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Expository Writing for Elementary School Children
Sean Blackburn is a fact-checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.
When your children come home from school with an expository writing assignment, your first thought as a parent might be, "Huh?" Expository writing is the moniker given to the kinds of writing assignments that simply used to be known as a report. And as such, expository writing, or writing reports , is simultaneously probably the most straightforward and the most challenging kind of assignments that kids will get in elementary school.
Understanding Expository Writing
The ability to write in an expository manner is a component of many careers, and as such, it's an important skill for your child to master.
Expository writing is used to describe, explain, define, or otherwise inform a reader about a specific subject. It’s devoid of opinion or unnecessary descriptive language.
Young students are typically taught to prepare expository writing by following a five-step model. For children just learning to organize their thoughts and write them down, the steps may consist of sentences. Older children may use paragraphs.
The first sentence or paragraph of an expository writing assignment will convey the main idea of the piece. If it's a paragraph, it should include a topic sentence that conveys the thesis clearly, without taking a position or resorting to opinion. The following three sentences or paragraphs will contain supporting details to buttress the main idea. The fifth sentence or paragraph will provide a summary of the piece, or conclusion, often restating the thesis or main idea.
Why It's a Challenge for Students
Unlike other writing assignments that children may get in school, which are designed to inspire them to use words and grammar in a proper fashion, the expository writing assignment has an overarching goal in addition to correct grammar and spelling.
Expository writing provides a challenge to the student because they must be able to organize their thoughts, follow a plan, and in higher grades, conduct research to support their thesis. Fulfilling these kinds of goals, in addition to spelling and using grammar correctly, asks children to think on multiple levels.
In particular, children who may be adept at grammar and spelling may struggle with conveying their thoughts in an organized fashion.
Younger children can be introduced to expository writing simply by having them write journalistically without forming opinions. The teacher might bring in a box of unfamiliar objects and ask students to describe them in writing. Descriptive writing is a great way to start students writing in a neutral tone. Children could compare opposites in writing , describing a summer day's activities versus a winter day's.
For older children, the time-honored book report is a classic exercise in expository writing. Students choose a book and craft a thesis about or a position on it. A topic sentence might identify what kind of book it is, or the kinds of readers for whom the book may be of interest and why. Subsequent sentences back up this assertion.
One good way to help older kids in their use of expository writing is to remind them to address the who, what, when, where, and why of the topic they've chosen. All five components may not always apply, but remembering to think about each of these aspects can help students write a compelling report.
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Expository Essays: A Complete Guide
You write a lot of essays, and while they might share some broad characteristics such as their structure, they can be quite different from each other. Some essays are meant to convince the reader that the position you’re arguing is the correct position, while others explore the differences and similarities between literary works. Beyond these, you might also be assigned to write essays that explain subjects, events, and concepts to the reader, sometimes walking them through processes. These essays are known as expository essays.
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What is an expository essay?
An expository essay is an essay that communicates factual information. Broadly, this type of writing is known as expository writing . Expository essays rely on different structures to communicate their positions, like compare and contrast, process essays, and analyzing cause and effect.
Expository writing is one of the four main types of writing . The others are persuasive, narrative , and descriptive writing.
Knowing how to write an expository essay, along with knowing how to write other types of essays , is an essential skill for any student to master. Expository writing isn’t the place to be cute, clever, or edgy; it’s the kind of writing where you position facts and observations to let them speak for themselves in the most effective way possible. It’s the kind of writing you do when you’re analyzing information you’ve been assigned to study, thinking critically about concepts covered in class, and explaining the processes and reasons behind the conclusions you’ve reached.
The purpose of expository writing
Expository writing has a clear purpose: to educate the reader. While it may also entertain or persuade the reader, these are secondary benefits and not the author’s goal. Well-crafted expository writing demonstrates the author’s expertise on the subject and in many cases demonstrates how they learned about their subject.
For example, you might be assigned to write an essay about the mock trial your class held. In this essay, you would introduce the assignment and the case your class worked on through the trial. Then in the following body paragraphs , you would describe each stage in the mock trial process (discovery, opening statements, cross-examination, closing statements, jury deliberation, and verdict) and how your class completed each of these stages. In the final paragraph, you would state the verdict your class reached and the judge’s ruling.
