Expository, Personal, and Rhetorical Essay Topics

First essay –

Instructions

  1. Choose one topic from either the list of personal essay topics (A) or the list of expository essay topics (B).
  2. Write an essay of approximately 1000 to 1200 words (about four double-spaced typed pages) on your chosen topic. Expect that if your essay goes over the length requirement, your essay could be returned to you for revision.
  3. Begin your research. You might start with a general Google search and then a Google Scholar search, but you will also need to visit the AU library databases to find sound academic articles. Note: When you’re first learning about a topic, Wikipedia might be an appropriate place to start, but always move on from Wikipedia. As an open source, it is not sufficiently trustworthy for academic purposes. Therefore, do not use quotes or paraphrases from Wikipedia. This is not a source your tutor will want to see on your citation list. Be equally careful of other questionable websites since they are in abundance.
  4. Find two to four reputable secondary sources and review them carefully. At least one source should be from a peer-reviewed journal article accessed through the AU library databases. Please go to Acting on Words and read the segment called “Primary and Secondary Sources” in the chapter called “Finding Information: Types of Sources” for a sound explanation. Your tutor will also be pleased to help.
  5. Based on the research you found as well as your own brainstorming, develop a straightforward thesis that is sufficiently limited in scope (meaning something you can do justice to in a short essay).
  6. Create an outline.
  7. Consider speaking with your tutor to review your thesis and outline. We strongly encourage you to do so.
  8. Begin the first draft of your essay.
  9. Make use of at least two (and no more than four) secondary sources within your essay by adding quotations and paraphrases. Then, every time you paraphrase or quote, follow these four steps:
    1. Introduce each source
    1. Present the research
    1. Credit the source parenthetically
    1. Discuss

In other words, include quotation (and paraphrase) sandwiches in your essay. Don’t just drop in quotations or paraphrases from sources into your essay. (Some experts call these hit and run quotations).

  1. Create a Works Cited (MLA) or References page (APA), and make sure to take this task seriously. We expect you to pay very close attention to detail and follow samples for each entry. We recommend Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) for all citation matters, but be aware that there is a citation generator on the site that belongs to an advertiser. Unfortunately, citation generators will NOT necessarily produce correct results. Thus, we strongly recommend you avoid citation generators of any kind, but if you are inclined to use one as a first step only, you will need to review this information from Purdue: Responsible Use of Citation Generators. Remember that your tutor is there for you, so if you have consulted the citation guidelines and still have questions, please ask for help.
  2. Consider using the Write Site’s coaching services. Tutors are not expected or encouraged to review your drafts, but reviewing drafts is one of the mandates of the Write Site.
  3. Study the assignment checklist and answer the questions honestly.
  4. When you’re ready, upload your assignment through the assignment drop box.
  5. In English 255, we prefer MLA citation and format style unless you have a significant reason to do otherwise. If you wish to use APA citation and format style, please speak with your tutor.

A. Personal Essay Topics

No matter which topic you choose, be certain that you consider your audience before you begin writing. There is little worse for readers than slogging through a personal essay that has no apparent purpose or relevance. Readers should be motivated in some capacity by your personal essay. In other words, we all have stories, but if we share them, we have to have a reason (as far as readers are concerned) for doing so. We tell personal stories so others can be encouraged, motivated, comforted, informed, and the like. So, ask yourself the all-important “so what” and “who cares” questions, and answer honestly. Ask yourself what, beyond sharing your own story, you want readers to know or feel or learn when they read your essay.

  1. Write a personal narrative essay. Be sure to focus on a single, well defined incident with an explicit beginning, middle, and end from which you learned something about yourself, another person, or life itself. “My life with my alcoholic father,” for example, is too big a subject for a short narrative essay, but “The time my father hit rock bottom” is very likely to be sufficiently limited. Good subjects for personal narrative essays include the following: a move, a birth (if it’s exceptional in some way) or a death, a birthday or an anniversary, the loss of a prized possession, a moment of triumph or defeat. Your thesis should make a point about what this experience taught you. You may state this thesis explicitly or you may prefer to imply it.
  2. Write a personal descriptive essay about a person, place, or thing. Be sure to establish a clear dominant impression that conveys the point you want to make about your subject. All the details in your description should fit with this dominant impression. Try to include a broad range of sensory impressions: not just how your subject looks but also how it sounds, feels, smells, moves.

