At its core, an exploratory essay is a writing assignment that considers possible solutions to the problem or topic presented in the essay.
As such, these types of essays are not meant to persuade the reader of a particular argument or perspective but rather are designed to enlighten the reader to information researched while examining the subject matter.
For example, an exploratory essay about the pros and cons of standardized testing could explore the different viewpoints of students, parents, teachers, and administrators on the issue.
In this way, an exploratory essay allows the writer to fully examine all facets of a given topic before coming to any conclusions about it.
The Three Challenges of Writing an Exploratory Essay
Writing an exploratory essay can be quite challenging, especially for students who prefer to argue a point rather than present their findings. In addition to adjusting to the writing style, these are the three biggest challenges students face when writing an exploratory essay are:
1) Establishing a clear thesis statement
2) Supporting the thesis with relevant evidence
3) Developing a strong conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay
Students need to be well-prepared and organized when starting their essay to overcome these challenges. They should also take the time to read and understand the assignment instructions carefully.
Finally, practice makes perfect, and students should expect to write several drafts of their exploratory essay before handing in a finalized version to their teacher.
What Makes a Well Written Exploratory Essay?
For an exploratory essay to be well-written, it needs to provide the reader with a comprehensive explanation of a problem or topic. Because these essays do not directly take a side on an issue, they often give the reader a deeper understanding of a subject matter.
In addition to simply reporting information about a given subject, an essay should also offer solutions for any challenges identified. Finally, well-written exploratory essays have clear, convincing thesis statements and supporting evidence.
It is always good to remember the following three guidelines for writing an exploratory essay in order to earn a good grade on the assignment.
Inquiry is the heart of an exploratory essay, and students need to be able to pose questions about the essay prompt.
For example, if students are asked to write about whether or not more funding is needed for education in America, they should ask themselves questions like ‘how will additional funding affect education?’, ‘what is the current state of education in America?’, and ‘Are American schools falling behind other countries in terms of education?’
These questions will help generate a well-rounded essay that considers all aspects of the topic.
To answer the questions posed in their essay, students need to investigate the topic at hand.
For example, if students are asked to write about the pros and cons of standardized testing, they should review studies on the subject, research different perspectives on the issue, and talk to experts in the field.
This process will help them develop their thesis statement by answering some of the questions that may have arisen while inquiring into the topic.
To help the reader understand the presented information, students need to address it clearly and concisely.
For example, if students are discussing the different pros and cons of standardized testing, they should make sure to present one point of view before moving on to the next. This will help keep the reader organized and make it easier to follow the flow of the research.
How to Structure an Exploratory Essay
Like many other forms of essay writing, an exploratory essay must follow a specific structure to remain organized and clear.
Generally, an exploratory essay will have the following five sections:
The introduction should be used to introduce the topic of the essay and present the thesis statement. The introduction should include a brief history of the topic and any current events or debates surrounding it, in addition to a clear thesis statement.
The body of the essay should explore the topic in detail, answering any questions raised in the introduction. Be sure to use one point per paragraph and transitions between paragraphs to keep the reader organized.
The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and leave the reader with a clear understanding of the subject matter. This is also a section where the writer can reflect on their personal experiences with the research and writing process.
4) Works Cited
All sources consulted while writing the essay should be included in a works cited page at the end of the document.
Any supplemental information collected during research, but does not fit into the body of the essay, can be included in appendices.
120 Exploratory Essay Topics
Are you having trouble brainstorming an exploratory essay topic? No problem! Any of these 120 exploratory essay topics will be a great way to get the ball rolling on this type of writing assignment.
Health & Wellness Exploratory Essay Topics
- Is stress affecting you and your health?
- How do sleep patterns affect a person’s overall health?
- What is the best exercise to improve mood and alertness?
- Has popular opinion overstated the benefits of meditation?
- Is it harder for women to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight than for men?
- What are some natural remedies that can fight off illness and infection?
- How do environmental toxins impact human health?
- How does the food we eat affect our overall wellness?
- Is CBD oil a viable alternative to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories?
- In what ways can the legalization of marijuana encourage healthy living?
- How can gaming addiction affect teenagers both mentally and emotionally?
- What are the most common causes of food poisoning, and how can they be avoided?
- How can gluten affect someone’s health?
- Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget that is low compared to the national average income level?
- What are the symptoms of a sleep-deprived brain?
- How does food impact mood during PMS?
- Is quality of life directly related to quality of sleep?
- Is it better to abstain from eating at night, or is it beneficial to eat before bedtime?
- Why does stress make you feel like you can’t stop thinking about everything?
- How do sleep patterns affect athletic performance and injuries in athletes?
- What are the health benefits of women making an effort to maintain a positive body image?
- Can stress cause weight gain?
- What is the best way to relieve stress without medication or alcohol?
Business & Finance Exploratory Essay Topics
- What is the most important factor to consider when starting a new business?
