So you’re back here again, reading this blog post when you should actually be focusing on that expository essay homework that’s been lying on your desk for a couple of days now. The paper has gathered dust, and the places where you had written the word ‘topics’ and then listed a few of them have all been scratched out, presenting a motley of grayish dirt and bright blue ink. Right about now, you’re so uninspired that you’re actually up late into the night in the quest of that one topic that you can see and go “Eureka!” as if you’re the next Archimedes.
So, you want one topic, eh? A topic you could think of as the ‘The One.’ That topic that could be labeled as ‘It,’ which haunts and eludes Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise in the legendary novel On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Well, we’ve got what you can safely term ‘a pleasant surprise’ for you. How about we give you 27 such essay topics that will not only pique your interest but even those who’ll be mercilessly and ruthlessly grading your essay? With one of these topics becoming the foundation rock of your essay, you’ll find yourself in a position where you just can’t wait to get started on the essay writing process.
1. Your school has a memorial. Describe in detail the history of that memorial as well the event or person that this structure commemorates.
Didn’t strike you that your school grounds could be a starting point for an outstanding expository essay topic? A topic like this is bound to grab the attention of your teachers. Who knows, even they may not know about the history of the memorial. Your research on this aspect is going to involve a little bit of groundwork so be prepared. To make this essay more exciting, you might consider adding in some folklore concerning the event or person it was built to honor.
2. Is there a link between the standard of education one receives and wealth? Explain your standpoint.
A rather controversial topic to pick but also one that can give you ample opportunity to display your analytical skills. Start by quoting studies and researches that have been carried out in this regard. In fact, this essay should be statistic-rich so ensure that you do your research really well and that the data you present doesn’t contradict with the stance you’ve chosen to take on this topic.
3. Why do teens wear makeup? Present your views with the help of supporting arguments.
Fascinating isn’t it? Most of us often wonder why this happens. Is it because the media has put forward an unrealistic image of girls through high school teen dramas that force teenage girls to look good at all times? Or is it because certain personality types (like ‘emo Goth’ for example) consider dark eye makeup to be a necessity? The research on this topic will shock you.
4. Can poor memory result in a good mood? Illustrate how it can with the help of examples.
There are so many news articles that have published researches stating that if you’re in a good mood, you’re most likely to forget things. Conversely, there are also studies that state the reverse as true. We suggest you carry out a short survey amongst your friends and family (and even teachers if you wish) and find out if this a common occurrence. This will definitely enrich your essay.
5. What are the pros and cons of owning a smartphone for a teenager?
In a world where we cannot even imagine a second without our most prized possession – our smartphones – this is sure to be an attention-grabbing topic. The good thing about using this one for your expository essay is that there’s plenty of research available on it, so you won’t be struggling on that account. The topic is also pretty straightforward and simple.
6. Write an essay on why marijuana has been one the most popular stimulant drugs throughout history.
As we already know, the use of marijuana is not something can be classified as ‘new age.’ It has been around for ages and is one the most popular drugs that have been used by kings and queens, celebrities and commoners alike. It’ll be wise to throw in a paragraph on the dangers of smoking marijuana.
7. Does technology have an effect on interpersonal relationships? If so, analyze how and why.
If you haven’t noticed yet, you too spend a lot of your time hooked on to your phone, tablet or laptop when friends, family or even your ‘bae’ try to talk to you. Virtual relationships have suddenly become much more important than real ones, with many youngsters these days even continuing year-long romantic relationships on Facebook and other such platforms. You can use these points to your advantage in your essay.
8. How can one be a good roommate when sharing dorms in college?
This is probably one of the biggest concerns of most students when they head out of the cocoon of high school and step into the world of college. Quibbles are quite common when two (or more) strangers are forced to share the same room. In your essay, you can shed some light on how such petty squabbles can be avoided and how roommates can live more peacefully with each other.
9. Is Donald Trump’s presidency going to affect the racist sentiments of America?
This a current hot-button issue that is sure going to attract a lot of interest. Due to its controversial nature, we suggest that you don’t take a strong stance and lean on either side of the fence as that can be too dangerous. Also, use only politically correct language in this essay as you don’t want to risk offending people.
10. Should same-sex marriages be made legal? Elaborate your opinion with the help of examples.
Another one on our list of topics that can have widely varying opinions is the issue of same-sex marriages. Yet again, we suggest you do not use offensive terms at all even though you can take a for or against stance for this essay. An analysis of the recent trends of same-sex marriages and how they affect society should be a part of your essay.
