Expository Writing Prompts

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

Looking for an essay topic is never easy if you aren't inspired by something right away. This article will jump-start your brain with some ideas for expository writing, no matter what your interests are.

What Should I Write About?

This can be tricky or simple, depending on how narrow the subject of the class is. If the class is English, you likely have a lot of leeway and can explore just about anything you want. Do you feel strongly about a particular hobby, or an issue that pops up regularly in headlines? What social and cultural messages do you wish to discuss? What is a book or film that you can come back to time and time again and it never gets old? If none of these ideas catch your interest, consider one of the following:

  • A significant invention in your lifetime
  • How music can affect your mood
  • Your ideal job or career

How Much Can I Say About My Topic?

Here is where things can get complicated. Just as some people have trouble filling up a couple of paragraphs, others will feel restricted if they are not able to exceed a word or page count. If you need to write something that spans multiple pages, try to choose a topic that has multiple talking points; for example, comparing the film and book versions of a story can involve discussion of the adaptation, the omission of certain characters or plot devices, etc. If you need to keep it brief, narrow your search down to something specific; if you are doing research in biology, you can talk about one aspect of cellular respiration.

Study.com Expository Writing Material

Study.com has multiple engaging lessons that explore expository writing. These are accompanied by short practice quizzes. Some lessons to check out include:

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