What Is an Exploratory Essay?
The purpose of an exploratory essay is to investigate a topic through critical inquiry and present the research findings to your audience. An exploratory essay can take different forms, depending on its purpose. For example, a literature review in the social sciences is a form of exploratory essay. The writer identifies and evaluates the research that others in the field have already done in order to provide the background information needed for either a new interpretation of existing research or new research to add to the existing body of knowledge. Market analyses and environment scans are forms that the exploratory essay can take in business and industry.
The company identifies and analyzes key external factors in order to inform strategic decisions. The CRIT 502 Exploratory Essay & Your External Audience In the case of the exploratory essay in CRIT 502, its purpose is to answer the following question: What current external factors that have an impact on my field of study and its associated professions should inform the decisions of someone at my stage of academic and professional development? A good way to think about your approach to the CRIT 502 exploratory essay is to go back to your hypothetical external audience. Your readers are people who have the same critical inquiry question that you do. They are at the same stage of academic and professional development that you are and have similar goals. They are looking for credible information to answer their critical inquiry question, but they want the information to be evaluated by someone who understands where they are coming from. You have already provided your readers with relevant trending information about professional organizations, social media, and information resources. They have appreciated the information you’ve presented from these contexts because it is current and relevant to their own academic and professional development. Moreover, you have demonstrated through your analysis and citations that the information you’ve shared is valid. Currently, your readers are coming back to you because they would really like to know what conclusions you’ve reached about the critical inquiry question you have in common, now that you’ve had the opportunity to look at your research findings in their entirety. How are the different contexts related to each other? Are there trends or patterns across contexts? Contradictions? Controversies? What about employment trends related to the field? Based on your research, are there assumptions you’ve identified that should be challenged? What implications do you see for someone at your stage of academic and professional development? Finally, your readers would be interested in how you plan to apply this information to your own academic and professional development, so that they can more fully understand the implications of your research findings and apply them to their personal situations. This is not an analytical paper. You are presenting information and drawing conclusions based on your research, but you are not tasked with providing a thesis statement. You should have a clear purpose stated, but your aim is to show your audience the information you’ve collected this semester and explore the contexts and trends in the field that you’ve discovered. After presenting that information, you’ll want to discuss assumptions and implications you see and how this newfound information would affect your audience’s academic and career goals. Although there are many ways to write an essay like this, a sample of a strong Exploratory Essay can be found here
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