11. Should paper textbooks be completely replaced by laptops and tablets? Discuss.
In a bid to conserve natural resources and save trees, many schools have taken the jump from the traditional paper and pen mode of writing and reading to its digitized form, employing laptops and tablets as substitutes. You will have to present the pros and cons of such a move, and then draw a conclusion accordingly. Make this essay as data rich as possible.
12. Is there life on any other planet apart from Earth? If so, in what forms and where?
This would be your chance to put forward and prove all the crazy ET theories that you have! You can even draw inspiration from popular movies and use them as references to take this essay to a whole new level. You will get enough matter too on this subject. If your school allows, try and include a couple of real life pictures of extraterrestrial life on other planets to make it a more enjoyable read.
13. How can electronic clothing change the way people dress in the future?
This topic can be perfect for you if you’re as much of a fashionista as a tech junkie. Electronic clothing, or also what is known as smart clothing, has chips and mini-computers embedded in them. Discuss the practicality of electronic clothing, its advantages as well as disadvantages in your expository essay. You can throw in some references of how electronic clothing has been used in sci-fi movies as well.
14. How can one write the perfect cover letter? Illustrate with examples.
Well, what you learn from this topic can come very handy in the future as pretty soon you’ll be entering a phase of life where you will have to write plenty of cover letters for yourself. In fact, giving a sample in your essay can be a practical learning experience, and when your teacher grades you, you’ll know exactly where you went wrong which prospective employers are not going to tell you about.
15. You have been given the opportunity to come up with your own religion. Describe the religion you’ll create in detail.
We’d say this topic is a toughie. But at the same time, it’s one that can totally fire up your imagination, and make you feel like you have god-like powers. Well, jokes apart, for this essay you’ll first, have to carry out a deep research of the various major religions on this planet. Some ideas, of course, can be borrowed, but due credit must be given.
16. What are the advantages of learning a foreign language, and which languages will prove to be most beneficial? Support your choice with arguments.
Are you a wannabe polyglot? Or a big lover of foreign language movies? Your essay is supposed to focus on why schools insist their students learn a foreign language and how it can actually help in a person’s overall development. You can also bring the aspect of globalization into play over here. Round it off with a list of the most popular foreign language and why one should learn them.
17. How can freshmen choose the best activities to take up in college?
We bet you faced the same dilemma in the first semester of your college life. The good thing is, this essay will allow you the scope of sharing your personal experiences and what you learned from them. You’ll have to give some concrete suggestions on how students can make the best choice when it comes to taking up activity classes so do your research on the best practices.
18. Explain what you think are the negative and positive aspects of materialism.
You can love it or hate it, but you just can’t ignore the impact of materialism on modern day society. Every possession is now a status symbol. This topic is perfect for both who just cannot do without all their earthy possessions as well as for those who believe in delusional aspects of being materialistic. Starting with a meaningful quote that sums up the standpoint you’ve taken will be a great idea.
19. Does music have the power to affect one’s life? If so, how? Explain.
If you live, eat and breathe music, this topic is the one for you. Several studies have shown that music has some healing properties and can help those who have depression and stress. Music is also known to calm down agitated animals. You can include all of these points in your essay, and you can even borrow bits and pieces from the biographies of famous musicians and analyze how music changed their lives.
20. Why is teenage pregnancy on the rise? Analyze the social stigma associated with teenage abortion.
This is a sensitive topic, and you have to handle it with tact and maturity. If you plan to interview people as a part of your research for your essay, make sure you do not reveal their real names in your paper. You will have to analyze the causes of pregnancy in teenagers and how they handle the whole thing, including their families’ responses if they come to know.
21. Explain the role of curse words in day to day lives of people.
Curse words have proliferated our language more than acronyms, and these days it’s not uncommon to find people hurling slangs at each other for the smallest of issues. In fact, among the teens and students of the current generation certain erstwhile curse words have adopted positive connotations. So in your paper, you’ll have to analyze the evolution of slangs and why and in what situations people use these terms.
22. Explain the strategies that can be employed to sell an item that no one needs.
Time to bring your inner salesman/adman out! While it’s good to include the ways that advertizing pundits and sales gurus put forward, we recommend that you come up with some of your own innovative strategies. You can also include a sample ad as that’ll make your essay so much richer and fun to read. Make sure you have your best thinking cap on for this topic.
23. Discuss how obesity is affecting the productivity levels of individuals at work.
You can start by arguing that obesity not only has an impact on the economy of a nation but it can even lower productivity levels at work. Here too, you can resort to the large body of researches carried out on this topic. You’ll have to establish the relationship between obesity and productivity as well, and you can give you a few suggestions on how this trend can be curbed.
