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Exploratory Essay Writing: Topics, Tips, and Examples

Exploratory Essay Writing: Topics, Tips, and Examples

As a student, you may face such an assignment as writing an exploratory essay. Quite often, students misunderstand the task and start writing a typical argumentative essay. And that is the biggest no-no, while exploratory essays are absolutely different. 

These essay types are very different from all the rest and thus, you may need your general essay writing skills, however, you will need to know much more to succeed with that assignment. Below, you will find lots of tips, topics, and examples of a good exploratory essay that will help impress your student and get your best grade!

What Is an Exploratory Essay

As it was mentioned above, exploratory essays are quite different from all well-known types of essays. As you can guess from the title of that essay, the main idea is to explore a problem. But this is not all yet.

An exploratory essay is a paper supposing a writer to do his or her research on the issues, ideas, or experience without supporting or arguing the main thesis of it. During your research, you are supposed not only to explore the issue under discussion but also find the solution to it and formulate it in your conclusion. 

Now the good news is that you should not convince your reader, you should always remain objective. Although being objective may turn into a challenge for many students. And it is also necessary to cite all the sources properly, so the reader could choose the most convincing point of view himself. 

The Peculiarities of Exploratory Essays

Before starting your work on the exploratory essay, you should keep in mind the following peculiarities:

  • It should be objective. Never go subjecting when writing an exploratory essay and don’t try to convince your reader, your task is to be neutral no matter what. Don’t solve the problem but consider different points of view;
  • Common ground. Common ground is a must to be noticed by different people or groups of people who might be interested in the issue under discussion;
  • It should contain three or more viewpoints. As a rule, such an essay contains two points of view. But there are topics that may require three and more, it usually concerns some political or social issues, maybe even religious, when you need to involve more sides and their opinions to your discussion. 

Types of Exploratory Essay Questions

There are several types of exploratory essays and each of them depends on the question you ask. Here are the most popular exploratory essay questions:

  1. Is the problem true?
  2. What does the issue mean?
  3. What is the importance of the issue?
  4. What are the causes of the issue?
  5. What can we do concern the problem?

Exploratory Essay Structure

Your exploratory essay consists of three main parts, like most essays, i.e. introduction, body part, and conclusion. Let us make sure what you should write in each of these parts.


An introduction is a brief paragraph that should let your reader know why you have chosen that topic. You should know that the aim of the introduction is to grab the reader’s attention, so you understand it has to be interesting and eye-catching. 

Here you should also explain your problem and argument. But the reader has to understand your issue and its importance, so you should explain it. At the end of your introduction, you should tell your exploratory essay question – one of those listed above.

To write a good introduction, you can tell a real story, provide some statistics, describe the situation vividly, provide an imagined conversation about the problem, tell why the argument is so important, use a quote or intriguing sentence, tell about the history of the problem, create the list of problems or give a couple of the examples of such issue, etc. 

Body Part

This part cannot be brief already because here you provide all the main information and your thoughts on the given issue. The information about the issue should be only important and relevant. You may tell also your personal opinion on why you think differently about the issue, etc.

As a rule, the body of an exploratory essay consists of two parts, the first of which explains the issue and the second one explains the different sides of the theme. It means that the first part explains the rhetorical situation, including the following aspects:

  • How popular is the issue, whether it has been highlighted in the news or whether there was an academic study on that topic;
  • Who is the reader interested in the topic, what are the readers’ positions and their reasons for being interested in the topic;
  • Who are the authors writing on that problem and what is the common ground between them and the readers;
  • Why are we interested in that issue currently, what are the circumstances and events affecting our interest, what is the background, history of the problem, has the interest in the problem changed with time, etc.?

The second part should include three or more points of view on the problem. You should devote a separate paragraph to each of the positions and explain it, tell why people believe that viewpoint, give the arguments to support that opinion, and explain how they are supported. 


The conclusion of your exploratory essay restates the problem being researched. But do not repeat the same phrases; highlight a couple of possible causes of the problem, as well as potential solutions. 

You should not worry if you still have questions about the discussed problem, it is absolutely normal to have them. And you can keep discussing them in your conclusion. You should tell your reasons to believe these questions exist and where you can search for the answers to them. Mention what kind of additional research you may need to conduct. 

Don’t be afraid to express your personal opinion on the problem and tell why you have been interested in it. A conclusion can be written using the same approach as your introduction, for example, here you may add the strongest evidence and tell your own conclusions on the problem and solution. 

Remember not to convince your reader but give him some space and freedom to decide what point of view is the most proper for him. Highlight the most and less important things people should consider when deciding about that problem. 

Make sure your conclusion to be interesting, not boring, and leaving its track in the minds of your readers. So, the best way is to make them think about what you have written and, on the problem, you have discussed. 

Exploratory Essay Topics

When it comes to choosing the topic of your exploratory essay, it often turns into a challenging process for many students. It’s no wonder while a good exploratory essay has to be written about something outstanding and really interesting, often rhetorical questions.

So, for your convenience, we have created a couple of categories so you could choose your topic easier. You may not choose any of them for your essay but you may come up with the idea of your own when browsing them. 

Exploratory Essays about Relationships

  1. Why are opposites attracted to each other?
  2. How do divorces affect children?
  3. Why do people divorce?
  4. Why do people in families abuse each other?
  5. Can absolutely different people be successful in marriage?
  6. Is it easier to live with someone whose personality is similar to yours?
  7. Why do people get married?
  8. Is it better to live in a civil marriage?
  9. What is the best age for marriage?
  10. Does love disappear over time?

Exploratory Essays about Sports

  1. Do the Olympics affect the ghost towns?
  2. What can encourage young people to go in for sports?
  3. Junior Olympic program: is that a positive or a negative experience?
  4. What sports are the most dangerous?
  5. Should athletes eat meat?
  6. Is bodybuilding not healthy?
  7. Should the participants of college sports teams have more privileges?
  8. How does professional sport affect children (people)?
  9. The pros and cons of professional sports.
  10. Does the sports activity of a student affect his studies?

Exploratory Essay Example

The pros and cons of being single

Human beings are unquestionably bigeminal creations. They strive to love, be loved, and find their perfect match to spend their life with. Just like wolves or pigeons. Why do some people still prefer being single until the end of their lives?

Some people say life in loneliness is not a life. We are human beings and our mission is to find a match and give birth to another human being. People should take care of someone, create families, and raise children. Marriage is a logical ending of any healthy relationship. 

However, some people still prefer being single having occasional relationships (if any) from time to time. But they have no wish to get married and have obligations. These people don’t want to limit their freedom and want to remain free and flying. 

Other people claim that marriage and long-term relationships mean scarifying yourself for the sake of other person and they are simply not ready to sacrifice themselves for others. 

I personally have not met my match yet and I am sure if I decided to marry, we both will search for compromises. 


An exploratory essay may become a challenge if you have no idea what it is or where to start. But we hope this short and simple guide with the examples and topics to consider will give you an idea of what you could write about and impress your professor.