Choosing A Proper Format For An Exploratory Essay: Basic Tips


An exploratory essay discusses a given topic from all angles. The subject will usually be a problem, and the paper should discuss possible solutions. Your personal view on the issue should be disclosed, but you shouldn’t argue your own opinions. This type of paper simply explores a problem from a variety of counterargument positions.

Once you have chosen the topic for your exploratory essay, you will need to make sure that it is presented in the proper format, so here are my basic tips:

  • In this type of essay, you need to put across your workings to the problem at hand. The person marking your paper will be looking for well presented thought patterns that look at the issue from a variety of angles whilst making a good case for the solutions being offered.
  • Just as important as putting your thought processes down on paper, is the accurate recording and relaying of your research. With those two things in mind, you will need to create the right balance in your chapters and text body, so make sure you get it right.
  • You should know the word length for your paper, as well as any requirements regarding fonts, layout, spacing etc. If you’re unsure as to the correct format for your essay to be presented in, then ask your tutor.
  • Research other past student papers to see how they have handled the structure and content. You can find plenty of samples at campus libraries as well as on the internet.
  • Because an exploratory essay is based on a lot of research, you need to make sure that you use relevant and diverse resources.
  • Remember to meticulously detail all of your research and sources. Make sure you’ve found out if there is a preference to where and how sources are collated. Is it preferred that they are cited amongst the text body or at the end of chapters (for example)? If you don’t know, then ask your teacher.
  • Your introduction should outline the problem to be explored and the possible causes of the problem, the people or institutions concerned with it, and the solutions that may possibly be available. Keep your introduction concise and punctual.
  • The main content of your paper should be well balanced, thought provoking and highly researched.
  • The conclusion should restate the initial problem and provide a brief overview of the methods, sources and conclusions you arrived at throughout the essay. You should review the information and point towards suggested solutions.
Don’t forget to check all spelling, grammar, sentence structure and so on. You should re-edit draft after draft until it’s as polished as can be!

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