visible and clear. To uncover it, we want to you to take look at definitions of key words that reveal the purpose of these two variants of writing assignments.
What is the difference between words "tell" and "explain"?
"Tell" means to provide some information about certain subject or issue. "Explain" is to express the information on the topic in order to make it more understandable to the reader. So, in a narrative essay the writer tells a story, while in the expository essay the writer explains or describes the issue, provides guidelines to some process.
What to write in your expository essay?
The aim of the expository essay is to expand the information on the topic in a logical manner. The writer must support his ideas with relevant evidence. With its content and structure, an expository essay must resemble manuals, descriptions, and instructions. All these types of writing provide sufficient information on the topic in easy to understand the logical order. To be more precise, before you select a topic, it is important to decide what expository essay variation you would like write. There are such types of it:
- Expository definition essay. Take a concept of the phenomenon and discuss the denotation and connotation of it.
- Expository process essay. Write the guidelines about the mechanics of making some particular process. Your goal is to instruct the reader.
- Expository classification essay. Here the aim of the write is to categorize the broad concept into smaller groups according to their function.
- Expository compare and contrast essay. The aim of any expository writing is to reveal the features of notions indicated in the topic. One of the most useful ways to detect these features is to compare and contrast them.
- Expository cause and effect essay. In this case, two objects must be indicated in the topic and the writer must explain how one object affect the other.
What is the key feature of expository essay topics?
As the main aim of the expository essay is to explain a topic in a logical manner, the topics must contain signal words that illustrate this action. Good expository essay topics usually strat with words "Describe", "Explain", "Define". They show the writer the aim of the text he is going to write. The direction of this writing and idea creation is determined by the signal word stated in the topic. It is important to keep to the denotation of this word. For example, if it is written “to define” in the expository essay topic, you must provide a substantial definition of the object, but not reflects the effects of it on another object.
When should I make up a topic for an expository essay?
Students usually come up with expository essay topic on the prewriting phase of essay writing. Sometimes teachers offer the topic, but most often students use their own creative skills to define about what they will write. So, a topic of the essay determines the further actions of the writer. You cannot start writing an essay without a sharp clue about what to write. When you have a well-formulated topic, it is a half success of your final writing. During the selection of the topic take into account such criteria:
- the topic must be interesting for you to write and interesting for the audience to read;
- the topic must force the writer to conduct a research to present a content of correspondent quality;
- the topic must correspond to your academic level. Topics for high school students differs in the complexity with topics for college students. Mind it
- expository essay topic must be relevant to the subject on what you were assigned to write. For example, if your subject is “law studies” it is an unsuccessful idea to write about reasons of children obesity in high school.
- you must be able to find and show worthy evidence and examples on the topic. Without it, your topic cannot be fully covered and the writing will be poor.
Expository essay writing prompts: 50 best ideas
Teachers of many subjects can assign expository essay writing. That is why even if you know some prompts and a basic concept of this kind of writing it is still difficult to make up a worthy topic for the essay on a particular subject. So, we divided the most efficient topic ideas into groups according to the most popular subjects. Select the one you liek to write a perfect expository essay!
1. Personal experiences
Describing situations from your personal experience is the easiest way to make up a topic for your expository essay. It is a chance for a student to express his feeling about the certain issue or give an explanation of some phenomenon based on his experiences. This expository essay theme is a good source for your academic writing ideas because you can get much evidence with fewer efforts.
- Describe your first day at school.
- Explain how growing up with (or without) a sibling influenced on your personality.
- Describe what is it like to live with a pet.
- Explain how studying apart from parents raised your courage.
- Define the meaning of true friendship to you.
- Describe the hobby you enjoy doing and how someone could go about learning this hobby.
- Describe your favorite vacation place. Give reasons as to why you enjoy spending time there.
- Describe your first work experience and what skills and knowledge you gained during it.
- Explain how your favorite teacher affected your professional development.
- Explain how music influences your life.
The most frequent task at literature lessons is to create an essay on the topic concerning the literary work students currently study. Usually, all students differ in the aspects they pay attention during reading and analyzing of the book or a poem. Someone pays attention to characters, other treat seriously the general idea of the creation. To write an expository essay concerning topic from literature you must define what aspects you are interested in analyzing books the most.
- Define what writing style features are innate to the author of your favorite book.
- Compare the motives of protagonist and antagonist from the novel.
- Define the historical background of the main idea of the novel.
- Explain how modernism movement had been developing.
- Define the key signs of detective genre in the story.
- Explain the significance of the literary work for future generations.
- Describe the way how the author expressed social issues in the book.
- Define the significance of the author for the cultural heritage of a certain nation.
- Define who influenced the writing style of the author.
- Describe psychological subtext of the novel.
History is a subject that is compulsory for students of at nearly every major. Because the awareness of basic historical events is a must for educated person. To make an expository essay topic on this subject bear in mind that history studies the development of countries, its significant inventions, and outstanding personalities.
- Explain the consequences of the World War II for the United States.
- Explain the significance of technical progress in the history of the United States
- Explain the effect of newspaper invention.
- Describe the period of Great Depression in the United States.
- Describe the key aspects of John's Kennedy political activity.
- Define who is responsible for mass terrors in XXth century.
- Define current dangers of military activity in the Eastern Asia.
- Define the precursors of Civil War in The United States.
- Explain the significance of negotiations during military operations.
- Explain why some countries tend to implement Communism.
4. Social issues
Social topics is a win-win if you want to present the audience impressive and actual material. You only have to dig into current social problems of your local community and get the basis for topics from there. The source of social problems is hard to exhaust because new problems intensively appear in the society.
- Describe the reasons for rising teenage pregnancy rate.
- Explain social precursors of drug addiction.
- Describe three things you would like to change in your society and explain why you would change them.
- Define possible consequences of brothers and sisters constantly fighting
- Define current harmful hobbies for teenagers.
- Explain the social significance of wearing a uniform at school.
- Explain the possible consequences of dropping out of college.
- Describe the changes in communication in the last 20 years since the internet emerged.
- Explain why the tolerance in a workplace is crucial.
- Define the causes and effects of not voting in the elections.
5. Science and Technology
The advancement of technology is rapidly growing nowadays. Every day you can learn some new facts about science developments. So, if you want to have nontrivial expository essay topic that requires thorough research, choose something that refers to a technological area of study. Even if you are a Liberal Arts student, there are plenty interesting issues to dwell upon in terms of this theme.
- Explain why people should continue space exploration?
- Define the latest developments in human brain study.
- Explain how to cure of cold fast and on a low budget.
- Describe the significance of studies about black holes.
- Explain the current reasons of environment pollution.
- Define the most popular alternative sources of energy.
- Define the latest developments in searches for cure of cancer.
- Explain how basic knowledge of IT is essential nowadays.
- Explain the reasons people must use solar energy.
- Describe the long-term effects of global warming.