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From Business to Music: 200 Expository Essay Topics for Your Next Assignment

expository essay topics

Nothing but the Facts

Your professor or teacher just assigned you to write an expository essay on the topic of your choice, but there are a couple of problems. First, you've never written an expository essay, and perhaps more importantly, you don't even know what an expository essay is. Don't worry, chances are you're already a good essay writer, so you just need a little help getting started. Keep reading this blog to learn what an expository essay is, how to write one, and 200 good essay topics to get you started.

"Expository" in this context means to explain, and you, the writer, are the "expositor." This genre of essay writing overlaps other types, including cause and effect and persuasive essays, with the key being that good expository essays rely on plenty of facts supporting your argument. For the most part, an expository essay follows a format similar to other essays, but there are generally six sub-categories of expository essays:

  1. The process essay is where you describe a process of something step-by-step. Think of this category as a "how to" essay.
  2. The cause and effect essay is where you explain how an action, event, or person causes something to happen.
  3. The descriptive essay is simply a detailed description of something.
  4. A compare and contrast essay looks at two things that are similar yet different, examining notable points.
  5. A problem and solution essay looks at a problem on any scale and offers one or more solutions to it.
  6. Finally, a classification essay classifies something into a category.

With that in mind, let's look at an example to give you an idea of how to start an essay.

First, you need to think of a topic if your teacher or professor hasn't assigned you one. The topic is important because it should be interesting to you and your audience, and it should also have plenty of evidence and examples that you can cite. Don't choose a topic about quantum physics if you don't know much about it. A topic on quantum physics, or something similar, might also be too dense or boring for an English professor, so keep that in mind as well. So, for the sake of argument let's choose the topic "the benefits of knowing foreign languages." The next step is to do the research, write an outline, and develop a thesis statement.

After doing some research, we've decided on the following thesis statement: "There are several benefits of knowing one or more foreign languages, including increased business opportunities, enhanced world travel, and increased thinking skills."

Now you can start writing the essay beginning with the introduction paragraph, where you state the above thesis, word for word. The main body of an expository essay is a little different than other essays, but it's also a bit more straightforward. Each of those three reasons listed in the thesis statement as benefits of knowing one or more foreign languages should be a paragraph in the essay's main body. Then, you wrap your paper up with a conclusion paragraph where you restate the thesis.

Now that you know what an expository essay is and how to write one keep reading for 200 topics arranged by categories, which can help with your brainstorming! Just remember, these are topics, not your thesis statements. You start with these topics and develop your thesis statement from them, so you can word your topic in the form of a question if that helps. It also may help to start your topic with "explain" or "describe."

Good Expository Topics

  • The importance of taxes.
  • The role of literature in society.
  • What are the best automobiles on a fixed income?
  • Describe the most influential leaders in the twentieth century.
  • The impact of religion on current events.
  • The costs of war on societies.
  • Explain how science affects our lives.
  • Is there really a battle of the sexes?
  • Describe how meat goes from the farm to the dinner table.
  • The importance of environmental conservation.
  • The effects of drug crimes.
  • Explain how group therapy works.
  • Describe the process of paper making.
  • How does the presidential electoral process work in the United States?
  • The role of AI in unemployment.
  • How does one's mood affect thinking?
  • Explain how old cars can be rebuilt.
  • The importance of sunlight for mental health.
  • The best live baits for fishing.
  • How to build a wooden cabinet.

Easy Expository Essay Topics

  • Are leaders born or made?
  • Explain the differences between mammals and birds.
  • The best studying habits.
  • How to avoid conflicts at work or school.
  • Describe how hairstyles have changed.
  • The best pets for living in an apartment.
  • What is the best size for a friend group?
  • Why do American schools take the summer off?
  • Describe the best method of painting.
  • Explain how to mow a lawn.
  • The benefits of being in shape.
  • Who is the best president?
  • The best country to live in other than the United States.
  • Describe how to make a ham and cheese sandwich.
  • The most difficult time in a teenager's life.
  • Explain how to move to a new home.
  • Describe how to find a job.
  • How can pets affect our lives?
  • Explain how to lift weights.
  • The benefits of riding your bike to work.