Your essay about the mock trial doesn’t argue that the ruling was right or wrong. It merely explains the process your class used to work through the trial process and learn how real court cases move through the court system. In other words, your essay would present facts and process rather than opinion and commentary.
5 types of expository essays
As we mentioned above, expository essays come in many forms. These include the following:
1 Classification essays
In a classification essay, you write about various subjects within one category, discussing each subject’s unique characteristics alongside the characteristics that connect it with others in its category. For example, you might write a classification essay about different kinds of herding dogs. Your essay would start with a thesis statement about how herding breeds are different from other categories of dogs, then in each paragraph, discuss specific herding breeds (corgi, collie, heeler, etc.).
2 Definition essays
A definition essay defines its subject by presenting clear facts about it. Your definition essay might challenge commonly repeated myths about a historical event by presenting firsthand accounts of the event from primary sources and discussing relevant social, political, and economic trends that impacted the event and influenced perceptions of it.
3 Process essays
A process essay walks the reader through the steps involved in completing a task. A recipe has a lot in common with a process essay. A process essay’s opening paragraph explains the process that will be covered and the end result of following the directions. Each body paragraph is a step in the process, then the conclusion explains what the reader should have achieved by completing each step.
4 Compare-and-contrast essays
In a compare-and-contrast essay , you support your thesis statement by examining the differences and similarities between the sources cited. For example, you might write an essay comparing and contrasting the dress code at your school with the dress codes at two neighboring schools. Your body paragraphs might examine the differences in which articles of clothing are and aren’t allowed as well as the overall preciseness of each dress code’s language and the amount of “gray area” present in each policy.
5 Cause-and-effect essays
As the name implies, a cause-and-effect essay gets into how specific events and/or actions caused others to occur. They sometimes trace chains of events to explore why we find ourselves facing certain circumstances today. An example of a cause-and-effect essay might be one tracking how shifting market trends over the past few decades impacted the industries in your region, creating the current local economy.
How to structure an expository essay
Expository essays follow the same general structure you use with every essay assignment : an introduction, body paragraphs that support and expand upon the points you made in your introduction, then a conclusion that reiterates those points and underscores your thesis.
Unless your instructor requires your essay to hit a certain word count, there’s no specific length your essay needs to be. Similarly, it doesn’t need to have a specific number of paragraphs—but it does need to express your points thoroughly and accurately. To achieve this, your essay should follow this format, give or take the quantity of body paragraphs for the number of supporting points you make:
In the introduction, you present your essay topic and your thesis statement, ideally hooking your reader with intriguing facts. You also introduce your supporting evidence and all necessary context to help your reader understand your thesis.
Each supporting point you make needs its own body paragraph. Although the five-paragraph essay is typically considered the “standard” essay length, you might need a six-paragraph or longer essay to thoroughly communicate your thesis statement.
Use transition words and sentences to transition between body paragraphs. Transition words and sentences are the phrases that express the relationship between two paragraphs, signaling to the reader why you’re making a specific point and how that point fits into your overall work.
In your last body paragraph, you’ll need to transition to your conclusion. That doesn’t mean you should start summarizing here—give your final body paragraph as much insight and detail as you gave your previous body paragraphs.
In your conclusion , you restate your thesis statement and summarize the points you made in your body paragraphs. It should neatly tie up any loose ends and answer any lingering questions the reader may have.
How do you write an expository essay?
Before you write your next expository essay, familiarize yourself with the conventions and rules for essay writing . These general guidelines will help you structure your essay and determine the most effective way to present your information. But because you’re writing an expository essay, it’s also important that you understand and incorporate all the characteristics that separate expository essays from other kinds of writing. Keep the following rules for expository writing in mind:
- Despite the taboo, insects make an excellent food source and could stem humanity’s looming food shortage, based on both their protein output and the sustainability of farming them.
- The backlash to rock ’n’ roll music in the ’50s by religious groups and traditionalists actually boosted the genre’s popularity instead of diminishing it as intended.
- Your tone should be objective and academic . While narrative and descriptive essays can take on artistic, impassioned, and familiar tones, expository essays stick to conventional language and a neutral tone.
- Stick to the facts. An expository essay is not the place to express your opinion—or even present the facts in a way meant to change or shape the reader’s opinion.
