Good topics for an exploratory essay are those that provide an open-ended solution or explanation and show the writer's interest. For example, a nursing student may choose to evaluate the ethical and medical effects of alternative treatments for cancer or the benefits and challenges of various nursing practices.
People with an interest in social issues may choose to write an exploratory essay evaluating both sides of legalizing marijuana, creating a federal shield law for reporters, establishing state laws to support gay marriage or the effectiveness of spanking children. Additional topics for an exploratory essay may focus on social issues, such as the causes for economic challenges, poverty, homelessness and hunger in the community.
The goal of an exploratory essay is to provide the reader with information about the problem, provide both sides of the issue and explore preliminary conclusions or solutions for the issue. When writing about an issue, the writer should explore the thinking process, analyze all potential sides and solutions associated with the problem and ultimately come to a conclusion detailing his opinion, if possible. For example, when writing about gun laws, the writer may detail his personal views and how these views were affected by the research conducted or different perspectives encountered while writing.