Explanatory Research Paper Outline

Building An Explanatory Essay Outline

Perhaps an easier line of essay types you’ll encounter throughout your scholastic careers are explanatory essays which simply take ideas, processes or events and describe them in candid detail. With these essays, however, will be the need to properly construct your outline to make writing the remaining parts much simpler. With literally limitless topic choices and creative writing potential, these essays could very well put your final grade over the top. We now cover the importance of building an explanatory essay outline for those who will write essays of this caliber.

  • Being With Intro
  • Generally speaking, the introduction section proves the most vital of all since it explains the entire preceding essay in detail. The main three parts you’ll need to include within your introductory section includes background of essay which will outline your specific knowledge about the explanation essay, your contentions of such areas being discussed throughout the paper, and what processes were deployed in writing your essay. Without each of these parts, your essay will be deemed incomplete.

  • Style Your Body
  • The true grit of your explanation essay will be included within your body, and your outline will need several main ideas decorated within its outline; the bulk of your data analysis will be described, including all charts and graphs, within this area as will everything relevant to support the introduction which you’ve previously crafted. All supporting evidence should be annotated and documented in an Appendix area or via footnote.

  • Draw Accurate Conclusions
  • Finally, you’ll need an accurate conclusion which details everything which you’ve managed to collect in terms of data, evidence, and you’ll also prove your hypothesis in this section. Your final paragraph should accurately reflect everything your essay was intended to do which is support theses you drew throughout the body. Give more background information which outlines what profound impact your explanatory essay had on your life, if any, while ending the final paragraph with an excellent thought for readers to reflect upon.

Writing Better Explanatory Essays

It may take practice to perfect the outline of your explanatory essay, especially if you’ve never done one. The main idea should always be constructing your title accurately to reflect what will ensue throughout your remaining essay. Hit the ground running with succinctly written introductions, always include factual data within the entire essay, and always properly cite your resources. Finally, once your outline has been completed, it could ease your writing if you jot research notes prior to beginning each section of the explanatory essay.

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Organizing an Exploratory Essay


This resource will help you with exploratory/inquiry essay assignments.

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-04-17 05:44:38

Exploratory essays are very different from argumentative essays. In fact, an exploratory essay is likely different from any other essay you’ve written. Instead of writing to convince an audience of the validity of a thesis, you will be writing to find out about a problem and perhaps to form some preliminary conclusions about how it might be solved.

But there is another aspect the exploratory genre that is equally important. An exploratory essay is, in essence, a retrospective of your writing and thinking process as you work through a problem. It describes when, how, and why you completed certain types of research. This kind of writing is about how you work through problems that require writing and research. You will have to be introspective and think about your thinking process in order for your essay to turn out well.

Very roughly, then, your exploratory essay may follow this sort of structure:


The introduction should outline the problem you explored and why it’s important. In addition, you should briefly discuss 1) some of the problem’s possible causes; 2) the institutions and people involved with the problem; 3) some of the possible solutions to the problem. A brief overview of the types of sources your researched during your inquiry.

Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs should discuss the inquiry process you followed to research your problem. These paragraphs should include the following:

  1. Introduction of source (title, author, type of media, publisher, publication date, etc.) and why you chose to use it in your exploration
  2. Important information you found in the source regarding your problem
  3. Why the information is important and dependable in relation to the problem
  4. Some personal introspection on how the source helped you, allowed you to think differently about the problem, or even fell short of your expectations and led you in a new direction in your research, which forms a transition into your next source.


The conclusion should restate the problem you explored, outline some of its possible causes, review the institutions and people involved, and highlight some possible solutions. If you still have any questions about the problem (and it’s ok to have some), you will discuss them here. Talk about why you think you still have questions regarding the problem you explored, where you might look to answer these questions, and what other forms of research you would have to do.

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