- Always be completely sure of the facts you’re presenting. That means thoroughly vetting your sources, cross-checking them with other reputable sources, and properly citing every fact you put forth as the truth.
Start writing your expository essay the same way you would start the writing process for any other project: by brainstorming. If you weren’t assigned a topic, you’ll need to determine an appropriate topic on your own—brainstorming is where you’ll determine that topic. It’s also where you’ll determine your thesis statement, the most important component of your expository essay . Don’t move forward with outlining your essay until you have a thesis statement.
Once you have a clear thesis statement, it’s time to outline your essay. With an expository essay, it’s especially important that you present accurate facts in a logical way. It can be very helpful to note your sources for each paragraph in your outline.
With a completed outline, it’s time to start writing. Follow the standard writing process through this first draft, editing, and your revision. Once you’re finished, make sure you proofread your essay carefully—not only for grammar and spelling mistakes, but to double-check that you’ve properly cited every source and formatted your essay according to your assigned style guide.
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In an expository essay, it’s especially important that your writing is mistake-free. Having spelling and grammatical mistakes in your writing undermines your credibility as a writer, so even if your ideas and insights are solid, readers won’t get as much out of your work as they would if it had no mistakes.
That’s why proofreading is so important . . . and why Grammarly is so helpful. Before you submit your essay, use Grammarly to catch any mistakes or unclear sentences that might have sneaked past you while you were proofreading your work. It can also ensure that the tone you’re using is the tone you want to be using—and that it’s consistent through your whole essay.
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How to Write an Expository Essay | Structure, Tips & Examples
Published on July 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 7, 2022.
“Expository” means “intended to explain or describe something.” An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn’t set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter.
Expository essays are usually short assignments intended to test your composition skills or your understanding of a subject. They tend to involve less research and original arguments than argumentative essays .
Table of contents
When should you write an expository essay, how to approach an expository essay, introducing your essay, writing the body paragraphs, concluding your essay, frequently asked questions about expository essays.
In school and university, you might have to write expository essays as in-class exercises, exam questions, or coursework assignments.
Sometimes it won’t be directly stated that the assignment is an expository essay, but there are certain keywords that imply expository writing is required. Consider the prompts below.
The word “explain” here is the clue: An essay responding to this prompt should provide an explanation of this historical process—not necessarily an original argument about it.
Sometimes you’ll be asked to define a particular term or concept. This means more than just copying down the dictionary definition; you’ll be expected to explore different ideas surrounding the term, as this prompt emphasizes.
An expository essay should take an objective approach: It isn’t about your personal opinions or experiences. Instead, your goal is to provide an informative and balanced explanation of your topic. Avoid using the first or second person (“I” or “you”).
The structure of your expository essay will vary according to the scope of your assignment and the demands of your topic. It’s worthwhile to plan out your structure before you start, using an essay outline .
A common structure for a short expository essay consists of five paragraphs: An introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
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Like all essays, an expository essay begins with an introduction . This serves to hook the reader’s interest, briefly introduce your topic, and provide a thesis statement summarizing what you’re going to say about it.
Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.
In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
The body of your essay is where you cover your topic in depth. It often consists of three paragraphs, but may be more for a longer essay. This is where you present the details of the process, idea or topic you’re explaining.
It’s important to make sure each paragraph covers its own clearly defined topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Different topics (all related to the overall subject matter of the essay) should be presented in a logical order, with clear transitions between paragraphs.
Hover over different parts of the example paragraph below to see how a body paragraph is constructed.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.
The conclusion of an expository essay serves to summarize the topic under discussion. It should not present any new information or evidence, but should instead focus on reinforcing the points made so far. Essentially, your conclusion is there to round off the essay in an engaging way.
Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a conclusion works.
The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.
An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.
Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.
You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.
An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.
Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.
An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.
An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.
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100 Expository 7th Grade Writing Prompts for Your Students
Inspired students find writing much more fun. This list of 100 7th grade expository writing prompts will spark your students' interest and get those pencils moving. From compare and contrast essays to detailing problems and solutions, kids will be motivated to explain their thinking with these age-appropriate prompts.
Descriptive Writing Prompts for 7th Graders
To get kids writing, descriptive writing prompts need to be suited to the junior high world your students inhabit. These description-based informational writing prompts can help:
- Describe your bedroom, including details from all five of your senses.
