How many times has a professor given you a list of assigned topics and told you to write about one of them?
How many times did you complain that you didn’t like any topics on the list? I bet you’ve done it at least once or twice.
You yearn for the freedom to choose your own topic, wishing you could write about something that interests you.
Here’s your chance. Your professor has assigned an explanatory essay. You can write about almost any topic you like.
The problem is, you’ve already wasted two hours of precious time trying to think of something to write about.
Be careful what you wish for, right?
Worry no more. I am here to grant your wish. I’ll bestow upon you 24 explanatory essay topics that will expand your horizons.
Explanatory Essay Basics
You’ll write an explanatory essay many times in your academic career. (An explanatory essay is also sometimes called an expository essay.)
Like an expository essay, the explanatory essay can take a number of forms. Some example forms include the example, compare/contrast, definition, how-to, and cause/effect essay formats.
The goal of the explanatory essay is to inform readers of a topic or situation. But it also seeks to clarify any information readers may find confusing.
Don’t include your opinion or try to convince readers. You’re not writing an argumentative or persuasive essay.
Instead, objectively present ideas. Remember, your goal is to inform and educate your audience. You don’t have to convince them of your point of view.
24 Explanatory Essay Topics That Will Expand Your Horizons
You can be assigned an expository essay in just about any class. I’ve divided the topics below into six basic subjects. In some cases, I’ve included a link to an example essay on the topic.
History explanatory essay topics
1. What are the key causes of the Vietnam War?
While the causes of any war are complex, your essay might examine the roles of the U.S., China, and France and various components of the Cold War.
2. What are the causes of the Civil Rights Movement?
A discussion of Civil Rights would most certainly include the civil unrest of the 1950s and 1960s. It would also likely include the roles both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. played in the movement.
3. Compare and contrast the Great Depression to today’s economic conditions.
An essay that compares these two time periods could provide an overview of the stock market and housing speculations and crashes, the banking crisis, and high unemployment rates. The essay could also look at how these elements affected society during the Great Depression. Then, you could address how those effects are similar to those felt today.
4. How did the British invasion and rule of India affect India and its citizens?
Clearly, this is a large topic. But you might narrow your focus to the religious impact, socioeconomic impact, or economic impact.
Social science explanatory essay topics
1. What are the key causes of poverty?
Consider how aspects such as the economy and educational levels affect poverty.
2. How do child beauty pageants affect children?
Some argue that pageants can promote self-esteem. Others argue that pageants can be harmful by encouraging eating disorders and the sexualization of children.
3. Define laziness.
Sometimes, inspiration for a definition essay might be as easy as looking at the habits of your younger brother or your roommate.
4. How can noise pollution affect society or individuals?
We often become used to loud noises in cities and can even find them comforting. However, noise pollution can be harmful. People can experience hearing damage and sleep disturbances. Wildlife can experience similar problems and may be unable to communicate.
Health explanatory essay topics
1. What are the effects of health or nutrition education on children?
Here, you might explore issues surrounding Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. There’s also her involvement in school nutrition and lunch programs to consider. You might also choose a different direction. You could, for example, discuss advertising or parental influence.
2. Identify several possible health benefits of drinking red wine (responsibly, of course!).
Benefits of red wine might include a lower risk of cancer and a lower risk of heart disease.
3. How can college students avoid gaining weight?
Sure, you could simply stop eating. You could just exist on ramen noodles alone. But what about other ways you might avoid gaining weight? For example, weight maintenance might involve joining a sports team, visiting the gym, or enrolling in a kickboxing course.
4. Explain positive and negative effects of the Affordable Care Act.
The positive effects might include the number of people now insured. They could also include the fact that more health screenings are now covered. The negative effects might be that some insurance premiums have gone up. Or you could point out that some employers have cut workers’ hours to avoid paying health insurance for their employees.
Technology and media explanatory essay topics
1. How can music influence someone’s mood?
Having a bad day? Put in your earbuds, and play your favorite song. Relax, dance, or sing along. Hey, it’s important to do some research to see how the music affects you, right?
2. How might prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising affect consumers?
Never mind how annoying prescription drug ads can be and how sick of watching them you might be. Instead, consider whether the ads encourage people to speak to their doctors about health concerns. You might also consider how the cost of drugs is impacted by the extra cost of advertising.
