Your professor has done it again. She/he assigned an exploratory essay with an open topic thinking you'll relish the chance to choose the subject of your investigation. And now you're stuck without a single idea that's good enough for an essay, and the submission deadline is just around the corner.
Don’t worry! We've got your back with a list of 75 awesome exploratory ideas. So pick the one you like and start writing!
What Is an Exploratory Essay?
This type of writing assignment is different from your usual argumentative or persuasive essays. It is closer to a research paper, as instead of formulating a thesis and supporting it throughout the piece, you start writing with a topic or a question in mind but no preconceptions.
The core goal of exploratory writing is learning a new subject and sharing the newfound knowledge with the readers clearly and concisely. Instead of providing arguments for one side of the conflict, you have to cover all possible angles objectively without demonstrating a bias.
When writing an exploratory essay, you should focus on the introductory passage. Instead of leading up to a thesis statement, it should include context or background information on the topic and explain its relevance and importance. Instead of focusing on a thesis, formulate your research question. You can also include a short outline of the essay if it's more than four or five pages long to help the reader make sense of the structure of your research.
Body paragraphs should include reference information and explain why you chose these particular sources and why they should be trusted. You will also need to include a short analysis of the information concerning the essay's topic. Remember to include transitions to ensure body paragraphs flow into each other seamlessly.
Finally, the conclusion should include a reiteration of the research question and a summary of the core points you've discovered throughout your research. You may also include any remaining questions you can’t find answers to.
Our Short-list of Exploratory Essay Topics
If you've ever tried looking for exploratory ideas online, you know that most lists like this one are useless. The topics are barely suitable for high school, let alone college, and the ideas are so stale that no one in their right mind wants to research them. Moreover, some blogs don't even care about the differences between exploratory and argumentative writing, offering 'exploratory argument ideas' that don't make sense for either assignment type.
Unlike all those sites, we take topic lists seriously and craft relevant topics from scratch. We tailor them to a particular essay type to make sure you can use any idea as is without editing or altering it.
Investigative Essay Topics
Exploratory writing is close to investigative journalism. You take a subject and research it to provide the most accurate and objective account for the readers, even if you know nothing about the subject at the onset. These fifteen questions will help you try your hand at investigative writing. Just remember to keep your personal opinion to a minimum, as your job is to provide a summary of the topic, not argue your point. And if you can't describe an issue you don't agree with, feel free to edit the topics until they fit your worldview.
- Do We Need an International Pandemic Surveillance Network?
- Why Is There a Shortage of Health Workers Across the Globe?
- Why Is the American Election System Broken?
- Why Do Doctors Fail to Treat Growing Alcohol Abuse?
- What Caused a Drug Overdose Death Spike in 2020?
- Who Should Set the Limits of Human Gene-Editing Experiments?
- How Did the Movie-Going Experience Change Post-COVID?
- Does a Packed Schedule Enrich Childhood or Ruin It?
- How Does Infrastructure Affect the Local and Nationwide Economy?
- What Is the Difference Between Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud?
- How Much Harm Can Space Tourism Do to Our Planet?
- Does the Federal Government Help Incentivize Unemployment?
- What Makes Millennials Different From Other Generations?
- Why Don’t Online Privacy Regulations Protect Us From Security Breaches?
- Should Companies Compensate Buyers for Releasing Low-Quality Products?
Good Exploratory Essay Topics
How do you know if an idea is good for your assignment? First, it should be interesting enough for you and your readers (your classmates and professors). Second, it should also be relevant and fresh, trendy and exciting, not boring. Finally, it should be easy enough to research with plenty of sources to choose from. All fifteen of the topics below fit these requirements to a T. All you have to do is find the one idea that fits your class and subject best. Of course, tweaking is allowed and encouraged!
- The Rise of Coworking Spaces in the Era of Remote Work
- What Does Commercial Spaceflight Mean for Our Future?
- How Did the Pandemic Affect Relationships?
- Is a Graduate Degree Worth the Debt in the Long Run?
- Should All Homeowners Go Solar to Protect the Environment and Save Money?
- Higher Inflation Rates Will Remain for Years Post-Pandemic
- Can Online Learning Platforms Replace Universities and Colleges?
- The Changing Demand for Degrees and Majors
- Why Staying Out of Politics Is Not an Option for Business Elites
- The Cure for Domestic Extremism
- The Risks and Benefits of Neural Chips for Brain-to-Computer Interfaces
- The Hidden Advantages of Online Gaming for Teenager Development
- How Much Should Internet Access Cost in the 21 Century?
