Exploratory essay is a rather specific kind of essay because before writing it the writer has no particular attitude or a strong position regarding the subject analyzed. The writer starts writing without having an end in mind and the conclusion is formed as a result of a free flow based on research facts and writer’s own thoughts. The reader here can trace how the writer learns more and more through the research and in the end forms his opinion on the subject. The purpose of writing exploratory essay is more to learn something than to prove something a writer knows.
Though this essay type doesn’t require keeping a conclusion in mind when starting to write, the writing requires special attention to it. The writer must be able to shift from the induction method to deduction and to create arguments basing on the researched facts. In general the paper is focused on exploration of a certain subject and does not concentrate on separate research points.
Because the exploratory essay cannot be written according to a standard essay-writing scheme, it does not have any particular scheme of structure. This is conditioned by the fact that a thesis here is a question that has to be answered throughout the paper, but not a statement.
In order to get a favorable output in the end, the writer must follow several steps in writing an exploratory essay:
Step 1. Find subjects of interest. This will create a base for further research and exploration.
Step 2. Pick out five possible topics of exploration. Based on these topics the writer can determine a field in which the research will be conducted.
Step 3. Select topics that need further exploration and discussion. In this step the writer narrows his research field in order to explore specific points.
Step 4. Make an outline that focuses more on a question rather than on a thesis. In this step the writer may analyze the main points and summarize the main facts and possible solutions of the problem.
Step 5. Explore strengths and weaknesses of the problem solutions that were outlined.
Step 6. Choose the best solution and provide back-up opinion to support this solution.
Step 7. Revision and conclusion.
The more questions the writer asks during the progression of the writing, the more answers he will receive. It is remarkable to note how much new information can be revealed during writing of exploratory essay.
Depending on the essay topic an exploratory essay may be prepared in various formats. Like all other essays it may be formatted in APA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago, etc. However, the writer must be consistent when using a particular writing format – title, spacing, headings, footnotes, justifications, fonts, indents, etc.
It is obvious that exploratory essay is more difficult to write than other types of essays. The essay starts with a big deal of uncertainty with a few solid ideas. Furthermore it requires a lot of logical thinking and ability to adequately analyze various facts and create a personal opinion. However, this essay type has clear advantages.
Writing of an exploratory essay lets the writer gain knowledge in an exciting ways. Whole course of writing is a challenge for the writer, and often at the end of the process the writer reveals that his previous knowledge about the issue were outdated. Due to the complexity of writing, the writer improves his writing skills and his or her style of writing becomes more and more complex.