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100 Exploratory Essay Topic Ideas

Updated on June 01, 2016
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VirginiaLynne has been a University English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

What are Exploratory Papers?

Exploratory Essays do not present a single focused position. Instead, they explore several sides of an issue in order to more fully understand what different people think about it. Sometimes they can be part of a persuasive paper, to show the context of the argument before you present your own view. In other instances, these papers can stand on their own as an investigation of all of the ways that different people have pursued attempting to solve that argument.

Is sugar really bad for you?
Is sugar really bad for you? | Source

100 Exploratory Essay Topics

  1. Parents should have equal authority over children.
  2. Divorce negatively affects families
  3. Religion has a positive effect on families.
  4. Same sex parenting can be just as effective as conventional parenting.
  5. Adoption is a good way to build a family.
  6. Single parents should be allowed to adopt more children.
  7. Single, childless individuals should be allowed (or encouraged) to adopt.
  8. Single parents struggle in raising families.
  9. Children of single parents have more behavior problems.
  10. Single parents can raise a child just as well as two parents.
  11. What are the effects of marrying as teenagers?
  12. What are the disadvantages/or advantages/or struggles of interracial marriage?
  13. What are the disadvantages (or advantages, or struggles) of marrying someone of another faith?
  14. What are the advantages (or advantages, or struggles) of monogamous marriages vs. polygamy?
  15. Divorce negatively affects children.
  16. What are the negative effects of divorce on children.
  17. Children recover from divorce.
  18. Divorce of parents affects children for the rest of their lives.
  19. How is financial security related to relationship/marriage security?
  20. Is it better for step-parents to adopt their spouses children when possible?
  21. What is a family?
  22. Families are important.
  23. What is the best structure of a family?
  24. Non-traditional families are just as good or better than traditional families.
  25. In America today the role of the family has changed from the way it functioned in the past.
  26. Parents should be the primary caretakers and teachers of their children.
  27. Marriages of people who are of the same ethnicity/race work better.
  28. Arranged marriages are suppressing to those involved.
  29. Love is the most important factor in choosing a spouse.
  30. Being best friends is the most important factor in choosing a spouse.
  31. Does sex before marriage hurt, or help the marriage?
  32. Does living together before the marriage help or hurt the marriage?
  33. How important is it that parents approve of a marriage?
  34. How do different beliefs in God affect a marriage?
  35. Is it better to stay single and not marry?
  36. What are the components of a healthy marriage? Is a marriage better if the man is the main breadwinner?
  37. They say “opposites attract” but is being different helpful or harmful to a long term marriage?
  38. Who causes more arguments, men or women?
  39. Who most often wants a divorce, men or women?
  40. Which sex is more likely to break up, men or women?
  41. What is the #1 reason that people divorce? Or break up?
  42. Should a man be the main pursuer?
  43. Does distance negatively or positively affect dating relationships?
  44. Are men and women looking for the same thing in relationships?
  45. What are the reasons people go into relationships? Are some reasons better than others?
  46. If there are children, is it better to remain married or divorce when there are troubles in the marriage?
  47. What makes a marriage last for the long haul?
  48. What role does religion play in marriage?
  49. What is the effect of people getting married before they are finished with their schooling?
  50. Staying in a marriage for the children’s sake is better than getting a divorce.
  51. Living together is good for a relationship.
  52. Living together is immoral.
  53. What saves a marriage from divorce?
  54. Should couples marry later in life?
  55. What are the financial effects of divorce?
  56. If people realized how difficult life was after divorce, they would work harder on saving their marriage.
  57. Second marriages are more likely to end in divorce.
  58. Should people remain friends with their ex-husband or ex-wife?
  59. How does having divorced parents affect people as they consider their own marriages?
  60. Being a surrogate parent is a noble thing to do.
  61. Surrogate parenting should be outlawed.
  62. Having biological children is important.
  63. Young people should marry early to avoid premarital sex.
  64. Should cloning humans be banned?
  65. What is the effect of technology such as cell phones on family life?
  66. Should there be a limit on the use of technology in schools?
  67. Should schools switch over to all digital textbooks?
  68. What is the effect of pets on family life? Should parents allow children to have pets?
  69. How important is it that elderly relatives have a part in family life?
  70. Should families be caretakers of elderly relatives rather than have them in nursing homes?
  71. Should the government make childcare more affordable so women could continue their careers and have children more easily?
  72. How should costs of health care be paid for?
  73. Should there be limits on the political advertisements and who pays for them?
  74. How should colleges encourage students to study and do well in class?
  75. Should the government continue to support adoption tax credits to encourage adoption?
  76. How should college be made more affordable?
  77. Is organic produce really better?
  78. What should be done to provide enough water for everyone?
  79. What responsibility does America have to promote human rights around the world?
  80. Should American soldiers continue to stay in the Middle East?
  81. What should be the role of the United Nations?
  82. Can music and art be used to help prisoners rehabilitate?
  83. How should we stop school shootings?
  84. How can the physical spaces in classrooms be made to help kids learn?
  85. Should organ donation be mandatory?
  86. Who is responsible for reducing carbon emissions?
  87. Is China the next global superpower?
  88. What should be the role of the U.S. in supporting Israel?
  89. What will happen with the European Union in the next 10 years?
  90. What is the best way to study for a test?
  91. How can students avoid procrastination and manage time better?
  92. What is the effect of coffee on young people?
  93. What is the cause of the increase in obesity in the United States?
  94. Should there be limits on television sexuality and violence?
  95. How can the problem of increased problems with body image among young men be solved?
  96. What is the best dieting plan for maintaining a healthy weight?
  97. Is marathon running a good thing to do to your body?
  98. Should professional women athletes be paid more money?
  99. Is it a problem that more women than men go to college?
  100. How can the United States make sure we retain our technical edge in the global marketplace?

Family. Laughing together and playing together has a positive effect on families.
Family. Laughing together and playing together has a positive effect on families. | Source

Steps in Choosing a Topic

  1. Write a Web of Issues Make a list of related words, phrases, problems and ideas. Use lines to connect ideas. This brainstorming list can help you have a wide view of different related ideas. In the case of my students, they used one of the following in the center of their web: marriage, divorce, family or relationship.
  2. Use Webs to Make a List of arguable statements or questions. Taking their webs, my students did this in class in small groups. You could do this on your own if your teacher doesn't assign it. Or look at the list my students generated.
  3. Compile a Topic List: Make your own list or look at the list above.
  4. Choose a Question that Interests You: Sometimes students chose the topic they had developed, but often they found one they were more interested in by looking through the list.
  5. Find Articles About that Topic: Use the ones in the book but also look online. Type your question in Google to see what articles it generates. Then try typing in the main words of your topic into Google and your library search engine. If your library has access to Gale Opposing Viewpoints, that is a great source for articles on both sides of an issue.
  6. Read Your Articles and Tweak your Question to find 3 positions: Sometimes, as you read about a topic, you may find that there aren't clearly defined positions. At other times, you may find some aspect of a topic more interesting. so you can change the question to fit your interests, or else the research you actually find.

Are large families good for children?
Are large families good for children? | Source


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