Frequently teachers assign expository essays to their students as a way to help students learn how to write a formal essay. Expository essays seek to explain a topic formally without using any emotionally charged language. When you choose a topic and examples for your expository essay, pick a subject that you find interesting and can define or clarify through specific examples.
Personal Expository Topics
Since expository essays seek to define and clarify a topic by revealing examples, pick a topic that personally impacts your life. Drawing from your real-life experience will give your expository essay credibility. Choose a topic like your favorite activity, favorite music, favorite seasons and so on. Use examples that have meaning to you and help define who you are. Another personal topic for an expository essay would be the importance of grandparents by giving examples of how yours were or were not influential on your life. You could also write about your most memorable holiday with examples of why you remember it so well.
Compare and Contrast Expository Topics
Simply pick a topic that you can compare and contrast various aspects of the topic or choose two similar topics to compare and contrast. If you do not have personal examples to use, find documented examples to support both sides. Easily compare and contrast two recent classes you took, two styles of discipline by parents or two different places you have lived by using examples that affected you. Expository essay topics that lend themselves to comparing and contrasting various aspects of the topic are why a certain animal makes the best pet by pointing out examples for and against owning the pet; the reasons for school uniforms with examples of successful schools that do wear uniforms and successful schools that do not; or the rationale for starting a new hobby with examples of the advantages and disadvantages of having hobbies.
Descriptive Expository Topics
Another choice for expository essay topics are descriptive topics which allows you to explain or describe a relevant process or current issue. You can describe the process for selecting the best presidential candidate by giving examples of past presidents, or for choosing which career choice has the most advantages by examining future employment trends. Current issues that can be explained in an expository essay are the effects of teen pregnancy or legalizing marijuana by giving statistics and facts about the issues along with pertinent examples.
Rebecca Bagwell is an educator with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Trinity Baptist College. She has taught in China and the United States. While overseas she started writing articles in 2006 for bilingual trade journals. Now, she lives in the South where she homeschools and writes freelance articles encouraging creative approaches to education.