It’s often easier to establish this dominant impression through contrast: the changes in a place or a person or the difference between what you thought something would be and what it actually was. (Locate the essay “Two Ways of Viewing the River” by Mark Twain for a good example.) It’s also often easier to write an effective description of a person by describing a room or a location that you associate with him or her. (See if you can locate the short story “The Boat” by Alistair MacLeod for a good example.)

You will probably include some narration in a descriptive essay and some description in a narrative essay. Remember, however, that the descriptive detail in a narrative essay should help you to tell your story, whereas a chronological narrative sequence in a descriptive essay should help your reader to get a picture of what you are describing.

You may question the idea of using sources in personal writing, since the personal essay is commonly understood to be informal whereas research methods and documentation techniques are associated with more formal, scholarly styles. Despite this general truth, many personal essays use quotations or paraphrases (or both) from a variety of sources. Some personal essays begin with a reference to another writer’s reported experience – a natural way to incorporate a source. Others incorporate small bits of information from reputable sources that add credibility in the form of background, context, or detail.

B. Expository Essay Topics

Comparison/Contrast Choices

  1. Compare OR contrast two professional athletes.
  2. Contrast two vampires.
  3. Contrast two hosts of late-night talk shows.
  4. Contrast one decade to another decade.

Division-Classification Choices

  1. Discuss types of television comedies.
  2. Discuss types of sports fans.
  3. Discuss types of people waiting in line.
  4. Discuss types of drivers.

Directional Process Choices

  1. Discuss how to treat a medical condition such as, for example, addiction to painkillers, arthritis, respiratory or digestive disease, or multiple sclerosis. NOTE: If you choose this topic, assume a general adult population of readers. DO NOT make this a medical paper. DO NOT use technical language. Credit the sources of any medical information that is not common knowledge. Your tutor will return your essay for revision if these criteria are not met.
  2. Discuss how to buy a condo, a car, a computer, etc.
  3. Discuss how to travel to faraway places.
  4. Discuss how to improve your skills in a specific sport.

Checklist for Research Essay (personal or expository)

After you have completed your analysis, use the checklist below to evaluate how well you have done.

  • Did you use MLA or APA guidelines to format your essay? Did you check your formatting against examples in the textbook or on the Purdue Online Writing Lab site?
  • Is your thesis the last sentence of the first paragraph, or do you have a good reason it is not (such as you’ve written a personal essay so your thesis is implicit, or you used your first paragraph to explain or justify)?
  • Did you consider including an essay map/preview statement with your thesis sentence? (Speak to your tutor or see item #2 in the Unit 3 Lesson for further information.)
  • If writing an expository essay, have you used third person point of view throughout? If not, do you have a good reason you didn’t?
  • If writing an expository essay, does each paragraph have a topic sentence, at least two supporting points, and a non-repetitive conclusion?
  • If writing an expository essay, did you use a transitional word, phrase or sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph? Did you use transitional words and phrases as necessary to connect sentences within your paragraphs?
  • Did you follow the assignment parameters by integrating at least two reputable sources in your essay?
  • Did you introduce your sources properly? Did you present your sources according to MLA or APA formatting requirements? Did you credit your sources parenthetically? Did you discuss the quote or paraphrase? If you don’t understand the questions, please contact your tutor for help.
  • Did you check each use of research to determine whether you integrated it? (See item #5 in the Unit 4 Lesson.)
  • If writing an expository essay, did you make sure that no paragraph (excepting the conclusion) ends with a quotation?
  • Does your in-text citation properly match the corresponding Works Cited or References entry? Check this very carefully – remember that the first word of the citation has to match the first word of the corresponding entry.
  • Did you make sure to do your in-text and Works Cited or References entries correctly? Did you check each citation word for word and punctuation for punctuation against an example from the textbook, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (see links in the Unit 4 Lesson), or another reputable up-to-date source?
  • Did you create a suggestive, emphatic conclusion rather than one in which you unnecessarily repeat the main supporting points?
  • Did you revise very carefully for grammar and mechanics?