- Should Governments Invest in Space Exploration Instead of Solving Current Problems?
- Child Tax Credit as a One-Time or Permanent Fixture in the Lives of Americans
Relevant Exploratory Paper Topics
We've already established that good essay topics should be relevant, but some ideas may be too fresh. These are the topics that made it into a separate category. Most are related to the events of the past couple of years, from the pandemic and related health and economic issues to the election debacle and the rise of the 'cancel culture'. These ideas may be harder to research, as you will have to rely on news articles and blog posts, some of which may be biased. Therefore, you'll need to be extra careful when choosing the sources to cite in your essay to keep it objective.
- The Effects of School Closures on Children’s Mental Health
- How to Accurately Measure the Vaccines’ Effectiveness?
- The Different Approaches to Ransomware Attacks Among Businesses
- The Line Between Freedom of Speech and Social Media Censure
- The Potential of Post-Pandemic Pet-Friendly Offices
- How Can Social Media Use Personal Data Collected From User Profiles?
- Why Every Company Is a Tech Company Nowadays
- The Changes in Airfare Prices Post-Pandemic
- Potential Solutions to Over-Tourism Post-Pandemic
- Do Children Suffer From Measuring Pandemic Learning Loss?
- Online Manipulation Practices and Ways to Avoid Them
- A Fitting Punishment for Small Theft to Replace Incarceration
- The Gig Economy Should Produce Better Benefits for Workers
- How to Collect Billions of Unpaid Taxes From the Wealthy?
- Targeted Aid vs. Economic Growth to Help the Unemployed
Fresh Topics for an Exploratory Essay
How are fresh topics different from relevant ideas? The previous batch is mostly pandemic-related, in one way or another. In comparison, this category deals with current issues that stem from other local and global problems. These include anything from the switch to electric cars to fake news and police brutality. While not as hot as the previous batch, these ideas are still pretty controversial, so choosing reliable and unbiased sources for your essay can be a problem. Look for credible publications and respectable authors instead of anonymous blog posts.
- What Should Electric Cars Sound Like?
- Cryptocurrency Mining and Its Environmental Impact
- Contraceptive Access and Economic Prospects for the Poorest Countries
- Potential Risks of Economic Blacklisting Between the World’s Largest Economies
- Where Does the Line Between Digital Democracy and Tyranny Lie?
- Who Are Potential Buyers of Electric Pickups?
- Internet Regulation and Oversight Possibilities of the Near Future
- Why Disinformation Is Among the Greatest Threats to Democracy
- The Problems With Movie and TV Show Award Nominations
- How Fossil Fuel Trade Is Funding the Global Security Threats
- The Surprising Survival of QAnon Conspiracy
- Have the Olympic Games Been Dead for Decades?
- Workday and Workweek Duration Limits and Workers’ Health
- Court-Sanctioned Immunity as the Cause of Police Brutality
- Should a Year of National Service Be Mandatory for Everyone?
Traditional Exploratory Essay Topic Ideas
If you don't have much time to devote to an exploratory research paper or are not interested in solving the problems of modern society, check out our list of traditional topics. These may seem dull at first glance, but they are safe and easy to research, as they have been around for decades. All you have to do is run a quick Google Scholar or ResearchGate search, and you'll find plenty of sources to use and cite in your exploratory essay. As always, you can tweak the topics and alter the scope to make the ideas your own.
- How Should History Be Taught in School?
- The Abortion Legislation and the Violation of Human Rights
- Big Business Should Be More Socially Responsible
- The Far-Reaching Effect of Government Climate Agenda on Businesses
- Black Americans Vilified by News Media Over the Decades
- The Core Differences That Lead to Culture Wars Between Republicans and Democrats
- The Reasons Behind the Gender Wage Gap and How to Solve Them
- Why Does the Crisis Make the Rich Richer and the Poor Even Poorer?
- The Value of Early Childhood Patriotic Education
- Should Church and State Be Separated?
- Homeschooling and Remote Learning Alternatives to Traditional Schools
- The Causes of Global Warming and Current Measures Being Taken
- The Inequalities Unveiled by the Urban Tree Canopy Covers
- The Ruining Effect of Dams on River Ecosystems
- The Inefficiency of the Existing Penal System
There you have it, a list of 75 exploratory topics for any class, major, or subject. You can go with the most relevant (pandemic-related) issues or settle for a traditional problem that hasn't been solved yet. Either way, your essay will be great. And remember, if you decide you don't want to waste time writing, you're welcome to get professional help from our writers.