Expository Essay Topics on Business and Economics

  • Describe how to start a small business.
  • Explain how the capitalist system began.
  • What are good ways to save money?
  • The corporate benefits of hiring remote workers.
  • How can developing countries become wealthy?
  • The economic benefits of war.
  • Describe what an economist does.
  • The economic origins of communism.
  • Describe a major economic collapse in history.
  • Explain how government policies affect the economy.
  • Why owning a home is a good investment.
  • Describe how to invest in cryptocurrency.
  • Why have gold and silver been valuable throughout history?
  • How do stock markets work?
  • Explain how the Federal Reserve system functions.
  • The investment strategies of the most wealthy people.
  • Are economic sanctions a useful geopolitical tool?
  • Describe how social security works.
  • Explain what interest rates are and why they're important.
  • The economic impact of high inflation.

Expository Essay Topics on Education

  • The best way to learn a trade.
  • Describe the process of paying back student loans.
  • The origins of online learning.
  • What are some of the most useful trades to learn?
  • What are the most practical subjects to study in college?
  • Explain how a college student picks a major.
  • The impact of literacy programs in the United States.
  • The impact of advanced placement (AP) courses in high schools.
  • Reasons why smaller class sizes are usually better for the students.
  • Describe how to apply to graduate programs.
  • Explain how to apply for college scholarships.
  • The impact of standardized testing.
  • The role of teachers' unions in America.
  • What is tenure at universities and why is it important?
  • The role of police in high school campuses.
  • Describe how the university system started.
  • The practical importance of teaching math.
  • Explain what homeschooling is.
  • School violence and potential solutions.
  • The significance of religious schools in America.

Expository Essay Topics on Health and Mental Health

  • Describe the disagreements between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
  • The economic costs of mental illness.
  • Describe how weightlifting benefits the heart.
  • What are the early warning signs of autism?
  • Explain how spirituality plays a role in one's health.
  • How does a low-carb diet lead to weight loss?
  • The physical effects of working at a desk all day.
  • Describe how mental illness is treated by public schools.
  • Explain what "food deserts" are and their significance.
  • Describe how to set up a home gym.
  • Describe how to choose the right private gym.
  • The connection between nature and good mental health.
  • What are the best clothing to wear for workouts?
  • Explain why there is resistance to vaccines.
  • Mental health education in public schools.
  • Explain why proper diets are important for children.
  • The physical and mental effects of steroid use.
  • Describe the process of finding the right doctor.
  • Explain how healthcare became "private" in the US.
  • What is snoring, and how can it be cured?

Expository Essay Topics on History and Culture

  • Describe the factors that led to the American Civil War
  • Explain the elements that help comprise a culture.
  • The reasons for the Great Depression.
  • Describe how animals were first domesticated.
  • How did languages spread in the ancient world?
  • Is cannibalism still practiced in some places?
  • Describe how the United Nations was formed.
  • Describe how Mao Zedong came to power.
  • The importance of patriotism in a country.
  • Explain how the pyramids of Egypt were built.
  • Describe how fashion has changed since the 1950s.
  • The long-term effects of the European discovery of the Americas.
  • Explain how architecture is unique to a particular culture.
  • Describe how the Soviet Union collapsed.
  • What were the most important art styles of the nineteenth century?
  • How did ancient Rome conquer Greece?
  • Describe the most common form of travel in the ancient world.
  • The greatest female rulers of the pre-modern world.
  • Explain the peace treaties that ended World War II.
  • How did monks preserve Roman writings during the Dark Ages?