- Everyone has a "happy place," such as a wonderful vacation spot or favorite reading nook. Describe yours in detail.
- Tell about the experience of walking up to the school and coming inside, but find ways to make sure your description is unique.
- When was the last time you saw a rainbow? Describe it and your experience that day.
- Close your eyes and imagine the face of someone who really understands you. Now open your eyes and write about the person without using their name.
- Describe the setting in one of your favorite books. Don't reveal the title until the end.
- Write about your favorite cookie. How is it made? What makes it great?
- Imagine you're packing for a trip. What do you put in your suitcase?
- Introduce a family member, such as your mom, younger sibling, or cousin. Give some background about what this person does.
- Describe the ideal outfit for an activity. It can be a fun event like a dance or a specific gear-related hobby like rock climbing.
- Describe the technology of today's world to someone who lived 100 years ago.
- Talk about a path or road you've taken many times. Describe what you see and hear along this path.
- Give a description of the local movie theater.
- Tell someone what it's like to ride a school bus.
- Describe your favorite childhood toy or blanket, using every sense.
- What will the world be like in 40 years?
- What kind of weather do you like best? Describe a day with that weather.
- Tell about a local attraction, such as a museum, zoo, beach, park, or other fun spot.
- Describe a forest where you've taken a walk.
- Imagine you are about to open your locker. What do you see?
7th Grade Sequential Writing Prompts
From giving instructions to telling a story, writing sequentially is an important skill. This is also a great opportunity to practice using transition words . These expository and explanatory writing prompts focus on sequential writing that's inspiring for this age group.
- Imagine you meet someone who has never made hot cocoa. Write a series of instructions, including tips for water temperature and the ideal number of mini marshmallows.
- Tell someone how to get from your school to the nearest grocery store or gas station.
- Explain to your grandmother how to download and install a new app on her phone.
- Write up a new set of instructions for your favorite board game.
- You're having a sleepover with three friends at your house. In order, what are the steps you take to get ready?
- When was the last time you made something with your hands? Maybe it was a woodworking project, a snack, a scarf, or something else. Tell how you made it.
- Imagine aliens have been spotted at the movie theater. Write about what happens, using the words "first," "next," and "finally" somewhere in your story.
- Look up your favorite musician online and read an article that talks about his or her career path. Now describe that career path in your own words so your teacher will understand it.
- Have you read a good book lately? Summarize the plot. Spoilers are allowed.
- Who do you know who does something really well? Discuss the steps that person took to get good at this activity.
- Write a plan for your life, starting from today, and ending when you are a grown up.
- Do you remember the first time you met your best friend? Tell the story of how you met.
- When was the last time you won an award or were praised for your work? Write an essay describing everything that went into that great moment.
- Imagine someone from 1900 time jumps into this year. Give them a basic idea of how to use a dishwasher, including all the steps they need to follow.
- Describe the process you use to get ready for school in the morning.
- Tell someone who has never done any cooking how to make toast with butter, jam, or whatever spread you most enjoy.
- Describe every step in your family's celebration of an important holiday.
- Summarize a fairy tale you like from beginning to end.
- What is your secret talent? Write about how you do it, one step at a time.
- Some stories skip around instead of going in order. Think of a movie or book that does this. Then, put the story in order instead.
Compare and Contrast Writing Prompts for 7th Graders
Seventh graders are building analytical skills, and you can help support this growth with compare and contrast writing ideas. These prompts will inspire kids to consider how things are alike and how they are different:
- How is life different today than it was when your parents were in 7th grade? How is it the same?
- Some animals have a lot in common, and that makes their differences stand out. Think of two animals you like and compare and contrast them.
- Pick two beverages, such as coffee and tea or Coke and Pepsi. How are they same? How are they different?
- Do you have a sibling or cousin? Talk about what family traits you share and how you are different.
- Look at the school lunch menu. Pick any two meals and compare and contrast the options.
- How is a smartphone the same or different than a landline telephone?
- Pick two characters in your favorite book, movie, or TV show. How are they the same and different?
- People talk about "comparing apples to oranges" when two things are really different. Compare apples and oranges. Do they have any traits in common?
- How are people and trees the same? How are they different?
- How are you and your best friend alike? How are you different?
