Expository Essay on a Place of your Choice

What is it?












The expository essay, worth 15 % of your grade, is an essay about a favorite, mysterious, interesting, terrifying or enjoyable place. The narrative essay, which we just completed, focuses most of your attention on characters and memories we associate with those characters. In this essay, your "place" is your character, one that has a history and flavor of its own. In an expository essay, we write primarily to explain, not to narrate. You will be asked to come up with a compelling "vision" of this place, one that explains why this place is so interesting to you and some of this place's features.

Pick a place that is interesting to you. Do some freewriting about that place. Research, if possible, what the name of that place means, if there are any stories connected to that place, or provide historical, geographical, cultural, religious, or other sorts of data associated with your place. Observe that place, and describe the plants, landscape, neighborhood, etc., using details and the specific names of things.

For example, if I were doing a piece about Diamond Head, I might comment on the building of the defensive structures of Diamond Head and the construction of the trail, and possibly include some of my narrative experiences on the trail to fully demonstrate how and why Diamond Head appeals to me. I may also choose to find out how Diamond Head got its name, or explain why Diamond Head is also known as Leahi.

Examples of Landmarks for this Essay:

Duke Kahanamoku Statue King Kamehameha Statue  I'olani Palace  Pali Lookout  Rainbow Drive Inn Moana Surfrider Hotel Statue of Father Damien  Manoa Valley

Helpful Resources You might like to check out these Helpful resources for this project.


Grading Criteria: Please check out this page to get a good understanding of how I will grade the expository essay.














The paper should be 4-5 pages long, typed and double-spaced, using correct manuscript form. You must use MLA format to quote a source. You should quote from at least 1 source. Refer to the MLA section in Faigley, 233-280 for additional assistance on quoting/documentation.

1. Expository Diagnostic (Brainstorming / Freewriting)

(provides a good starting point for your expository topic, with several writing prompts to begin your idea; here's a sample essay)


 3. Reading Response II: "Surreal Waikiki" by John Borthwick,

4. Scenic Freewrite (similar to the Character Freewrite, but focuses on developing the Scene)

5. Peer-editing;

6. MLA-Practice / REVIEW;

7. Evaluation;


SAMPLE ESSAY, on "Moiliili" by D. Kubota, with Commentary

SAMPLE ESSAY on "Mililani" by D. Kubota, sans Commentary