3. How does alcohol advertising impact consumers (especially teens)?
Alcohol ads make everything surrounding their adult beverages sexy, fun, and cool. How might teens be influenced by these images? Are teens more likely or less likely to consume alcohol based on these ads?
4. What are positive and negative impacts of technology in the classroom?
Technology can be a positive influence. It can help students master material. It can make learning more fun and engaging. But it can also be a negative influence. For example, it can distract students. (Think of the temptation to Snapchat or check Instagram during class.)
Literature explanatory essay topics
1. What are three key symbols in Romeo and Juliet?
There’s a lot of symbolism to explore in this play. You might consider the following symbols as a start: death, poison, and love.
2. Compare the American Dream of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman to today’s American Dream.
Willy Loman believes that being popular and liked by others will help him achieve the American Dream. In many ways, his American Dream mirrors that of many people’s American Dream today. Consider how his attitude and his dreams for material possessions compare to the attitudes and dreams of people today.
3. Identify several gender roles in A Doll’s House, and compare those roles to gender roles today.
Nora is expected to be the helpless housewife. Her husband, Torvald, believes he is dominant and the ultimate protector. Despite all that, the play also addresses feminism and Nora’s independence.
4. Explain the most prominent theme of Macbeth.
Most would agree that the most prominent theme in the play is power and its ability to corrupt. Your essay might explore this theme and how it is portrayed in Macbeth. You might also expand the discussion to compare the theme and its portrayal in other works. For example, you could compare the same theme in Lord of the Fliesor Animal Farm.
Science explanatory essay topics
1. What are the causes and effects of a polar vortex?
In basic terms, a polar vortex is caused when a low pressure system pushes cold air into an area. What are the effects? (Besides lots of cold and often miserable people, of course!)
2. Identify several examples why nuclear power may or may not be safe.
An essay about nuclear power might highlight the fact that the risk at nuclear power plants is statistically low. The same essay might also point to the dangers should an accident occur.
3. Explain why GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may or may not be safe for consumers.
Some point to studies that illustrate that GMOs are perfectly safe. Others argue that studies show a link between GMOs and health concerns, such as kidney or liver damage.
4. Explain how to make a cloud in a bottle or how to make a mini volcano in your kitchen.
Either of these is a good topic for a more lighthearted essay that still discusses solid scientific principles. It might be fun to create a volcano in your kitchen too!
Your Wish Has Been Granted
Sometimes, having a list of topics can be exactly what you need to finally pick the perfect explanatory essay topic and get writing!
Don’t tell me. You still aren’t happy with the topics I’ve included here? Read 17 Expository Essay Topics for an Outstanding Paper. Maybe you’ll find one on the list that inspires you.
Remember, once you’ve finished your paper, don’t simply wish for a good grade.
Get help with proofreading, editing, and revising. Send your paper our way, and let us help grant your wish!
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.
“For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes.”
Joseph M. Juran
The entire universe is connected and so are the people, events, ideas. Sometimes we are aware of these connections, but in other instances, we are not. Every cause has its consequence or results even if we don’t see it at a first glance. This is the premise behind cause and effect essays. A common assignment in high school and college, cause and effect essay urges a writer to elaborate root of the idea or problem and its larger impact. This useful guide will show you how to complete one such essay easily.
The main point of this essay is to determine how various ideas or phenomena are connected to one another. A write creates a scenario where one cause generates one or more consequences and why. The paper requires a deep understanding of the subject and focuses on explaining all the “whys” and “hows”. Contrary to the common misconception, this essay doesn’t just state a cause and result but also describes how and why it took place. Why did something happen? How did it occur?
