Writing an Exploratory Essay

Writing an Exploratory Essay

Narrate your research process to your reader.  This means that you explain why you chose to investigate the topic, and then you give a chronological account of your findings.  As you research, you are bound to ask questions, which in turn lead you to other sources.  Convey this process to your reader.

Summarize sources from various perspectives.  It is important to research the topic from different angles.  As you do so, present a summary of the best sources to your reader by succinctly explaining the author’s point of view and reasons for that perspective.

Analyze the sources after your summaries.  Pick them apart and evaluate them for your reader.  Explain how they influence your thoughts about the topic.  You should paraphrase and quote from the source in order to give your reader specific examples of  the author’s perspective.

Conclude with an opinion on the topic.  It may be that after your exploration, you have simply found that you need to investigate it further.  It may be that you find that you have changed your mind.  Or maybe you are of the same opinion you had when you began your research.  In any case, clearly explain to your reader why this is so.