- How do venture capitalists decide which businesses to invest in?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur?
- Can a business be successful without any marketing or advertising efforts?
- Is it more difficult for women to succeed in business than for men?
- Should the age of a business owner be a factor in deciding to invest?
- What criteria is used when valuing a company?
- What are the most common reasons businesses fail?
- Can a business be run from home and still be successful?
- What are some tips for reducing stress while working?
- How important is it to have a college degree to succeed in business?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of working for a large company instead of working for a small privately-owned business?
- How can social media help or hurt a person’s professional life?
- Why should you always be wary of online reviews when looking for a new service to use?
- Is it better to start a business in today’s economy, or would it be wiser to wait until the market is more stable?
- Should the government do more to help small businesses?
- What are some things to consider when choosing a business partner?
- Should the political leanings of a business owner be a factor in deciding to invest?
Social Science & Human Behavior Exploratory Essay Topics
- What are the essential qualities a person should look for when choosing a lifelong partner?
- Is it harder to maintain close friendships as a teenager or adult?
- How do social media and technology impact friendships?
- What is the first step in resolving a conflict with someone else?
- In what ways does gossip affect society negatively?
- Can people be truly happy living alone?
- What makes some people more likely to trust others than others?
- How do parents influence the way their children trust or distrust others?
- Can a person change the way they trust others after being hurt by them in the past?
- Why do some relationships last for many years while others do not?
- What causes fights between family members?
- How can siblings be supportive of one another?
- Can divorce be healthy for a family?
- What are the effects of being raised in a single-parent home?
- Is it possible for ex-convicts to rebuild their lives after release from prison?
- How do social institutions like schools and churches shape the way people think and behave?
- What are some pros and cons of being an only child?
- Are there any benefits to being raised in a multiracial family?
- How do different cultures view love and relationships?
- How does one’s culture affect the way one interacts with others?
- How do people learn and develop their personal beliefs and values?
- What makes some people more likely to trust others than others?
- What is the most effective way to help someone dealing with grief?
- Is it possible for two friends to maintain a deep, long-lasting friendship without ever meeting in person?
- How do people form and maintain relationships in the digital age?
- Can social media be used to strengthen relationships?
- What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of online dating?
- What is the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship?
- What are some factors that can lead to domestic violence?
- How does a person’s age affect their emotions and how they deal with emotional situations?
Fine Arts Exploratory Essay Topics
- How does the media influence the way people view beauty?
- How does advertising affect the way people view themselves and others?
- Can art be used to inspire social change?
- What is the difference between creativity and art?
- Is there a difference between art and entertainment?
- What are some benefits of creative expression?
- How does the media influence a person’s perception of various social issues?
- Why is art important to society?
- What factors have led to the increase in the popularity of street art?
- Can graffiti be considered an art form?
- What are the differences between classical and contemporary art?
- Is there such a thing as post-modern art?
- What is the difference between art and design?
- How does the definition of art vary from person to person?
Religion & Culture Exploratory Essay Topics
- How is religion different from personal belief?
- How do religious beliefs and practices vary around the world?
- Why are religion and spirituality two unique beliefs?
- How does one’s culture affect their religious beliefs and practices?
- What role does religion play in society?
- Are there any benefits to belonging to a specific religion?
- What are the origins of religious beliefs and practices?
- What is the difference between a spiritual person and a religious person?
- How do different cultures view heaven, hell, and purgatory?
- Why do some people choose not to follow a certain religion or believe in any kind of higher power?
- How has the internet affected religious beliefs and practices?
- What are some pros and cons of organized religion?
- How does a person’s culture affect how they express their spirituality?
- What is the difference between a cult and a mainstream religion?
- Who were some of the world’s biggest religious figures throughout history, and why?
- What is the difference between religious and spiritual experiences?
- What are some of the most commonly misunderstood religious beliefs and practices?
IT Exploratory Essay Topics
- How do people use technology in their everyday lives?
- What are some benefits and drawbacks of using technology?
- What are some dangers of using technology?
- How has technology changed the way people communicate?
- What are the differences between online and offline communication?
- What are the benefits of using technology for communication?
- What are some of the dangers of using technology for communication?
- How has technology changed the way people learn?
- What are the benefits of using technology for learning?
Philosophy & Ethics Exploratory Essay Topics
- What is the difference between right and wrong?
- How do people determine what is right and wrong?
- What are some of the most commonly debated ethical topics?
- Can ethics be relative, or are there universal truths about ethics?
- Is it possible for someone to have an absolute moral code?
- What is the difference between consequentialism and deontology?
- How do people determine what is good and bad?
- Is there such a thing as a moral imperative?
- Can ethics be taught, or is it something people are born with?
Choosing any of these 120 exploratory essay topics will allow you to create your essay. Remember to access your library and online resources to get the most information possible for each topic!