24. Is ignorance really bliss? Supplement your stance with arguments.
Presently, we live in a world where it’s become really difficult to ignore anything as everything a person does is broadcast live on social media. We’re more interconnected than we ever used to be. So in such a world, can ignorance be bliss? You’ll have to present the distinguishing factors between trivial and vital information and state which ones should be disregarded and which should be paid attention to.
25. Why do people shop impulsively? Discuss its effects.
If you’ve always been one of those who just splurges on a whim for things that are not even necessary, you can write about you why you did it and how you felt about it later in this essay. If you want you can give your personal shopping expenses and compare it with those put forward by the government and analyze how the numbers vary greatly for impulsive shoppers. This would be a cause and effect expository essay.
26. How can smart homes change the way we live?
Home automation is the next big thing, and this topic is for the tech geeks who are fascinated by the constant innovations in technology and just cannot do without virtual assistants such as Amazon’s famous Alexa. In your essay, talk about what makes up a smart home and how it’s actually making lives easier for people. On the flipside, also mention how it can lead to laziness and what are the technical difficulties an average user can face.
27. Describe the impact of video games on children and teenagers.
Board games are now an extinct species, and outdoor sports seem to be headed the same way as everything goes virtual. Now it’s about putting your VR headset on and swishing that motion controller left or right to get the feeling that you’re outside playing games. In your essay, you’ll have to evaluate whether playing such Video games is making children and teenagers smarter or lazier, and how it’s shaping their personalities and affecting their development.
Now that the battle is half won (you’ve chosen your topic from our list), the next part is facing the nemesis of writing. Don’t worry. Every essay has the same structure, and you can never go wrong if your paper has a solid introduction, a coherent main body and a brief conclusion.
If you’re still a bit nervous, JK Rowling has a few words to inspire you – “And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.”
How many times has a professor given you a list of assigned topics and told you to write about one of them?
How many times did you complain that you didn’t like any topics on the list? I bet you’ve done it at least once or twice.
You yearn for the freedom to choose your own topic, wishing you could write about something that interests you.
Here’s your chance. Your professor has assigned an explanatory essay. You can write about almost any topic you like.
The problem is, you’ve already wasted two hours of precious time trying to think of something to write about.
Be careful what you wish for, right?
Worry no more. I am here to grant your wish. I’ll bestow upon you 24 explanatory essay topics that will expand your horizons.
Explanatory Essay Basics
You’ll write an explanatory essay many times in your academic career. (An explanatory essay is also sometimes called an expository essay.)
Like an expository essay, the explanatory essay can take a number of forms. Some example forms include the example, compare/contrast, definition, how-to, and cause/effect essay formats.
The goal of the explanatory essay is to inform readers of a topic or situation. But it also seeks to clarify any information readers may find confusing.
Don’t include your opinion or try to convince readers. You’re not writing an argumentative or persuasive essay.
Instead, objectively present ideas. Remember, your goal is to inform and educate your audience. You don’t have to convince them of your point of view.
24 Explanatory Essay Topics That Will Expand Your Horizons
You can be assigned an expository essay in just about any class. I’ve divided the topics below into six basic subjects. In some cases, I’ve included a link to an example essay on the topic.
History explanatory essay topics
1. What are the key causes of the Vietnam War?
While the causes of any war are complex, your essay might examine the roles of the U.S., China, and France and various components of the Cold War.
2. What are the causes of the Civil Rights Movement?
A discussion of Civil Rights would most certainly include the civil unrest of the 1950s and 1960s. It would also likely include the roles both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. played in the movement.
3. Compare and contrast the Great Depression to today’s economic conditions.
An essay that compares these two time periods could provide an overview of the stock market and housing speculations and crashes, the banking crisis, and high unemployment rates. The essay could also look at how these elements affected society during the Great Depression. Then, you could address how those effects are similar to those felt today.
4. How did the British invasion and rule of India affect India and its citizens?
Clearly, this is a large topic. But you might narrow your focus to the religious impact, socioeconomic impact, or economic impact.
Social science explanatory essay topics
1. What are the key causes of poverty?
Consider how aspects such as the economy and educational levels affect poverty.
2. How do child beauty pageants affect children?
Some argue that pageants can promote self-esteem. Others argue that pageants can be harmful by encouraging eating disorders and the sexualization of children.
3. Define laziness.
Sometimes, inspiration for a definition essay might be as easy as looking at the habits of your younger brother or your roommate.
