Research and analyze a significant problem or issue · Explore the problem and narrate your thinking process in an exploratory essay · Examine the problem dialectically, find relevant sources, and build an effective research
Exploratory Essay
Purpose
· Research and analyze a significant problem or issue

· Explore the problem and narrate your thinking process in an exploratory essay

· Examine the problem dialectically, find relevant sources, and build an effective research

Assignment
Compose an exploratory essay (at least three full pages in length) where you examine a local, state or national problem or issue of current public controversy from a variety of perspectives, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different positions and points of view.

At the beginning of your essay, explain:

· Why you are interested in this problem,

· Why you think it is significant (tells the audience why you care and why they should care), and

· Why you have been unable to reach a satisfactory answer.

Then, write a chronologically organized (the order in which you started and completed the research steps) narrative account of your thinking process as you investigate the selected problem or issue.

Point of View in Exploratory Writing:

· Use the first person (I, me, and mine) point of view when discussing your actions.

· Then, use the third-person point of view when you introduce and discuss information collected from various research articles.

Research:

Use a combination of

· personal experience (limit to 1-2 examples in the essay),

· field research (interviews with family, friends, coworkers, and so on), and

· library/Internet research to build your article. No less than three research articles and no more than five. Use current research articles that are within no older than 5-7 years. For historical context, you may use an article that was published earlier than 7 years ago, but the majority of your articles must be current and relevant to the issue.

· Please note that you are not to use websites such as Wikipedia, About.com and other such commercial websites as research sources. Doing so will earn you a zero-grade on the essay. Newspaper websites such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, CNN.com and so on are more reliable.

Provide in-text citations and Works Cited page for field research and library/Internet articles used in the essay.

YouTube Video “Evaluating Sources for Credibility”: https://youtu.be/PLTOVoHbH5c

Posing Your Problem:

A valuable kind of problem to explore for this assignment is a current public controversy (local or domestic). Often such issues involve disagreements about facts and values that merit open-ended exploration. This assignment invites you to explore and clarify where you stand on such public issues such as health care reform, energy policies, government response to terrorism, public concerns about candidates running for local, state, or national elections, and so forth.

Topics that you CANNOT select for this essay:

· Abortion, gay marriage, death penalty, stem-cell research, illegal immigration, DREAM Act, and global warming. These are broad topics that will require more than three pages in order to be discussed well and therefore, beyond the scope of our assignment.

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