While hunting for topics in the deepest creases of your mind, you must at first get a clear idea about what expository essays essentially are. Simply put, they are essays that lay down the facts, figures and arguments in a descriptive manner and do not require you to put forth your opinions or formulate analyses based on data and information that you collect personally. Of course, the tedious task of composing one is easier said than done, as is the case of most academic assignments. However, we have compiled a host of topics and some expert tips that you can consult for championing that expository essay like a pro.
Expert tips to write engaging expository essays
Do not stress yourself fretting over how to write an impressive expository essay for here are some expert tips that will help you sail through the task with élan. Efficient essay writing starts with precise planning and a keen attention to details. The following are some of the most reliable tips for composing a winning expository essay, explained in three simple steps.
At the initial stage of writing the expository essay lays the planning part. If done with care and caution, this might be crucial in determining how your essay will turn out to be. This is the stage where you select the topic for your expository essay and conduct the background research on the topic of your choice. Maintaining notes at this stage that outline the main points that you wish to include in your essay will be helpful at the second stage of writing the essay. Once the selection of the topic is out of the way, you will move significantly closer to composing an expository essay that is sure to impress.
This is the stage where you actually write the essay. The best way to go about it is to prepare a rough and initial draft of the essay and work on it later to compose the final copy of your expository essay. Remember that, like all essays, an expository essay consists of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The introduction should present the topic to the readers in a simple and straightforward manner whereas the body paragraphs will deal with the main points and arguments that you wish to include in your expository essay. The body paragraphs must have smooth transitory phrases and sentences, and deal with one argument or point along with supporting examples in one paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion should sum up the essay by going over all the important points that have been touched upon through the essay and end with a captivating closing line.
After composing the final draft your expository essay, leave it around for a few days and take up the editing and proofreading task in a fresh mind after a few days. This will have two benefits: it will give you a fresh perspective to look at the essay in new lights, and enable you to find out the mistakes that you made and would have otherwise overlooked more prominent to you. Do not skip this very important step of editing and proofreading your essay multiple times so that it is devoid of errors.
Awesome expository essay topics
As a student, it might be particularly difficult at times to select a topic for an essay that is sure to impress your professors and save your grades. While a fair bit of brainstorming is never too passé, do not stress your brains too much in case you cannot come up with an engaging topic for your expository essay. The following are some of the intriguing ideas to compose your expository essay on, under a variety of disciplines and interests – you can choose from the list below or frame one for your own following the pattern of the topics enlisted.
- Science and technology
- Explain why learning the basics of IT is essential for surviving a digital era
- What is the significance of the research and studies about black holes?
- Describe in detail the top five scientific innovations that changed the face of humankind forever
- What are the effects of 3D printing technology on medicine, manufacturing, technology and fashion?
- Define nanobots and explain their uses
- Describe the evolution of the Internet and the changes following the rise of mobile technology
- Is electric clothing a real invention?
- Define string theory and present a discussion on the basic tenets of string theory
- How has artificial intelligence and automation developed through the ages?
- Define bioengineering and discuss the long-lasting impact of bioengineering developments on humankind
- Explain why space exploration missions are important for breakthroughs in space research
- Discuss the scientific developments brought about during Enlightenment in light of the inventions and discoveries of three pioneer scientists
- Describe the best processes and materials to build a sustainable structure that will stand the test of time
- Discuss the scientific project for storing information inside DNA structures in living beings
- Explain the arguments for and against the ethics of human cloning
- Compare the motives and ideals of the protagonist and antagonist in a classic novel of your choice
- How significant is the use of rhyme and metre in poetry? Explain with examples from poems of your choice.
- Define the historical and political backdrop of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Explain the use of ‘foil’ characters in a play
- Discuss the significance of the literature of the future
- What role do the literary elements play in giving life to a piece of literature
- Explain how cultures and traditions of a particular region, community or country portrayed in literature form ideas in the minds of the readers
- Analyse the use of themes in a literary work of your choice
- Describe the evolution of the English language through the literary works of eminent writers throughout the history of English literature
- What are the most crucial features of a novel of mystery genre?
- Explain the significance of the use of dramatic irony within a literary piece and illustrate with suitable examples
- Describe the psychological subtext of a literary work of your choice
- Define “figurative language” and explain the use of figurative language in literature over the ages
- Explain the literary style of your favourite author with examples from their works
- Compose a comparative analysis between two writers of the same genre of literature
- Mental health and psychology
- Define schizophrenia and its types and describe the treatment for people affected by schizophrenia
- Explain the cognitive behavioural therapy and the ways it can help the patients
- Define art therapy and retail therapy and form a comparative description of the two
- Create a detailed overview of the best five psychological journals of all time
- Explain the psychological basis of having phobias and describe the therapies that help in overcoming phobias
- Define obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), its types and methods of treatment among women
- Illustrate with examples the reason why people tend to commit suicide
- Write a comparative analysis of the roles of a psychologist and a psychiatrist
- Describe how a child with special needs affects the psychology of the parents
- Define altruism and present an overview of its categories
- Describe the stages of personality development in childhood
- Explain the theory of left brain vs. right brain dominance in humans
- Describe, in detail, the psychological significance of the “bystander effect”
- What is meant by the rule of reciprocity?