- Think about mac and cheese from a box and homemade mac and cheese. In what ways are they the same and different?
- What is the best pizza you've ever had? How about the worst? Compare and contrast these two pizzas.
- How is Barack Obama like Abraham Lincoln? How is he different?
- How is a photograph like a drawing? In what ways are they different?
- Compare and contrast your house now with the house you'll have when you grow up.
- Rules change about how society thinks people should discipline kids. Compare and contrast how your parents discipline you with how they may have been disciplined as children.
- Teenagers in the 1800s had to help out on farms, work in factories, and sometimes even go to war. How was being a teenager the same in that era compared to today, and how was it different?
- Compare and contrast one of your current teachers with your kindergarten teacher.
- Think of two places you've gone on vacation. Compare and contrast them.
- How is a pencil like a sword? How is it different?
7th Grade Cause and Effect Writing Prompts
Being able to effectively show how one thing affects another thing is an essential writing skill for students to master. Help them get started with these inspiring cause and effect writing prompts:
- What choices did your grandparents make that got you where you are today?
- Think of the last weather cancellation at your school. What happened on that day because of the change in plans?
- How does drug or alcohol abuse harm families?
- What causes kids to have a good relationship with their parents?
- What is something your sibling or cousin did that affected you?
- How did your choice of breakfast affect your day?
- If they passed a law saying school had to go year-round, how would that change your life?
- Everyone knows bullying is bad, but what makes it happen?
- Why are people comforted by owning animals?
- Why do some kids rebel against their school or parents?
- If kids are too busy and over-scheduled, how does this affect their school work?
- How will climate change affect your life?
- What causes kids to get braces, and how do braces affect kids' lives?
- How do cell phones affect family relationships?
- Why do some children give up on school?
- Pick a historical figure. How did that person change the world?
- Think of a decision you made that had unintended consequences. What happened?
- How did the internet change the way people live?
- Think of an invention, such as the printing press, sewing machine, car, or home computer. How did this invention change the world?
- How does studying for a test change your grade? Why?
Problem and Solution Writing Prompts for 7th Graders
Describing problems and solutions is an essential part of communication, and 7th graders are developmentally ready to explore this topic. These problem and solution writing prompts will help:
- Think of a problem at your school, such as bullying, too much homework, or too little time between classes. Why is this a problem? What is the best way to solve it?
- Climate change is a problem facing the world, but there are individual solutions people can try. Describe one solution a kid your age can use to help this problem.
- If you could change something about the way your school looks, what would you change?
- How can your school make things easier for kids with sensory issues or autism?
- Some studies show that American students aren't as well educated as kids from some other countries. How can your school fix that problem?
- For some students, stress gets worse in middle school. What can kids, parents, and teachers do to help?
- Imagine you're making breakfast and realize you don't have any bread to make toast. What do you do instead?
- There's often a longer line for the women's restroom than the men's. What is the best way to solve this problem?
- How should your town attract visitors and new residents?
- Why don't people recycle? What can your school do to help?
- Imagine your school library is destroyed by a water leak. What can you do to solve the problem?
- Your family is out for pizza when you suddenly realize your parents forgot their money. What should they do?
- Your dog literally ate your homework. How do you negotiate with your teacher?
- DESCRIPTION 100 Expository 7th Grade Writing Prompts for Your Students
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- Imagine a new student walking into your school for the first time. How could your school be more welcoming?
- Feral cats can get out of control in an area. What is the best way to keep them under control while still being kind to them?
- Imagine your town wants to build a new baseball diamond but needs to cut down a bunch of trees to do it. What should they do to make people feel okay about the trees being cut down?
- You are planning a party but your mom says she doesn't have enough forks for all your friends. What kind of food should you serve?
- Wasting water is bad for the planet. How can people conserve water?
- Not everyone who can vote actually does. What is stopping people from voting? How can those problems be solved?
- What is the best way to get kids to do their homework?
Analytical Language Skills Practice
Expository writing is an important part of the common core standards for 7th graders. It's also an essential communication tool for life. Going beyond the fundamentals of spelling and 7th grade grammar , this type of writing encourages kids to think logically and practice their analytical language skills.
