write an expository essay on a topic of your choosing

In the following assignment, you will write your expository essay on a topic of your choosing.
Expository essays may also be called cause and effect essays because they explain how a cause (or multiple causes) leads to a certain effect. For example, the writer Jack London made observations and took notes on his trip to the Yukon Territory/Klondike during the years of the Gold Rush. He captured in writing the lifestyles of the miners searching for gold, often relating how their failure to see how the bitter cold (the cause) resulted in hypothermia (the effect).


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You will write an expository essay describing and analyzing cause and effect. Remember, a cause produces a result, and an effect occurs because of a cause. Select a topic that demonstrates a cause and effect.

For example:

Cause: Child obesity in impoverished communities in the United States of America is rising.

Effect: Access to fresh produce and other healthy food is limited in lower income communities.

When you write an expository essay, make sure you use reliable research to lend validity to your position or case.

Criteria for This Assignment

Length and Formatting Requirements

Three to four pages (800 to 1500 words), double spaced
Times New Roman, 12-point font
Works Cited page
In-text citations

Content Requirements

Criteria for writing this essay:

A cause (or causes) that directly lead to an effect
10 to 15 reliable sources that back up your claim
Logical analysis of your topic, reasoning, and resources that builds to a sound conclusion.

Writing Guidelines

English Composition 101: Writing Guidelines for an “A” Grade


Purpose is clear; Understanding of the author’s rhetorical stance is evident; Adherence to the writing prompt is presented in the thesis statement and throughout the paper.


Well-planned writing that includes an introductory paragraph, main points, conclusion, smooth transitions, and parenthetical citations (in-text) and a works cited page when applicable. All categories in the writing prompt are addressed.


Clear ideas and information are presented and supported with well-developed examples based on research (when applicable). Critical thinking and responses to the writing prompts are expressed in the writing.

Research (if applicable):

Sources are well-integrated in the text (parenthetical/in-text citations) and in a well-developed works cited page (minimally 10-15 sources for this course). Examples of writing from other sources are credited using either APA or MLA formatting.

Mechanics (Grammar and Sentence Structure):

Writing does not display any examples of the following: run-on or fragmented sentences, comma splices, errors in capitalization or punctuation, improper formatting such as paragraph indentations, single spacing, or margins that are not aligned in the proper manner.

Definition of Terms

Rhetorical Stance: Language that conveys an author’s attitude or opinion with connection to the subject in the literary selection.

Writing Prompt: A brief passage of text that provides a starting point for an essay. Example of a writing prompt: “What is the Impact of Outside Forces on the Protagonist?”

Thesis Statement: A statement that appears in the introductory paragraph and provides a clear summary of the paper. The thesis statement presents the topic and purpose of the paper and directs the structure of the entire essay.

Comma Splice: An example of a sentence linking two independent clauses with a comma rather than a semicolon or comma and a conjunction. Proper format: Robert Frost creates an ambiguous meaning in his poetry; he often does this to allow the reader to reflect on purpose and meaning.

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