- Describe five symptoms of bipolar disorders
- Social issues
- Name any five things you wish to alter about your society and explain why
- Describe the risks and harmful effects of substance abuse among adolescents
- Explain the causes and effects of gender inequality in the workplace
- What is the social significance of wearing uniforms to school?
- Explain the relationship between juvenile delinquency and truancy among teenagers in developing countries
- Explain the effects of social media on the lives of students suffering from social exclusion and introversion
- What are the social factors racism and prejudice?
- Define the religious factors at play in perpetuating fundamentalism all across the globe in modern times
- Explain the multiple levels of discrimination and stigma people from LGBTQ communities face due to their sexual orientation
- What are the effects on the socialisation of a child brought up by single parents?
- Define homelessness and the reasons why people become homeless
- What are the causes and effects of bullying among pre-teens in school?
- Describe the social factors of loneliness and alienation among old people in the developed countries
- Trace the history of the development of social studies as a discipline following Enlightenment
- Describe the history of family and marriage over the ages and express your views on the modern family structure of the digitised age
- Environment and ecology
- What are the most popular and viable sources of renewable energy?
- Explain the causes and effects of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution
- What are the impactful and long-lasting effects of global warming?
- What should an ideal mobile application for contributing positively to the environment function like?
- Describe the categories of environment pollution along with feasible solutions to curb them
- What are the five gadgets that we should immediately stop using or reducing the use of to curb global warming?
- Discuss the agenda and outcome of three most significant Earth Summits with regard to environmental issues
- What are the reasons that more people should switch to solar energy for household appliances and electric supplies?
- The processes of managing industrial waste in cities and towns with dense populations
- Discuss about the significance of ecosystems and the needs to preserve them
- What are the main concerns for the preservation of habitats for endangered species? Discuss the necessity of conserving endangered species in the planet.
- Define rainwater harvesting systems and the ways of water conservation through rainwater harvesting
- If you could design a futuristic car, what are the environment and ecology-friendly features that you would like to add to it and why?
- Discuss the goals and efficiency of an environmental programme undertaken by your government
- How is the population explosion going to affect perishable and non-renewable energy resources in the world that lead to a resource shortage?
- Discuss the development of the human brain and the changes that occur due to growth and age
- What are the preventive and treatment measures to be undertaken by governments for new viruses such as Zika?
- Discuss the significant developments in the research and studies to cure cancer over the last two decades
- Define vaccines and their functions and detail the uses of vaccines in medicine
- Pick an incurable disease that you would like to cure if you could and explain the reasons why
- What are some of the most reliable home remedies for treating common cold on a shoestring budget?
- Explain the cause and effects of the malpractice by doctors who push the patients to buy certain medicines to ensure profits for certain pharmaceutical companies
- Detail the symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis of a disease solely found in people from developing countries
- Discuss alternative medicine and form a comparative presentation on the types of alternative medicine and their uses
- Explain the effects of stress and hypertension among the youth in developed countries
- Discuss the different types of stem cell and the possibilities that further developments in stem cell research hold for the field of medicine
- Define antioxidants and their roles in preventing dangerous ailments such as cancer
- Discuss the relationship between breastfeeding, better health and lower obesity rates among children
- Illustrate with examples the effects of taking part in competitive sports on the reproductive system of men and women athletes
- Explain the causes and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the best techniques for treatment and care
- Discuss the role of the Catholic Church in Europe during the Medieval ages
- What was the impact of smallpox on the colonisation of the North and South Americas?
- Explain the influences of Buddhism on the Chinese Empire
- What is the significance of geography in shaping the history of Greece?
- Discuss the premises of World War II set in the backdrop after the end of World War I
- What were the causes and effects of the economic slump in the USA in 1819?
- Explain the role of the Golden Age in the development of Western Civilisation
- What is your favourite era in history? Give reasons to support your choice.
- Discuss the historical and social premises that led to Karl Marx composing the Communist Manifesto
- What were the influences of Enlightenment at the beginning of the French Revolution?
- How did the art patronage system work during the Renaissance?
- Form a comparative analysis between the role of peasants in western Europe and the serfs in Russia
- What were the most significant reasons for the Civil War in the USA?
- Explain the reasons for the division in the Soviet Union
- Discuss the historical significance of the invention of newspapers
- Personal experiences
- Which is favourite novel? Provide reasons and examples to support your answer.
- How will you define the nature of true friendship and discuss one friendship that you feel will stand the test of time?
- If you had the chance of meeting an eminent personality, who will it be and why?
- Discuss three of your favourite pastimes and state reasons supporting each.
- What has been the influence of sports in your life?
- Describe, in detail, your first day at school or college
- Which country would you like to visit the most and why?
- Describe a movie or a play that has left a lasting impression in your mind
- Pick a memorial from your college or university and describe its history and significance inside the campus
- Explain how growing up with or without a sibling has helped shape your personality and life
Figurative language refers to the color we use to amplify our writing. It takes an ordinary statement and dresses it up in an evocative frock. It gently alludes to something without directly stating it. Figurative language is a way to engage your readers, ushering them through your writing with a more creative tone.
