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Exploratory Essay Samples

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for Exploratory Papers

Summary:

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

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 12:59:40

Many paper assignments call for you to establish a position and defend that position with an effective argument. However, some assignments are not argumentative, but rather, they are exploratory. Exploratory essays ask questions and gather information that may answer these questions. However, the main point of the exploratory or inquiry essay is not to find definite answers. The main point is to conduct inquiry into a topic, gather information, and share that information with readers.

Introductions for Exploratory Essays

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why am I reading it?
  3. What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions in an exploratory essay by doing the following:

  1. Set the context – provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the questions you will ask
  2. State why the main idea is important – tell the reader why they should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and educational essay people will want to read and act upon
  3. State your research question – compose a question or two that clearly communicate what you want to discover and why you are interested in the topic. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.

If your inquiry paper is long, you may want to forecast how you explored your topic by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you considered, and the information you found in these sources. Your forecast could read something like this:

In order to explore my topic and try to answer my research question, I began with news sources. I then conducted research in scholarly sources, such as peer-reviewed journals. Lastly, I conducted an interview with a primary source. All these sources gave me a better understanding of my topic, and even though I was not able to fully answer my research questions, I learned a lot and narrowed my subject for the next paper assignment, the problem-solution report.

For this OWL resource, the example exploratory process investigates a local problem to gather more information so that eventually a solution may be suggested.

Identify a problem facing your University (institution, students, faculty, staff) or the local area and conduct exploratory research to find out as much as you can on the following:

  • Causes of the problem and other contributing factors
  • People/institutions involved in the situation: decision makers and stakeholders
  • Possible solutions to the problem.

You do not have to argue for a solution to the problem at this point. The point of the exploratory essay is to ask an inquiry question and find out as much as you can to try to answer your question. Then write about your inquiry and findings.

For thousands of years people have been buying and selling human beings. From the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the ancient Babylonians, Grecian and Roman empires, slavery has been practiced in most nations of the world. In the 16th to the late 18th century, slavery was an accepted part of the economic life of western nations. In the New World, the plantation owners in Virginia and other states used slaves brought from Africa to work their fields. William Wilberforce moved for its abolition in England and the empire in 1833.

However, whilst it stopped as a legal practice, it did not stop. What is the situation regarding human trafficking today, and what are the causes of its existence?

1. What form does it take today?
The definition of the UN on human trafficking is detailed, but it mainly falls into 3 groups. Humans are trafficked for use as labor, sexual exploitation with harvesting of organs being another smaller group. It involves recruiting, kidnapping, transfer and sale of such persons. Exploitation must include sexual exploitation forced labor or removal of organs.

2. How extensive is it?
According to US state department Laura Lederer, human trafficking is the third largest criminal activity worldwide. It is only exceeded by illegal drug and arms trafficking. It has become a criminal industry worth $32 billion a year.

3. Who are the traffickers.
The traffickers are criminals; however, because of the nature of the industry most do not fit the stereotypes. At the top are the criminal bosses. However, down the line it might be a person who gives a young girl accommodation, or drives her to a destination. What they have in common is they make money from doing these things, which are essential to get the victim to the point of sale. Then come the direct criminals, who knowingly buy and exploit the victims.

4. Who are the victims
The victims can be anyone. Much of it starts with fraud, or in civil war situations. For example, a girl in Thailand is recruited as an au pair in South Africa. On arrival her passport is removed, she is locked in a house and forced to work in a brothel, either by threat or violence.
Young women in civil war areas like the Baltic region of Europe are kidnapped and forced into sex work. These sex workers are put in brothels, on the streets, in rich men or women’s mansions, and kept as sex slaves. Their owners exploit them sexually, and keep any money earned from prostitution.

Others are offered passage to another country, and guaranteed work. They gladly accept however when they arrive they find they are slaves. Most are smuggled into the country, do not know the language, kept locked up and used to do labor, from farming, sewing, house cleaning. They get no pay and work at the will of their owner(s) who keep the money they should have earned. The only thing they have in common is they usually are vulnerable members of society. They are often runaways, have unstable abusive homes, and no employment.

5. What is being done to stop it?
The United Nations opened a bureau dedicated to combating this problem. Most responsible governments are recognizing the problem and legislating it into criminal law. However, the problem is complex and huge. The International Labor Organization suggests 20.9 million victims are in forced labor, and other statistics estimate millions are involved in sexual exploitation.

6. What is the major problem faced?
Lack of awareness is a major stumbling block. If a woman working on the streets approached a police officer saying she was forced into drug addiction and prostitution, she is as likely to be arrested rather than rescued.

What is clear is that slavery whilst abolished has not stopped.

Writing tips on exploratory essays about human trafficking:

  1. Exploratory essays ask questions to gather and share information on the topic. It is not necessary to find answers.
  2. Introductions for exploratory essays are broad, as you are making an inquiry into a topic, not proving a thesis.
  3. Present the topic and the questions you will ask.
  4. State your research question clearly state what you want to discover, and why.
  5. Identify the issue, its causes and other factors. Identify decision makers and other interested parties.
  6. You do not have to supply solutions as the paper is for the purpose of identifying the problem.

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