Exploratory Paper Assignment
One of the important goals of inquiry is to understand the range of positions on a particular issue. A helpful metaphor for the ongoing expression of positions on an issue is that of a conversation. We could say that making an argument of your own is adding your voice to the conversation and that you need to know what is being said by others before you can join in. Investigating and preparing to join the conversation on an issue are the goals of the Exploratory Paper.
Topic: You may decide the topic of your paper. It should be a topic that lends itself to exploration (i.e., there are at least 3 separate points of view on the topic) and is either a timely or is an enduring issue that has not been solved.
Purpose: To understand various positions on an issue and explore your own position on that issue (stopping short of actually making your own argument on the issue). The paper will synthesize the viewpoints on a particular issue from at least three different perspectives. (See one of the examples I gave you).
Audience: Yourself and the members of the class.
Process strategies: Read and annotate the articles, perform any written analysis on the articles you feel is necessary to fully understand them, summarize all articles, paying careful attention to the bring a draft to peer-review workshop.
Length: 4-5 pages (this is a guideline not a mandate)
Format: MLA format (Heading, Title, Double-spaced, separate “Works Cited” page(s))