Benefits of writing a cause and effect essay
Every essay has its purpose that goes beyond the subject. Believe it or not, essay writing is a practical and effective way of improving different skills you’ll be using throughout your life. That’s why students get these assignments in the first place. Let’s take a look at skills that you develop while working on a cause and effect essay:
- Writing skills – of course, working on different assignments sharpens your writing skills and this essay is not an exception
- Organizational skills – we need to be organized in every aspect of our lives in order to get something done. Cause and effect essay improves your ability to get organized. You arrange causes and effects in a way that will keep reader’s interest and avoid creating additional confusions about the subject. While researching, you can identify a multitude of causes and effects. Good organizational skills are essential to categorize them and include into your essay properly
- Attention to details – this form of essay isn’t just about mention a cause and consequences that everyone can see, it digs deep and highlight some causal links we don’t notice easily. To do this, you need to pay attention to details. Frequent cause and effect essay writing sharpens this skill and it can only be good for you, especially in the working environment
- Objective thinking – the goal is to report a causal link between two ideas or situations without letting your emotions interfere with the way you write. Being unbiased is a great skill to adopt as it only makes you seem more authoritative and responsible
Areas of interest
Similarly to other forms of essay writing, cause and effect paper can write about everything that’s happening in the world around us. Everything you see, read, witness, hear, or experience can be turned into a discussion and, thereby a cause and effect essay. Every action has its consequences. That means you have plenty of causes (actions) and effects (consequences) to write about. Here are common categories:
- World events
- Social issues
- Relationships and marriage
- Health and medicine
Cause and effect essay outline
Quality of your cause and effect essay depends on the outline you follow. You can consider outline as the spine of your essay. Just like spine supports the body, outline supports your paper and keeps you on the right track. We have a lot to say when writing an essay and it’s easy to get off the subject. The strong outline doesn’t allow that to happen. Here’s an outline of cause and effect essay:
- Introduction – sets the tone of the essay, catches reader’s attention, and creates a sound basis for the entire paper. It provides background information that introduces the topic and finishes with a thesis statement
- Causes/effects – the central part of the essay and one can write it in many ways. You can mention causes or effects individually or causal links (causes + effects). The approach depends on the way you organize the paper or causes and effects you wish to discuss
- Conclusion – restates the topic and its importance summarizes causes and effects discussed and calls for action while explaining what could happen if we don’t act on the matter
Having to discuss some subject in a detail and mention its causes and effects may be overwhelming. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly natural to be concerned. It shows you care. Too much stress, though, is not a good thing. In order to minimize stress, you need to know all the tricks and tips that make the writing process easier, and here they are:
- Understand cause vs. effects – it is not uncommon for students to mix them up. Cause is the catalyst or the reason behind the occurrence of some event while effect is its consequence
- Research – regardless of the type of the paper, research is a must. Investigate the subject from different angles, think outside the box, and collect information that you’ll use later
- Make meaningful links – you need to explain effects by making appropriate links to causes. Their relationship has to be solid and discussed thoroughly. Avoid discussing causes and effects that have a barely noticeable link
- Quality over quantity – avoid piling causes and effects one after another. Remember, you should provide a deeper insight into their relationship and use evidence to support your claims. Quality of a cause-effect link beats quantity
- Choose the method – you can arrange causes and effects in a chronological order, based on the importance, or categorize them. Choose the approach you find most convenient
- Smooth transition – to avoid choppiness, use transition words that allow you to switch from one point to another seamlessly. Transition words for causes include: due to, because, first, since etc. Words for causes include: consequently, thereby, hence, therefore, thus
- Remember the purpose – the goal of this essay is to inform the reader about causes and effects associated with some subject, it rarely (almost never) involves persuading someone to adopt your view
- Be unbiased – you may agree or disagree with someone, like or dislike, love or hate, but you should never show it in the paper. Cause and effect essay should be unbiased or objective
- Don’t exaggerate – for a stronger impact one might feel tempted to exaggerate the effects or causes, but you need to avoid doing that. Stick to the facts only
- Evidence – it’s not enough to write “this cause has this effect”, you need evidence to support everything you write. Use reputable journals, publications, and other respected sources during this process
Cause and Effect Essay Topics
You get to choose your own cause and effect essay topic? That’s wonderful! In many cases lecturers allow students to write an essay based on a subject they choose for themselves. Some students spend hours thinking about topics they could discuss, but you don’t have to do that.
Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Here are great ideas for you:
- Causes of voter apathy
- What is the effect of divorce on children? Does the child’s age make any difference?
- Effects of abortion on a relationship
- Causes behind US poverty
- Causes of homelessness and its effects on society
- Effects of increasing obesity rates in the US
- Effects of stress on health
- What are the effects of violent video games on a child’s cognition and behavior?
