The Exploratory Essay
Write a first-person chronological account of the evolution of your thinking about an issue or problem as you research various sources and different views. The exploratory essay presents an opportunity to deepen your information literacy and critical thinking skills while pursuing a question of genuine personal interest. Rather than taking a definitive stance on an issue and sealing off opposing views, the thinking processes privileged in this essay hinge on curiosity and openness.
Why should global community have a responsibility to intervene in states committing genocide?
Introduction (one to two paragraphs)Establish what your question is and why you are personally interested in it.Explain how your question is complex, problematic, and significant.Present relevant background on your issue.
Your First SourceIntroduce your first source and show why you started with it.Provide background info about the source (type & name of source, author
credentials, publication values or mission, date of publication).Summarize the sourceâ€™s content and argument.Respond to this source with both believing and doubting points, showing
your critical engagement.Talk about what this source contributes to your understanding of your
question: How has your understanding about your question changed? What
value does this source have for you? What is missing from this source that
you want to consider further?
Your Second SourceRepeat the process with a new source selected to advance the inquiry.Explain why you selected this source (to find an alternative view, pursue a
related question, find more data, etc.).Summarize the sourceâ€™s argumentRespond to the sourceâ€™s ideas through believing and doubting, showing
your critical engagement.Look for points of agreement and disagreement with other sources.Show how your cumulative reading of sources is shaping your thinking or
leading to more questions.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth SourcesContinue exploring views or sources
ConclusionConclude your exploration by explaining where you are now in your
thinking and how your understanding of your problem has changed.Present your current answer to your question based on all that you have
learned so far, or explain why you still canâ€™t answer your question, or
explain what research you might pursue further.