ESPRAT is an acronym for Economy, Society, Political Structure, Religion, The Arts, and Technology. GRAPES is another acronym that one runs across. It is used for analyzing six broad aspects of how human efforts shape their "culture."* Geography focuses upon the influence of natural landforms upon culture.

By applying the questions at the top of the page for each category of ESPRAT+G, scholars can design and specify their inquiry into conditions faced by people in particular places or at a particular period in their history.

Literature classes use the questions posed within each ESPRAT+G category to analyze the historical setting of a novel or the context in which it was authored.

History classes use the questions linked at left to improve the study of causes and impacts of historical events and the spread of ideologies.

Futurists employ them to predict the consequences of change.

Students enjoy how they can draw upon the questions linked at the top menu to narrow their research projects and essay writing to specific areas of personal interest. The categories introduce learners to the questions related to particular fields of study such as Economics, Sociology, Geography, Anthropology, History and Political Science.

Learners in various courses might employ other mnemonic devices that correspond nicely-- PARTIES or SPICE or PRISM, for example, so this web site can help with their inquiry projects, too.

The categories of ESPRAT+G are broad and often overlap; they inter-relate and influence one another. The ESPRAT analytical tool was employed by Don Zimbrick in his teaching in the early 1990s. His generous collaboration with Margaret Carpenter and David Carpenter led to the creation of this site. In their experience with other great teachers, they have appreciated additional categories that aid cultural analysis, including:

  • Education is treated in this site within the category of "Technology." It is also, in some cultures a facet of "Political Structure" where the government provides schooling. Among many peoples, it impacts their status within "Society", or their contribution to the "Economy."
  • Intellectual Vibrancy and Philosophy may be a condition of "Society," or can contribute to Religious, Artistic and Technological growth and change. See it explored as part of the Technology page.
  • Medicine is a popular sub-category of "Technology."


*Culture is a term often applied narrowly to mean only "the arts." At this site, however, it is used to indicate the total summative interaction of a people's ESPRAT+G.

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Last Updated: April 24, 2018

Authors: David Carpenter and Margaret Carpenter