Essay length: 1000 to 1200 words

Second Essay

Instructions

  1. Choose one topic from the list below and write an essay of approximately 1000 to 1200 words (about four double-spaced typed pages). Expect that if your essay goes over the length requirement, your essay could be returned to you for revision.
  2. Begin your research. You might start with a general Google search and then a Google Scholar search, but you will also need to visit the AU library databases to find sound academic articles.
  3. Find two to four reputable secondary sources and review them carefully. At least one source should be from a peer-reviewed journal article accessed through the AU library databases.
  4. Develop a straightforward thesis that is sufficiently limited in scope (meaning something you can do justice to in a short essay).
  5. Create an outline and consider speaking with your tutor to review your thesis and outline. We strongly encourage you to do so.
  6. Write your first draft and include all of the following:
    1. An introduction that includes an interesting lead-in and an explanation/summary of what the issue is. (As necessary, convince your audience that the problem or issue exists and that it matters to others—or should.) Then, still in the introduction, briefly summarize EACH side of the issue, and finally, add a thesis/essay map that takes a stance and clarifies the purpose of your discussion, without any kind of announcement. You practiced this skill in your second session of the discussion forum, so review your previous work and any suggestions your tutor might have made.
    1. Body paragraphs that develop your viewpoint. The more thorough and detailed this section, the better. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Use specific, logical examples and integrated paraphrases, summaries, and quotations from your research.
    1. Opposing arguments/rebuttal.
    1. A conclusion that does not repeat your thesis. Instead, write a suggestive conclusion in which you offer implications for the reader’s further consideration. Remember that this is your final opportunity to impress your reader.
  7. Make use of at least two (and no more than four) secondary sources within your essay by adding quotations and paraphrases. Then, every time you paraphrase or quote, follow the four steps listed in assignment section of Unit 4.
  8. Create a Works Cited (MLA) or References page (APA), and make sure to take this task seriously. We expect you to pay very close attention to detail and follow samples for each entry. We recommend Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) for all citation matters, but be aware that there is a citation generator on the site that belongs to an advertiser. Unfortunately, citation generators will NOT necessarily produce correct results. Thus, we strongly recommend you avoid citation generators of any kind, but if you are inclined to use one as a first step only, you will need to review this information from Purdue: Responsible Use of Citation Generators. Remember that your tutor is there for you, so if you have consulted the citation guidelines and still have questions, please ask for help.
  9. Revise and edit your draft. You should have produced and edited at least one preliminary draft before you hand in the final copy.
  10. Consider using the Write Site’s coaching services. Tutors are not expected or encouraged to review your drafts, but reviewing drafts is one of the mandates of the Write Site.
  11. Study the assignment checklist and answer the questions honestly.
  12. When you’re ready, upload your assignment through the assignment drop box.

Topics

1. Does Writer’s Block exist?

2. What is/are the most effective way(s) to become a better writer?

3. Should the CRTCs requirements for Canadian content in mass media be maintained?

4. In The Educated Imagination, Northrop Frye argues that “The civilization we live in at present is a gigantic technological structure, a skyscraper almost high enough to reach the moon. It looks like a single world-wide effort, but it’s really a deadlock of rivalries; it looks very impressive, except that it has no genuine human dignity. For all its wonderful machinery, we know it’s really a crazy ramshackle building, and at any time may crash around our ears.” (98). Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?

5. Pick a song, musician, or band and argue for their social, cultural and/or political relevance in 2020.

Checklist for Argumentative Essay

After you have completed your analysis, use the checklist below to evaluate how well you have done.

  • Did you use MLA or APA guidelines to format your essay? Did you check your formatting against examples in the textbook or on the Purdue Online Writing Lab site?
  • Is your thesis the last sentence of the first paragraph, or do you have a good reason it is not?
  • Is your thesis sufficiently narrow for an essay of this length?
  • Did you consider including an essay map/preview statement with your thesis sentence? (Speak to your tutor or see Lesson 1, item #2 for further information.)
  • Have you used third person point of view throughout? If not, do you have a good reason you didn’t?
  • Does each paragraph have a topic sentence, at least two supporting points, and a non-repetitive conclusion?
  • Did you use a transitional word, phrase or sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph? Did you use transitional words and phrases as necessary to connect sentences within your paragraphs?
  • Did you follow the assignment parameters by integrating at least two reputable sources in your essay?
  • Did you introduce your sources properly? Did you present your sources according to MLA of APA formatting requirements? Did you credit your sources parenthetically? Did you discuss the quote or paraphrase? If you don’t understand the questions, please contact your tutor for help.
  • Did you check each use of research to determine whether you integrated it?
  • Did you make sure that no paragraph (excepting the conclusion) ends with a quotation?
  • Does your in-text citation properly match the corresponding Works Cited or References entry? Check this very carefully—remember that the first word of the citation has to match the first word of the corresponding entry.
  • Did you make sure to do your in-text and Works Cited or References entries correctly? Did you check each citation word for word and punctuation for punctuation against an example from the textbook, the Purdue Online Writing, or another reputable up-to-date source?
  • Did you create a suggestive, emphatic conclusion rather than one in which you unnecessarily repeat the main supporting points?
  • Did you pay attention to logos, ethos, and pathos when developing your argument?
  • Did you revise very carefully for grammar and mechanics?