Writing Prompts for 7th Grade
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By seventh grade, students should be refining the core writing skills of brainstorming , researching, outlining, drafting, and revising. In order to hone these skills, seventh-grade students need regular practice writing a variety of essay styles, including narrative, persuasive, expository , and creative essays. The following essay prompts offer age-appropriate starting points to help seventh graders flex their writing muscles.
Narrative Essay Writing Prompts
Narrative essays share a personal experience to tell a story, usually to make a point rather than merely to entertain. These narrative essay prompts encourage students to describe and reflect on a story that's meaningful to them.
- Embarrassing Pasts - As people get older, they are sometimes embarrassed by things they used to like, such as toys, television shows, or nicknames. Describe something that you used to enjoy that you now find embarrassing. Why is it embarrassing now?
- Bonds of Hardship - Sometimes difficulties draw families closer. Describe something that your family endured together that strengthened your relationships.
- There’s No Place Like Home - What makes your hometown special? Explain this special quality.
- New Kid in Town - Being new to a town or school can be challenging because you don’t know anyone, or exciting because no one knows you and your past. Describe a time when you were the new kid.
- Finders Keepers - Write about a time when you lost (or found) something of value. How did that experience affect your opinion of the saying, “Finders keepers; losers weepers?"
- Follow the Leader - Describe a time when you were in a leadership role. How did it make you feel? What did you learn from the experience?
- April Fools - Write about the best prank you’ve ever played on someone (or had played on you). What made it so clever or funny?
- Bon Appetit - Special meals can be powerful memory-makers. Write about a specific meal that stands out in your memory. What made it so unforgettable?
- Bon Voyage - Family trips and vacations also create lasting memories. Write an essay detailing your favorite family vacation memory.
- Batter Up - Write about a valuable lesson that you learned while playing your favorite sport.
- Best Friends Forever - Describe your friendship with your BFF and what makes it so important to you.
- The Real Me - What is one thing you wish your parents, teachers, or coaches really understood or knew about you?
- TV - Explain what makes your favorite television show so enjoyable or relatable to you.
Persuasive Essay Writing Prompts
Persuasive essays use facts and reasoning to convince the reader to embrace the writer’s opinion or take a course of action. These essay prompts empower seventh graders to write persuasively about an issue they genuinely care about.
- Outdated Laws - What is one law or family or school rule that you think needs to be changed? Convince lawmakers, your parents, or school leaders to make the change.
- Bad Ads - Advertising can have a powerful impact on consumers. What is a product that you’ve seen advertised that you don’t think should be? Explain why the media should quit showing these ads.
- Puppy Love - You want a pet, but your parents don’t think you need one. What would you say to change their minds?
- Lights, Camera - What is your favorite book of all time? Write an essay convincing a producer to make a movie about it.
- Snooze Button - Studies have shown that tweens and teens need more sleep. Write a proposal for a later school start time.
- Body Shop - Magazines can negatively impact their readers’ body image by using edited images of models. Convince a teen magazine publisher that they should not use heavily-edited model images in their publication.
- It Can’t Be Over - The network is canceling your favorite television show. Write a paper convincing the station that they’re making a mistake.
- Curfews - Some malls have policies forbidding kids under 18 to be at the mall without adult supervision during certain times. Do you think this is fair or unfair? Defend your position.
- Team Spirit - Should homeschooled students be allowed to play sports on public or private school teams? Why or why not?
- Smartphones - All of your friends have the latest smartphone, but you only have a “dumb phone.” Should your parents upgrade your phone, or are smartphones for middle school kids a bad idea?
- Bullies - Some dogs, such as pit bulls or Dobermans, are labeled “bully breeds.” Is this label deserved or undeserved?
- Money Can’t Buy You Love - People say that money can’t buy happiness, but some studies have shown that people with higher incomes may be happier . Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
- Ratings - There are age restrictions on movies and video games, ratings on television shows, and warning labels on music. Computers and smartphones offer parental controls. Do adults have too much control over what kids watch and listen to or do these restrictions serve a valuable purpose?
Expository Essay Writing Prompts
Expository essays describe a process or provide factual information. These prompts can serve as jumping-off points for the explanatory process.
- School’s in Session - Would you rather attend public school, private school, or be homeschooled. Explain the benefits of your choice.
- Admiration - Who do you admire from your life or history? Write an essay describing how their character or contributions to their community have earned your respect.
