Expository Essay Writing

expository essay writing topics, rubrics

Definition of Expository Writing

Expository writing or essay is defined as,

“A statement or rhetorical discourse intended to give information about or an explanation of difficult material”.


“A form of writing which intends to define, inform, explain, elaborate and expound  the author’s subject to the reader”.

The intention of an is to present, reasonably and absolutely, other people’s opinion or views to report about an event or any experience. presents an area under discussion in detail apart from criticism, argument, or improvement.

You can learn by understanding the  orderly breakdown of parts and the application of well-known illustrations or analogies. Expository writing is commonly practiced in writing , and in and .

Structure of an Expository Essay

Introductory Paragraph

briefly tell what you want to write about; in particular if it is an experience, you want to share with the audience. Tell a reason as to why you want to talk about it. Do not go into details at this point.

Second Paragraph

This paragraph should focus on the reason mentioned in the opening paragraph. Explain in detail for the reason that you have already mentioned. Using similes and metaphors at this point can be a good idea to explain your reason even better.

Third Paragraph

This paragraph will further add to the description that you have mentioned previously. A good idea is to start this paragraph with a Simile or a Metaphor. Words ending with “ly” or “ing” would add meaning to the essay.

Fourth Paragraph

This paragraph will focus upon the things that you saw or did during that time. It is recommended to be descriptive while explaining these things.


The last paragraph of your expository essay will summarize as to what you have previously mentioned in the essay. Make sure that you do not add any new ideas in the concluding part of your expository essay.

Expository Essay Topics

Expository Essay Topics for Kids

  1. If you could make changes in your school lunchroom what would they be?
  2. Rules are important. What are the most important rules at your school and why are they important?
  3. Explain why it is important to learn to read.
  4. Milk is important for strong bones. Explain why?
  5. How can cats see in the dark?

Elementary Level Expository Essay Topics

  1. Everyone has days that they will always remember as being very special. Think about a special day that you have had. Write an essay telling why it was so special.

  2. If you could choose any animal for a class pet, what would you choose and why?

  3. Your cousin is moving to your town. Write a letter explaining why your town is such a wonderful place to live.

  4. Give recipes of three Chinese dishes of your liking.

  5. What are the important steps to learn to play guitar.

Expository Essay Topics for High School

  1. Think about your favorite year of school. Explain why it was your favorite year.
  2. Think of a book that you have read and really enjoyed. Write an essay explaining why you really enjoyed that book.
  3. Explain the benefits of internet technology
  4. Why do kids change in their adolescence?
  5. What are the symptoms and treatments for breast cancer?

College Level Expository Essay Topics

  1. We are learning all the time. Some of our learning takes place in school and some outside of school. Write about something you have learned recently and how it has affected you.

  2. Think of the ideal job for you when you grow up. Now think of reasons why this would be a good job for you. Write an essay to explain why this is your ideal job.

  3. Imagine that time travel to the past was possible. Think of where and when you would like to go for a visit. Write an essay telling where and when you would go in the past and explain why you choose to go there.

  4. Imagine that you had no TV, computer, or video games for one week. Think of some activities that you can do instead to keep you busy and out of trouble. Write an essay to explain what you can do to keep occupied in a week of no TV, computer, or video games.

  5. We all have a place where we can imagine or go where we want to be alone and relax. Think of your favorite place. Now write an essay explaining why this place is your favorite.

University Level Expository Essay Topics

  1. Explain Plato’s conception of Philosopher King. Is it applicable to our society nowadays?
  2. Explain the challenges of global civilization in the 21st century.
  3. Provide an interpretation of Freudian theory of love as you understand it.
  4. What is religion?
  5. Is nationalism a concept which still holds true.

Grading Rubrics for Expository Essays


Response to Topic or Thesis Statement

Forms a strong, perceptive statement, complimenting the topic explicitly and moves beyond a predictable approach

Takes risk and explores issues from new and creative angles, with an  in depth understanding

Demonstrates brief insight into the topic, but the statement is predictable or weakly reflects strong class ideas

Communicates perplexity about the topic

Ignores significant picture of the problem

Lacks in-depth focus, concentration and demonstrates unclear perception

Supportive MaterialUses important, rich facts & figures which serve as detail for the proof of thesis

Essay contains at least 3 significant major ideas that support the thesis

Uses some details or examples, but could be extended to show more understanding or supportLacks real, pertinent details or quotation marks that provide unsubstantial evidence for thesis

Provides unsophisticated generalization and unclear thoughts

Comment & Analysis

Creative & Original commentary examines and interprets particulars, quotes, and cases

Demonstrates how they compliment the thesis in relevance

Elaborates importance of particulars, but interpretation & analysis could be expanded to show firm connection to thesis or provide more insight about the details or particulars

Commentary is deficient or is predictable and incoherent

Summarizing instead of analyzing importance

Demonstrates no clear connection of details to thesis


*Supports the theses by using 3 quotations.

*Correctly introduces the quotation by maintaining the context of the theme and the speaker.

*Explains the significance of the quotes clearly.

Uses 3 quotations

*Remarks on quotes compliments issue fairly, but could be gone in depth more.

Uses less than 3 quotes OR topic is not supported by quotes

*Quotes need to be clarified by more clear commentary.

*Introduction of quotes is incorrect or poor

Organization & Structure

Organization is clear

Format is sophisticated and shows relevance in the paragraphs with respect to the thesis.

Paragraph parts flow flawlessly

Sufficient organization

All key elements are listed in paragraph

Ambiguous and unclear organization makes argument difficult to follow

Body paragraphs need clearer relation to thesis

Paragraphs parts flow imperfectly and also missing key parts

Transitions Uses thoughtful transitions between all ideas at the essay and paragraph levels for the smooth progression of ideasUses transitions between and within paragraphs, but they may seem awkward or forcedHas inconsistent transitions at either the paragraph or essay level

Introduction and


Has an introduction that grabs reader’s attention

Has a conclusion that provokes further thought

Has introduction, but it may not draw reader in the subject

Has a conclusion, but it may not tie up loose ends

Introduction and/or conclusion is simplistic and could be more engaging and/or clearer 

Lacks an introduction and/or conclusion

Command of Language (Active/Voice)

Language is natural and captures the writer’s “voice”

Language is adequate, but doesn’t reflect unique voiceLanguage is formulaic and contains use of passive voice and/or 2nd person “you”
Vocabulary Language is formulaic and contains use of passive voice and/or 2nd person “you”

Some use of active verbs and strong words; lapses into “to be” verbs at times

Includes wordy expressions, repetition of the verbs “is” and “has”
Sentence Structure

Shows mastery over a variety of sentence openers and structures and uses them appropriately

Contains some varied sentence structure; most sentences follow subject-verb patternDoes not contain much sentence variety

Has no BIG 5 errors or other grammar errors

Uses present tense to discuss literature

*Proofreading is present

Grammar errors do not disrupt the flow of the paper

Some proofreading is present

1 or more BIG 5 error

Fails to us  e present tense to discuss literature