Amongst the popular type of essays out there, expository essays stand out because they require hard facts to write. Students must investigate and briefly lay down arguments based on evidence rather than opinions. This is a major reason expository essays are included as assessments in college-level courses.

In this article, we dwell on the guide for writing a good expository essay and also provide 30 excellent topics to match.

What is an expository essay?

Writing an expository essay differs from argumentative writing and technical writing. These are meant to convince the reader to agree with the writer’s perspective or explain how to use a product or service respectively.

On the other hand, an expository essay is a type of essay that requires you to “describe,” “investigate,” and define a particular topic of discussion. This essay can also come in the form of an examination of a particular subject or an analysis of a phenomenon.

This genre of investigative writing examines a concept and provides adequate evidence to support the presented explanations. Expository essay writing is common in classroom evaluation from middle school to college.

Types of expository essays

Before we go ahead with a guide and an example of expository essay topics, let’s go through the major types of expository essays.

Expository writing is objective with evidence-based ideas. Though they are meant to inform, they can also serve various purposes depending on the expository essay prompts and writer’s approach. Here are four different forms of expository essays.

  • Descriptive expository essay: here, the writer of the essay must describe something in their terms. The theme might be an occurrence in the writer’s personal life or an important historical event. Though this expository essay form may be written from the writer’s point of view, it differs from narrative writing.
  • Cause and effect: in this type, the writer discusses the causes of an event or circumstance before analysing the consequences using facts. This type is popular in literary essays and social studies reports.
  • Contrasting expository essays: this form dwells on the differences between two topics or ideas. It then discusses their similarities and describes each of these properties with evidence. It can be perceived as a more analytical take on a descriptive essay.
  • Problem and solution: in this type, a major problem is identified and thoroughly explained before the author suggests a feasible solution. The major difference between this type and an argumentative essay is the writing tone.

Expository essay format: standard expository essay structure

An expository essay outline usually follows the regular five-paragraph format. Your essay should include these basic sections

  1. Introduction

In one or two phrases, begin with a “hook” to capture your reader’s attention. Then, move to a solid thesis statement to inform your reader about the topic of the essay.

  1. Body

Begin with a subject phrase closely related to the thesis statement, and then address various facts in each paragraph, building up your most persuasive or important argument.

  1. Conclusion

Finally, reiterate your argument before making a larger remark about your issue. Introduce no new information.

Interesting expository essay examples topics

Now that we’ve gone through the definition and format, let’s look at 30 expository essay topics.

General expository essay topics

Below are ten general expository topic ideas and topics. These could range from essay topics about technological progress and science to those about history and philosophy.

  1. Could we live on other planets in 1000 years?
  2. What do kids think about time travel?
  3. The life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth
  4. Principles of ultraviolet radiation: causes, effects, and analysis
  5. Historical impacts of WW1: current effects and relevance
  6. Exploring the traditions of ancient African warriors
  7. The impact of the French Revolution in Modern History
  8. America’s role in peace talks and wars over history
  9. What conditions justify cancel culture, if any?
  10. Are developed countries responsible for all their refugees?

Expository writing topics high school

  1. Impact of gender studies on high school students
  2. How do kids choose their idols or mentors?
  3. Exploring the relationship between values and culture
  4. Does bullying still exist in modern high schools? Why?
  5. Impact of sex education on high school relationships
  6. Essential methods of making homework engaging
  7. Why are many high school students forming cliques?
  8. How to rebuild relationships with teachers and friends
  9. High school as an ideal platform for gaining college scholarships
  10. Major causes of dropouts in high school

Expository essay topics for college

  1. How to become financially successful in college
  2. Causes of alcohol addiction in college students
  3. Crafting a powerful speech: process and execution
  4. The importance of dissertations and projects in college studies
  5. Increase of suicide rates in America: leading causes and effects
  6. What cultivates divorce in marriages?
  7. How do college students understand career requirements?
  8. Understanding the universal idea of morality
  9. Abortion rights choices in early teens
  10. Correlation between crime and single parent households


Expository essays are easy to write once you have your preferred topic and the facts to back up its explanations. Take your time, follow the outline, and choose a topic that comes easily to you. Doing all these will get you to create an ideal and well-written expository essay.

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