- Global Community - If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Write about your dream hometown and why you want to live there.
- Peer Problems - Peer pressure and bullying can make life as a middle school student difficult. Describe a time you were pressured or bullied and how it affected you.
- Order Up - A friend wants to learn how to make your favorite food. Detail the process, step-by-step, so your friend can recreate the dish.
- Addictions - Many people are impacted by drug or alcohol addictions. Share facts about how the use of these substances negatively affects families or communities.
- Serve Others - Community service is a valuable experience. Describe a time you volunteered. What did you do and how did it make you feel?
- City or Country Mouse - Do you live in a big city or a small town? Explain why you do or don’t like living there.
- Aspirations - What do you want to be when you’re an adult? Explain why you’d choose that career or what you’ll do to prepare for it.
- Point in Time - Sometimes people bury time capsules so future generations can learn about the past. What would you include to give an accurate snapshot of life in the current time?
- Hobbyist - You’re friend wants to take up your favorite hobby. Explain it to him.
- SOS - A natural disaster has destroyed homes and businesses in a nearby city. Describe what you can do to help.
- Wonder Twin Power - Some superheroes can fly or become invisible. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Creative Essay Writing Prompts
Creative essays are fictional stories. They use plot, character, and dialog to engage and entertain the reader. These prompts will get the creative juices flowing.
- Fan Fic - Write a story about your favorite characters from a book, film, or television show.
- Cats vs. Dogs - You have two pets of different species. Write a story from their point of view about a day at home alone.
- Time Travel - You find a time machine in your backyard. What happens when you step inside?
- Dream State - Think about a time when you woke in the middle of a vivid dream. What would have happened if the dream hadn’t been interrupted?
- New Door - You’ve just discovered a door that you’ve never seen before. What happens when you walk through it?
- Secret Keeper - You find out your best friend has kept a secret from you. What is the secret and why didn’t your friend tell you?
- Fridge Fun - Write a story from the perspective of an item in your refrigerator.
- Desert Island - You’ve just discovered an uncharted island. What happens next?
- Fly on the Wall - You see two people talking excitedly, but you can’t hear what they’re saying. Write a story about what they might be saying.
- Special Delivery - You receive a battered package in the mail. Write a story about its journey from the sender to you.
- A Mile in My Shoes - You find a pair of shoes in the thrift store and put them on. Suddenly you find yourself transported into someone else’s life. Describe what happens.
- Mission to Mars - Imagine that you’re a pioneer to start a colony on Mars. Write about a typical day on your new planet.
- Snow Days - You find yourself snowed in for a week with your family. There is no electricity or phone service. What do you do for fun?
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Expository writing is used to describe, explain, define, or otherwise inform a reader about a specific subject. It’s devoid of opinion or unnecessary descriptive language. Young students are typically taught to prepare expository writing by following a five-step model.
Expository writing is: Factual Usually presented in a linear format Always presented in a logical format Objective Clear about its purpose Expository writing is not: The author’s opinion An attempt to change the reader’s mind or shape their perspective Subjective Nonlinear or otherwise unconventional in how it presents content
An expository essay is an essay that communicates factual information. Broadly, this type of writing is known as expository writing. Expository essays rely on different structures to communicate their positions, like compare and contrast, process essays, and analyzing cause and effect. Expository writing is one of the four main types of writing.
Expository writing differs from other forms of writing, such as fiction and poetry. In fact, this lesson itself is an example of expository writing. The expository essay is a tool that is often ...
“Expository” means “intended to explain or describe something.” An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn’t set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter.
This list of 100 7th grade expository writing prompts will spark your students' interest and get those pencils moving. From compare and contrast essays to detailing problems and solutions, kids will be motivated to explain their thinking with these age-appropriate prompts. Descriptive Writing Prompts for 7th Graders
By seventh grade, students should be refining the core writing skills of brainstorming, researching, outlining, drafting, and revising. In order to hone these skills, seventh-grade students need regular practice writing a variety of essay styles, including narrative, persuasive, expository, and creative essays.
10 terms · The main idea of a paragraph → Topic Sentence, What your entire essay is about → Thesis Statement, Three good "hook" starters. Name them. → Quote Personal anecdote (stor…, The paragraph which sums up the whole paper and ties back to the thesis statement → Conclusion