The purpose of this essay is found in the title. The word "essay" isn't just a noun; it's also a verb. It means "to strike out" or "to explore." You "essay out" to explore a subject the same way Lewis and Clark "essayed" out to explore North America. In this essay, you'll write to explore your own mind, to find out what you think, and to help your audience fully understand those thoughts. A literacy essay, then, is one in which you explore your own experiences with issues of language and literacy and reflect on how those experiences have affected your life.