Although it's often debated how many "types" of figurative language there are, it's safe to say there are at least five distinct categories. They are: metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, and symbolism.
In truth, this is only scratching the surface. There are waves of other literary devices that color our writing, including onomatopoeias, alliteration, oxymorons, puns, synecdoche, irony, idioms, and more.
In this article, we'd like to highlight the main branches of the tree, or "the big five." But, if we're being honest, the list goes on and on. As a starting point, let's have some fun with the ones you're most likely to come across in your daily readings.
Figurative Language: Understanding the Concept
Anytime your writing goes beyond the actual meanings of your words, you're using figurative language. This allows the reader to gain new insights into your work.
One of the best ways to understand the concept of figurative language is to see it in action. Here are some examples:
- This coffee shop is an ice box! (Metaphor)
- She's drowning in a sea of grief. (Metaphor)
- She's happy as a clam. (Simile)
- I move fast like a cheetah on the Serengeti. (Simile)
- The sea lashed out in anger at the ships, unwilling to tolerate another battle. (Personification)
- The sky misses the sun at night. (Personification)
- I’ve told you a million times to clean your room! (Hyperbole)
- Her head was spinning from all the new information. (Hyperbole)
- She was living her life in chains. (Symbolism - Chains are a symbol of oppression of entrapment.)
- When she saw the dove soar high above her home, she knew the worst was over. (Symbolism - Doves are a symbol of peace and hope.)
The Big Five
Let’s dive deeper into "the big five." We’ll consider their place in your writing, and give some examples to paint a better picture for you.
When you use a metaphor, you make a statement that doesn’t literally make sense. For example, “Time is a thief.” Time is not actually stealing from you but this conveys the idea that hours or days sometimes seem to slip by without you noticing.
Metaphors only makes sense when the similarities between the two things being compared are apparent or readers understand the connection between the two words. Examples include:
- The world is my oyster.
- You're a couch potato.
- Time is money.
- He has a heart of stone.
- America is a melting pot.
- You are my sunshine.
A simile also compares two things. However, similes use the words “like” or “as.”
- Busy as a bee.
- Clean as a whistle.
- Brave as a lion.
- The tall girl stood out like a sore thumb.
- It was as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.
- My mouth was as dry as a bone.
- They fought like cats and dogs.
- Watching that movie was like watching grass grow.
Personification gives human characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, or ideas. This can really affect the way the reader imagines things. Personification is often used in poetry, fiction, and children’s rhymes.
- Opportunity knocked at his door.
- The sun greeted me this morning.
- The sky was full of dancing stars.
- The vines wove their delicate fingers together.
- The radio suddenly stopped singing and stared at me.
- The sun played hide and seek with the clouds.
Hyperbole is an outrageous exaggeration that emphasizes a point. It tends toward the ridiculous or the funny. Hyperbole adds color and depth to a character.
- You snore louder than a freight train!
- It's a slow burg. I spent a couple of weeks there one day.
- She's so dumb, she thinks Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company.
- I had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow, uphill, in bare feet.
- You could've knocked me over with a feather.
Symbolism occurs when a word has its own meaning but is used to represent something entirely different.
Examples in everyday life include:
- Using the image of the American flag to represent patriotism and a love for one’s country.
- Incorporating a red rose in your writing to symbolize love.
- Using an apple pie to represent a traditional American lifestyle.
- Using a chalkboard to represent education.
- Incorporating the color black in your writing as a symbol for evil or death.
- Using an owl to represent wisdom.
Examples in literature include:
- “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” - As You Like It, William Shakespeare
The “stage” here symbolizes the world and the “players” represent human beings.
- “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary.” - Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Bronte uses imagery of the natural world to symbolize the wild nature and deep feelings of her characters.
Some Fun Sounds
So, that covers "the big five." But, we'd be remiss if we didn't briefly touch upon some literary sound devices that can hang with the best similes and metaphors.
Alliteration is a sound device. It is the repetition of the first consonant sounds in several words.
- We're up, wide-eyed, and wondering while we wait for others to awaken.
- Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.
Onomatopoeia is also a sound device where the words sound like their meaning, or mimic sounds. They add a level of fun and reality to writing.
Here are some examples:
- The burning wood hissed and crackled.
- Sounds of nature are all around us. Listen for the croak, caw, buzz, whirr, swish, hum, quack, meow, oink, and tweet.
Figurative Language Engages the Reader
Regardless of the type of word you use, figurative language can make you look at the world differently; it can heighten your senses, add expression and emphasis, and help you feel like you're having the same experience as the author. With each brush stroke across the canvas a painter adds depth to their masterpiece. Figurative language adds the same kind of depth to our writing.
So, instead of hearing the wind blow against your window tonight, perhaps you'll hear the whisper of the wind as it calls out for you like a lover in the night. (personification and simile, respectively) That blank page you're looking at is actually a blank canvas. It's up to you to add texture and depth. Have fun layering your literary devices, but remember not to go overboard with them!