Exploratory Essay Assignment | Homework Help Websites

Unit Plan #2- Exploratory introduction, problematic question, and researched Narrative

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Allyn & Bacon’s Chapter 10: “Writing an Exploratory Essay or Annotated Bibliography” (220-243), discusses the proper way students write a research-style essay, based on an important issue and its problematic question(s). In fact, the introduction, problematic question, and properly cited narrative will help students get started on their final capstone assignment for this semester- the extended researched Argument. For the first component of this Unit plan each of you will: *Write a 6 to 8 sentence (MLA formatted) introductory paragraph in which you 1) Identify an issue and the basic nature of your project, 2) Engage your readers’ interests, and 3) Pose your problematic question(s). Then, for your entire 4 full to 6 page exploratory essay, due in class Friday, March 8, you will spend time researching and thinking about the problematic question you will eventually answer in your final Argument paper. The issue and question should stem from your beginning paragraph, as Allyn & Bacon states in the Exploratory Writing Project, to:professional writing services near me

*Choose a question, problem, or issue that genuinely perplexes you. At the beginning of your essay, explain why you are interested in this problem, why you think it is significant”, “why you have been unable to reach a satisfactory answer. Then write a first-person, chronologically organized narrative account of your thinking process as you investigate your question through research, talking with others, and doing your own reflective thinking. Your goal is to examine your question, problem, or issue from a variety of perspectives, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different positions and points of view. Your goal is not to answer your question, but to report on the process of wrestling with it (Allyn & Bacon 224-25).

In addition, according to Allyn & Bacon, this assignment requires you to “dwell on a problem- and not necessarily to solve that problem” since “your problem may shift and evolve as your thinking progresses. What matters is that you are actively engaged with your problem” (225).


Course Objectives: Writing to Explore: At the end of this unit, students should:

  • Show a promising start to their capstone extended writing project, engaging with sources related to their research question and illustrating a feasible approach to research;
  • Pose a timely research question that is likely to engage a chosen audience;
  • Conduct relevant research (taking detailed notes while rhetorically locating, evaluating, and analyzing sources);
  • Choose sources purposefully and reflectively rather than randomly;
  • Briefly and effectively summarize, analyze, and synthesize the ideas of others;
  • Read sources with attention to their rhetorical context;
  • Employ dialectic thinking early on to later determine their final argument’s thesis, antithesis, and synthesis;
  • Demonstrate engagement with sources and wrestling with ideas as they explore the research question;
  • Document the evolution of their thinking by narratively and chronologically recounting their research process and subsequent analysis, and using proper in-text citation;
  • Employ editing strategies appropriate to the audience and purpose to cultivate a convincing scholarly “ethos”.


This assignment differs from the other essays you will write in this class, since a clearly defined thesis does not control your paper’s organizational and developmental ideas. For example, student Kent Ansen’s exploratory paper and annotated bibliography in Chapter 10’s “Readings” section- (236-243), are products of his research project about whether or not the United States should establish mandatory public service for young adults. These exploratory strategies later resulted in his closed-form researched argument, which appears in the text’s pages 376-384.


A few additional helpful tips and expectations for this essay:

  • Even exploratory essays are persuasive; consequently, you want your readers to see you as a careful critical thinker and researcher who uses “logos”.
  • You want your readers to see you as someone who is fair, unbiased, and open to multiple viewpoints. Because of your open-minded thinking expressed in this essay, you will develop “ethos” to prove your credibility and authority.
  • You also want your readers to see you as someone who practices “pathos” through the appeal to the emotions, beliefs, and values of your audience.
  • The paper’s conclusion should provide some closure for your readers.
  • Your essay should reflect rules of standard edited English grammar. Grammatical and mechanical mistakes will hinder you from fully communicating your ideas and will diminish your credibility as a critical researcher, writer, and thinker.
  • Your properly MLA formatted and cited exploratory essay will be 4 full to 6 pages and have a works cited page (5+).
  • During the mandatory library instruction, you must attend Friday, February 8, you will also e-mail yourselves and print out 6-8 or more articles (both pro and con), related to your issue’s problematic question, sources you will cite within your exploratory essay and on your works cited page.


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