Expository Essay Topics on Science and Technology

  • Describe how the Apple company was formed.
  • Explain how cryptocurrency works.
  • The significance of EV vehicles on society.
  • The origins of nanotechnology.
  • How have video games affected society?
  • Describe the process of making ethanol fuel.
  • Factors against a human expedition to Mars.
  • Explain how the World Wide Web started.
  • How did ancient people perform surgery on humans?
  • Describe how views on evolution have changed over the years.
  • Describe how oil is refined.
  • Why did NASA retire the Space Shuttle program?
  • Explain what "non-invasive" surgeries are.
  • The future of smartphones.
  • The origins of genetically modified foods.
  • Describe how life has adapted in the deepest parts of the oceans.
  • Describe how earthquakes happen.
  • Explain what a polar vortex is.
  • The origins of virtual reality technology.
  • Describe how GPS technology has become an everyday part of our lives.

Expository Essay Topics on Social Issues

  • Describe the origins of the Civil Rights movement in America.
  • Explain how cultural differences can lead to violence.
  • The potential side effects of marijuana legalization.
  • Are labor unions obsolete?
  • Describe how gender plays a role in hiring practices.
  • The societal consequences of bullying.
  • The legalization of prostitution.
  • Describe how women got the right to vote around the world.
  • Explain how the laws that protect people with disabilities were enacted.
  • What are the ramifications of open borders?
  • Explain why some American states have the death penalty, and others don't.
  • Describe how abortion laws were created.
  • Describe how gays became a legally protected minority group.
  • The significance of families sharing meals.
  • Describe how social media has affected real-life relationships.
  • The idea of adoption throughout history.
  • Explain the thinking behind the "get tough on crime" philosophy in America.
  • The potential limits on the First Amendment.
  • The potential limits on the Second Amendment.
  • Explain how income inequality affects society.

Expository Essay Topics on Sports

  • Describe how American football started.
  • Describe the importance of the Negro Leagues in American baseball.
  • Explain how steroids became an issue in some professional sports.
  • What are the most popular sports in Asia?
  • The benefits of team sports for children.
  • The best sport for cardiovascular fitness.
  • Describe how the World Cup originated.
  • The explosive growth of professional athletes' salaries.
  • How did baseball become an international sport?
  • Describe the background of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
  • Explain why the Major League Baseball World Series has that name.
  • Government subsidies for professional sports stadiums.
  • The impact of combat sports on society.
  • Describe how contact sports can lead to concussions.
  • Can gladiatorial games be considered sports?
  • Describe how fishing went from a pastime to a professional sport.
  • Explain how professional wrestling is and isn't a sport.
  • Should men and women compete in the same sports?
  • Describe how basketball became popular in Eastern Europe
  • Explain how professional sports can boost a local economy.

Expository Essay Topics on Music

  • Describe the origins of Jazz.
  • Explain what a harpsichord is.
  • Describe your favorite style of music, your least favorite, and why.
  • The origins of the flute.
  • What instruments did the ancient Egyptians play?
  • Describe how to make a guitar.
  • Explain how classical music is good for your mood.
  • Describe how pop music is different than folk music.
  • Describe how to become a professional musician.
  • What is the best way to learn a new instrument?
  • The origins of the Music Television network (MTV).
  • Describe how new technologies are affecting the music industry.
  • Describe how music can potentially lead to violence.
  • Explain how the term "garage music" got its name.
  • The greatest classical composers of all time.
  • Are modern styles of pop music art forms?
  • Explain how the kazoo got its name.
  • Describe the background of national anthems.
  • The benefits of students taking band or choir classes.
  • Describe how and why musical tastes change.

Teaching through Writing

Now that you know what an expository essay is, how to write, and have 200 ideas for topics, you can start the process. As an essay writer, remember that the key to writing a good expository essay is to inform or teach your audience about a particular topic. So, get to writing, and remember to have fun teaching your audience something valuable through your writing!

Elissa Smart Elissa Smart
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