- Causes of addition to exercise and its effects
- College dropout rates have never been higher: causes and effects
- Reasons why online shopping makes internet users spend more money
- Positive and negative effects of technology on our lives
- Effects of feminism on marriage
- Causes and effects of air pollution
- What was the effect of colonialism on Britain’s view of itself?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Relationships and family
- What causes people to cheat on each their partners.
- Effects of living together before the marriage.
- Long-term effects of growing up with a single parent.
- What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships?
- What are causes of destructive relationships between siblings?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Environment
- What is the most dangerous factor that affects the world climate changes today?
- Has human curiosity had an overall positive or negative effect on the planet?
- What effect did human curiosity in relation to our planet?
- What are causes of environmental catastrophes?
- What could be the effects of global warming on the planet?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Social issues
- What impact does frequent violence (either from war or street violence) have on a community?
- What effect makes social networks on real life communications?
- What are the causes of poverty in megalopolises?
- How lack of freedom can effect on the society?
- What are the effects of living in poor housing?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Technology
- Effects of modern technological progress on children.
- What impact has the internet on youth?
- What are effects of using modern technologies during the class work?
- How technology development affects the state of nature?
- What are causes of technological advancements in Japan?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Education
- What are causes and effects of changing a major in the middle of the studies?
- What makes a person be an excellent student?
- The causes and effects of an exam failure.
- The cause and effects of cheating at the exams.
- What are the effects of student involvement into extra-curricular activities?
Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Psychology
- Why has depression become one of the most wide-spread illnesses?
- What makes a person have a good mood?
- The effects of stress on students who both study and work.
- Why is good mental health no less important than physical well-being?
- What are causes and effects of having an empathy?
Topic Ideas: Health
- How does a person’s diet affect his or her health?
- Causes and effects of vaccination in teenage age.
- Effects of having smallpox in adult age.
- What are causes of long-term smoking?
- What are the causes and effect of insomnia during exam week?
Topic Ideas: Food
- Cause and effects of eating seafood.
- Effects of eating only vegetarian food.
- Why is it dangerous to eat in cheap fast food restaurants?
- Effects of eating genetically modified foods.
- What are the typical causes of loss of appetite?
Topic Ideas: Sport
- How regular workout improves the productivity of a person?
- Causes and effects of skipping physical education lessons in school.
- What are effects of doing sports professionally?
- Causes and effects of sports violence.
- What effect does doing extreme sports have?
Topic Ideas: Culture
- What is the reason of popularity of movies based on comic books?
- How listening to favorite music affect the person?
- Why are summer music festivals so popular among youth?
- How free music downloading effects the artist
- What are long-term effects of video games playing addiction?
The cause and effect essay writing doesn’t have to turn into a major struggle. You have the opportunity to make this process easy. How? It’s simple; thanks to the amazing breakthrough of technology and easy internet availability, students have access to multiple platforms and tools that simplify essay writing. Here are a few examples.
Essay topic generator
Instead of browsing Google and spending hours trying to come up with a cause and effect essay topic, you can just use Edusson Magic Help. The platform displays a multitude of topic ideas you can use to practice or write your own essay. Search by alphabet, category, most popular topics, or simply enter a keyword and you’ll see an abundance of titles that will inspire you.
Use Edusson Magic Help essay samples to see how other students wrote their own cause and effect essays. This will inspire you to write your own, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and avoid common pitfalls. With a prescription plan, you can also save some essays in the library and read them later.
Essay checker called RobotDon is a highly practical platform and the best tool a student can use when writing an essay. The software utilizes cutting-edge algorithms to analyze uniqueness and check for plagiarism. In addition, it checks sentence structure, rhythm, readability, word use, and overall quality of your paper.
Essay writing service
Professional writing service gathers an amazing team of writers who can create cause and effect essay based on your needs, deadline, word count, and other info you provide. The essay is written from scratch and made to reflect your own position on the subject.
Essay editing service
For students who just need someone to go through an essay and correct mistakes, the editing service at Edusson is the best solution. Editors and proofreaders read and correct spelling and grammar mistakes, improve your style and formatting, and enhance the overall quality of the paper