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The question of "what" can open up interesting avenues of exploration. A whole essay might explore what happened, some event or incident you've chosen to tell about. You may want to show what a family reunion or a Cesarean section or a Bar Mitzvah or an elk hunt is. By seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling the events, people, and things in your essay, your readers discov­er what the subject is, what it means for you, and what you want it to mean for them.


Subtopics of What

What is its purpose?
What is its value?
What is its shape?
What are its limits?
What class of things does it belong to?
How is it similar to other members of its class?
How does it differ from other members of its class?
What are its parts?
Is it a part of a larger whole?
What is its color, weight, texture, sound, odor?
What is its history?
What are its causes?
What are its effects?
What is its duration?
What is its meaning?
What is its formal definition?