Essay length: 1000 to 1200 words

Essay 3

Choose a Topic

Choose one of the topics given below, and write a rhetorical analysis essay of approximately 1000 to 1200 words (about four double-spaced typed pages). Expect that if your essay goes over the length requirement, your essay could be returned to you for revision.

Choose from this list of recently published articles

1. James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers: https://genius.com/James-baldwin-a-talk-to-teachers-annotated

2. George Monbiot, “COVID-19 is Nature’s Wake-up Call to Complacent Civilization” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/25/covid-19-is-natures-wake-up-call-to-complacent-civilisation

3. Alec MacGillis, “The True Cost of Dollar Stores” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-true-cost-of-dollar-stores

4. Ruhl, Sarah, “Writer’s Block: Variations on a Superstition” https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A609584261/AONE?u=atha49011&sid=AONE&xid=dcceedb2F (link should work with AU library).

5. Chief Joe Gosnell, “Be Strong, Be Steadfast, Be True.” https://bcbooklook.com/2012/08/07/other-be-strong-be-steadfast-be-true-a-speech-on-the-nisga-a-final-agreement-act/

How to Proceed with the Rhetorical Analysis

  1. The article has to be at the forefront of your discussion at all times.
  2. Focus on the article’s rhetorical methods and style. Visit the University of British Columbia’s Writers’ Workshop segment called “Rhetorical Analysis: Critical Writing
  3. Carefully review the checklist below, but note this: In your analysis, you will report on the rhetorical techniques the writer uses to support his or her thesis. Your job is not to mark the essay or article, not to write a review of the essay or article, just to analyze its rhetoric.
  4. Write a working thesis.
  5. Create an outline and consider speaking with your tutor to review your thesis and outline. We strongly encourage you to do so.
  6. Write your first draft.
  7. Create a Works Cited or References page, and as we have reminded you previously, do not guess, and do not use a software program. Just pay careful attention to detail, and ask your tutor for help as required.
  8. Revise and edit your draft. You should have produced and edited at least one preliminary draft before you hand in the final copy.
  9. Consider using the Write Site’s coaching services. Tutors are not expected or encouraged to review your drafts, but reviewing drafts is one of the mandates of the Write Site.
  10. Study the assignment checklist and answer the questions honestly.
  11. When you’re ready, upload your assignment through the assignment drop box.

Checklist for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

After you have completed your analysis, use the checklist below to evaluate how well you have done.

  • Did you use MLA or APA guidelines to format your essay? Did you check your formatting against examples in the textbook or on the Purdue Online Writing Lab site? (See this unit’s lesson for links.)
  • Did you introduce the reading by identifying the author, the title, and the subject matter? Did you put the title of the essay in quotation marks?
  • Did you include a summary of the article following your sentence of introduction?
  • Is your thesis the last sentence of the first paragraph, or do you have a good reason it is not?
  • Did you consider including an essay map/preview statement with your thesis sentence? (Speak to your tutor or see item #2 in Lesson 1 for further information.)
  • Have you used third person point of view throughout? If not, do you have a good reason you didn’t? Check and make sure you have not shifted into first-person or second-person point of view.
  • Does each paragraph have a topic sentence, at least two supporting points, and a non-repetitive conclusion?
  • Did you use a transitional word, phrase or sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph? Did you use transitional words and phrases as necessary to connect sentences within your paragraphs?
  • Did you follow all the assignment parameters?
  • Did you include quotations from the article? As you did so, did you follow the four required steps?
  • Did you check each use of research to determine whether you integrated it?
  • Did you make sure that no paragraph (excepting the conclusion) ends with a quotation?
  • Does your in-text citation properly match the corresponding Works Cited or References entry? Check this very carefully—remember that the first word of the citation has to match the first word of the corresponding entry.
  • Did you make sure to do your in-text and Works Cited or References entries correctly? Did you check each citation word for word and punctuation for punctuation against an example from the textbook, the Purdue Online Writing, or another reputable up-to-date source?
  • Did you create a suggestive, emphatic conclusion rather than one in which you unnecessarily repeat the main supporting points?
  • Did you revise very carefully for grammar and mechanics?

Essay length: 1000 to 1200 words

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
$26
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Urgency
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our Guarantees

Money-back Guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism Guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision Policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy Policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation Guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
error: