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An exploratory essay is similar to an inquiry essay where the individual wants to know something. In simple terms it will teach the audience. Often the writer starts with a topic without any clear viewpoint on it. The writer is determined to find out more information and why it would be interesting to an audience. The writer looks at several points of view without any bias. The more research is completed the more the writer takes on a point of view. The focus on the exploratory essay is a question.
The writer begins to get an overall picture of the topic as he/she researches. Often more questions lead to further research of the topic. The exploratory essay address both content-oriented questions as well as rhetorical questions. The writer considers both sides of the issue as he researches. What are the different sides to an issue? What does the research show about a particular issue? Does this information seem bias? What are the statistics on the issue? Which point of view does the research seem to back? Questions are important to this type of essay.
For example, if a person was researching the topic of why children are developing eating disorders. The writer might want to know how many children are obese. The writer will begin by searching to find statistics on the number of children obese. Once the writer finds the answer to this question the next question might be asked about what specific eating disorders do children have. The questions could continue indefinite. However, for an essay the questions and answers would be written in an essay form.
Have you ever wanted information on a subject that seems to be endless? For instance, if you take the subject of why good people die. The questions and answers could be indefinite. The more answers you find the more questions you ask. Philosophy is often this way. Kant would ask questions to find the answers to only turn around and ask more questions.
While researching consider both strengths and weaknesses of a topic. What issues are involved? What are the important facts about the topic? Why do people believe the way they do about a specific subject? What is different about the topic? What problems are involved? The more questions asked will lead to more answers.
Exploratory implies the person wants to explore. For instance, an instructor assigns the student to evaluate the need for milk in the local grade school. The first step would be to ask why this is needed? Does the school board want to know how much milk students are drinking? Could it be that milk is being stolen? Why does the instructor want to know this information? How would this information be important? Who is involved in selling milk at the school? One question leads to another and as answers are found they lead to other questions.
An exploratory essay often does not have a thesis, but is designed to add information as it asks questions. Often a great way to explore a topic is to brainstorm what is known about a topic. Take the information known to ask a question to begin the exploration of the issue.
An inquiry essay is designed to look at one problem and write about it while an exploratory essay is designed to enlarge or widen your vision about the topic. The information learned often answers one question and then another.
As stated above, writing an exploratory paper usually begins with a question. The writer then answers the answer and begins another question. Some instructors want to see how creative their students are and what types of questions they can ask.
It is important to proofread the essay to see if one questions flows smoothly to another question. Transition sentences should be used between paragraphs. Check both grammar and spelling. Read the essay out loud to listen for any mistakes that might be made.
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