Explanatory Essay Topics for Students — Essay writing is a fundamental part of any English, grammar, and writing curriculum. As students enter into middle school and begin to prepare for the high school years, they should be introduced to various types of essays. By learning about the different essay styles and practicing their own voice, students will become adept writers who are prepared to take on higher-level assignments in the future.
One of the most common essay types is the explanatory essay. An explanatory essay is a piece of writing that explains a topic in further detail. A student could write an opinion-based explanatory essay, in which they write about their own opinion about a topic and explain the reasoning behind it. A student also may write an explanatory essay about a current event or a moment in history. Rather than take a position on the topic, the writer should explain it in detail or discuss the events surrounding that particular moment.
If you are going to ask your students to write an explanatory essay in your classroom, then you may want to provide them with an explanatory essay example. This will help them understand the specific writing style that is required to complete an explanatory essay and it will give them a guide that they can use during their own writing process.
The explanatory essay is the perfect starter essay for students who are just entering middle school or junior high. Use these explanatory essay topic ideas to help your students begin to hone their writing skills and prepare for more in-depth essays and research papers in the future.
21 Writing Topics for Explanatory Essays
- Once you learn how to ride a bike, you will never forget how to do it. However, it can be difficult to teach someone else how to ride a bike. Write an essay explaining to your friend how to ride a bike without training wheels.
- Do you feel that the school lunch menu is adequate? Write an explanatory essay explaining fact-based reasons as to why or why not you enjoy the school lunch menu.
- Write about one rule that you feel each classroom should have. Why do you feel this is the most important rule for students to abide by in your school?
- There are many definitions of family. What does family mean to you? Who do you consider to be part of your family?
- How did the state that you live in become part of the United States? Explain the details that led to your state’s statehood.
- What animal do you feel is the best type of pet? Write an essay giving three reasons why that is the best pet to have in your home.
- Write directions for making the best possible peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- What does it mean to be a responsible student? Explain three ways that you and your classmates could assume responsibility at this stage in your lives.
- Write an essay describing the events that led to the Cold War.
- Write an explanatory essay about a holiday that you are unfamiliar with and that you do not celebrate. Include information about the traditions surrounding this holiday and how people around the world celebrate the day.
- Explain how to take care of a vegetable garden during the summer months.
- Who do you feel is the most influential person in the world right now? Explain why you feel that way.
- What is the history of your school? Write about how it was created, when it was established and who it was named after.
- Do you feel that social media has had a positive or negative influence on society as a whole? Explain three reasons why you feel this way.
- Write about the best way to study for a test in middle school. Give concrete directions that other students would be able to follow.
- Do you feel that television advertisements influence you and your peers? Why or why not?
- How does plastic use impact the environment? Explain the rise of plastics and describe how it has changed the world around us.
- Write an essay explaining how to swing a baseball bat so that you hit a home run.
- What is the best classroom job to have? Write an essay explaining why you feel that is the best role to take on in the classroom.
- Describe the events that led to the American Revolution.
- Write an essay describing how your generation is perceived by others. Be sure to include fact-based reasons as to why you feel your generation is perceived this way.
These are just a few topics that you can offer up to your students as they begin their explanatory essays. It’s important to remind students that they can personalize or edit these topics as they see fit, as their essay writing will always be stronger when they are writing about a topic that is important to them.
This may be the first explanatory essay that your students are writing, but it certainly won’t be the last. No matter which topic they choose or how they approach this project, it’s important to remind your class to always keep on writing!
More Essay Writing Resources
- 31 Persuasive Essay Topics
- Procedural Writing Prompts & Resources
- 33 Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School
- 15 Engaging Explanatory Writing Prompts
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