How to Write an Exploratory Essay

How to Write an Exploratory Essay

Students often mistake exploratory essays for argumentative essays. However, the two are different and follow different rules and guidelines. While writing an essay, students often start the writing process with a point and try to validate their point throughout the essay. On the contrary, when writing an exploratory essay, students are expected to focus on a problem or question and then gradually develop a solution or an answer. Unlike argumentative essays, convincing or swaying the audience towards a particular line of thought is not the goal of exploratory essay writing.

Purposes of an Exploratory Essay

Essay writing is quite challenging, and in almost all types of essays, writers are expected to base their work on research. Exploratory essays are written with the sole purpose of informing and also providing the most appropriate answer or a solution to a problem. Objectivity is always emphasized, and aside from extensive research, writers should ensure their articles are balanced. The focus of exploratory essay writing should never be the problem or issue or a single idea. However, writers should aim at exposing or divulging information regarding the different perspectives of a story or an issue. Later, writers should then strive to find common ground and unite all the conflicting perspectives or line of thoughts.

In some instances, writers find themselves tackling topics with defined sides which have in a way polarized the debate and shielded people from looking deeper into the topic. However, exploratory essay writers should research and avoid getting swayed by the obvious or common answers. The above means that extensive research is not a choice or a student might end up with an unbalanced essay.

Structure Elements of an Exploratory Essay

The structure of an exploratory essay is not any different than that of other essays. The three main or important parts of an exploratory essay include an introduction, the body section, and finally a conclusion.

An introduction mainly defines the topic under study. Here, the writer is not expected to go deep with their explanations, but they are to provide the relevant details to help their audience comprehend or understand the rest of the essay. In the body, the writers should provide an analysis of the different perspectives they wish to discuss in their essay. Afterward, they are to choose then the line of thought they find most fitting. In the conclusion, the writers should share their thoughts on their line of thought or perspective.

How to Start an Exploratory Essay

Writing an introduction for an exploratory essay can be challenging, and on most occasions, students find themselves taking longer than they should. However, it should not be a challenge because here, writers should only focus on revealing the important details of their topic. Writers should, therefore, consider the following tips or points when they are writing an introduction:

  • Be brief and to the point. Writers should explicitly tell the readers what the essay is all about as well as what they seek to accomplish.
  • Set the essay’s context early. This means to set an angle or approach of the essay.
  • Include an interesting or compelling statement that will persuade the audience to read further.
  • Include a thesis statement that reveals the exact reason or communicates what you are trying to achieve.

How to Write a Thesis for an Exploratory Essay

A thesis statement mainly details an essay’s specific purpose and outlines the scope of an essay. It is often included in the introduction and writers use it to let their audience know what their essay seeks to achieve. Thesis writing for an exploratory essay can be challenging, but using the following tips can help writers create fitting and better statements:

  • Make it interesting by either questioning common knowledge or inquiring about an unusual idea or phenomenon.
  • Avoid using cliché phrases such as “This article will explore…” or “The focus of this article is…”
  • Set the context or provide readers with an angle or scope of the research.

How to Write Body Paragraphs for an Exploratory Essay

The body of an exploratory essay grows or supports the thesis statement by delving deeper into the topic under review. Here, the writer mainly provides or includes the different perspectives or lines of thoughts regarding a particular topic. The analysis provided should be deep and exhaustively explore the different perspectives of a topic.

Writers should avoid the temptation of focusing on a single line of thought and instead seek facts concerning all the arguments. There is also the possibility of analyzing the obvious points and leaving the other sides unattended. Students should, therefore, be careful and seek to totally understand a topic. Here are some tips to help in writing the body paragraphs of exploratory essays:

  • Make use of topic sentences. When introducing a new paragraph, the main argument should be in the first sentence. Readers should not struggle to identify the main arguments.
  • Base your perspectives or point of views on research. An exploratory essay should be founded on research, and therefore, students should take time looking for facts on the different views they want to include.
  • Use transition words, for example, Firstly, Secondly, Subsequently, Additionally, etc. These are important, especially when the writers are trying to identify the arguments that a writer has included in their essay.

How to Write Conclusion for an Exploratory Essay

The conclusion of an expository essay is different from other essays. Here, writers should share their thoughts or provide an opinion regarding the problem or topic under review. When writing an exploratory essay, it is vital to understand that you are not supposed to recite truisms, but to explore a question or a problem and then provide an appropriate solution or answer. Here are some tips for writing the conclusion:

  • Restate the main problem or question or topic under review.
  • Outline or include some of the possible causes of the problem.
  • Restate some of the points of views presented in the essay while emphasizing on the one you think is the most appropriate.
  • If not convinced about the debate surrounding the issue or problem, ask questions to make the audience think beyond the essay.

Outline Sample for an Exploratory Essay

Developing an outline for an exploratory essay is essential and should be done while the writer is conducting their research. An exploratory essay outline mainly contains the different points or arguments that the writer wants to include in their essay. Here, the writer should only focus on identifying relevant points to help them write their essay. Exploratory essay outlining helps to ensure that the writer maintains and conducts a disciplined research.

Below is an example of an exploratory essay outline on Illegal Immigration:

Illegal Immigration


  • Define the topic.
  • Provide some background information on the topic.
  • Briefly mention the liberal and conservative views on illegal immigration.
  • Briefly examine the point of view of the immigrants as well as other people, such as the border patrol employees.

Main Body

  • Provide details regarding the liberals’ point of view.
  • Provide details regarding the conservatives’ point of view.
  • Examine the topic from the perspective of immigrants.
  • Examine the topic from the perspective of border patrol employees.
  • Examine solutions towards eradicating the issue or solutions towards finding settlement for the immigrants.


  • Restate the topic and its relevance today.
  • Outline the main arguments while offering support to one or question the status quo.
  • Offer your opinion regarding the world’s treatment of the issue. And provide an answer or solution to the problem.

Essay Revision

When writing any essay, students are often advised to always begin with a draft before they decide to write the final copy. Starting with a draft provides the writer with the opportunity of making corrections before submitting the essay.

Once the draft is complete, it is always essential to revise it to ensure all the relevant arguments are included. It is also essential to ensure the essay is consistent in arguing the main points of the essay. Proofreading of an essay before submission is also important. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is only through proofreading that some of these mistakes can be corrected.

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