4. How can noise pollution affect society or individuals?
We often become used to loud noises in cities and can even find them comforting. However, noise pollution can be harmful. People can experience hearing damage and sleep disturbances. Wildlife can experience similar problems and may be unable to communicate.
Health explanatory essay topics
1. What are the effects of health or nutrition education on children?
Here, you might explore issues surrounding Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. There’s also her involvement in school nutrition and lunch programs to consider. You might also choose a different direction. You could, for example, discuss advertising or parental influence.
2. Identify several possible health benefits of drinking red wine (responsibly, of course!).
Benefits of red wine might include a lower risk of cancer and a lower risk of heart disease.
3. How can college students avoid gaining weight?
Sure, you could simply stop eating. You could just exist on ramen noodles alone. But what about other ways you might avoid gaining weight? For example, weight maintenance might involve joining a sports team, visiting the gym, or enrolling in a kickboxing course.
4. Explain positive and negative effects of the Affordable Care Act.
The positive effects might include the number of people now insured. They could also include the fact that more health screenings are now covered. The negative effects might be that some insurance premiums have gone up. Or you could point out that some employers have cut workers’ hours to avoid paying health insurance for their employees.
Technology and media explanatory essay topics
1. How can music influence someone’s mood?
Having a bad day? Put in your earbuds, and play your favorite song. Relax, dance, or sing along. Hey, it’s important to do some research to see how the music affects you, right?
2. How might prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising affect consumers?
Never mind how annoying prescription drug ads can be and how sick of watching them you might be. Instead, consider whether the ads encourage people to speak to their doctors about health concerns. You might also consider how the cost of drugs is impacted by the extra cost of advertising.
3. How does alcohol advertising impact consumers (especially teens)?
Alcohol ads make everything surrounding their adult beverages sexy, fun, and cool. How might teens be influenced by these images? Are teens more likely or less likely to consume alcohol based on these ads?
4. What are positive and negative impacts of technology in the classroom?
Technology can be a positive influence. It can help students master material. It can make learning more fun and engaging. But it can also be a negative influence. For example, it can distract students. (Think of the temptation to Snapchat or check Instagram during class.)
Literature explanatory essay topics
1. What are three key symbols in Romeo and Juliet?
There’s a lot of symbolism to explore in this play. You might consider the following symbols as a start: death, poison, and love.
2. Compare the American Dream of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman to today’s American Dream.
Willy Loman believes that being popular and liked by others will help him achieve the American Dream. In many ways, his American Dream mirrors that of many people’s American Dream today. Consider how his attitude and his dreams for material possessions compare to the attitudes and dreams of people today.
3. Identify several gender roles in A Doll’s House, and compare those roles to gender roles today.
Nora is expected to be the helpless housewife. Her husband, Torvald, believes he is dominant and the ultimate protector. Despite all that, the play also addresses feminism and Nora’s independence.
4. Explain the most prominent theme of Macbeth.
Most would agree that the most prominent theme in the play is power and its ability to corrupt. Your essay might explore this theme and how it is portrayed in Macbeth. You might also expand the discussion to compare the theme and its portrayal in other works. For example, you could compare the same theme in Lord of the Fliesor Animal Farm.
Science explanatory essay topics
1. What are the causes and effects of a polar vortex?
In basic terms, a polar vortex is caused when a low pressure system pushes cold air into an area. What are the effects? (Besides lots of cold and often miserable people, of course!)
2. Identify several examples why nuclear power may or may not be safe.
An essay about nuclear power might highlight the fact that the risk at nuclear power plants is statistically low. The same essay might also point to the dangers should an accident occur.
3. Explain why GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may or may not be safe for consumers.
Some point to studies that illustrate that GMOs are perfectly safe. Others argue that studies show a link between GMOs and health concerns, such as kidney or liver damage.
4. Explain how to make a cloud in a bottle or how to make a mini volcano in your kitchen.
Either of these is a good topic for a more lighthearted essay that still discusses solid scientific principles. It might be fun to create a volcano in your kitchen too!
Your Wish Has Been Granted
Sometimes, having a list of topics can be exactly what you need to finally pick the perfect explanatory essay topic and get writing!
Don’t tell me. You still aren’t happy with the topics I’ve included here? Read 17 Expository Essay Topics for an Outstanding Paper. Maybe you’ll find one on the list that inspires you.
Remember, once you’ve finished your paper, don’t simply wish for a good grade.
Get help with proofreading, editing, and revising. Send your paper our way, and let us help grant your wish!
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