Overview: An inquiry essay differs from other traditional academic essays. Its purpose is not to argue for a specific idea. Rather, an Inquiry Essay illustrates your research and thinking process so that readers can see how you came to discover your position on an issue. Since it tends to focus more on your thinking process and less on developing a finished response, this essay will differ in style and form from our previous essays. It will not begin with a thesis claim that you seek to prove. Instead, your Inquiry Essay will start with a discussion of your research question. It will explain why you chose this question and where you stood on the question before you researched it. Then, your essay will trace your inquiry process by summarizing and responding to 3 of the most influential articles you encountered during your research. At the end of your Inquiry Essay, you will explain where you currently stand on the issue by stating the claim you are likely to argue in Portfolio III.
Purpose: The purpose of this essay is to illustrate how you came to discover the position you hope to argue for in Portfolio III.
Audience: Your audience for this essay is yourself, your instructor and your peers.
Requirements: Your Inquiry Essay should:
State your research question and explain how and why you chose this question.
Explain your initial response to your research question. Where did you stand on the issue before you researched it? Also, explain WHY you initially responded to the question this way. What factors may have influenced your thinking? Use personal experience or previous knowledge to support your explanation.
Summarize three articles that influenced your thinking on this issue. What is each author's purpose? What is their main argument? Which of their main ideas did you find most influential? At least ONE of the articles should reinforce your own initial thinking on the issue. Likewise, at least ONE of the articles should challenge your initial thoughts on the issue.
Respond to the ideas from the three articles you've summarized. Reflect on your initial responses from your Inquiry Journal to show readers how the articles validated or challenged your own thinking. How did these ideas support or challenge your thinking? Did you find the ideas in these articles to be credible and reliable? Why or why not?
Conclude your essay with a discussion of what you've learned from your research. What do you currently think about your issue? How have your views changed? State your tentative thesis claim.
Include an MLA Works Cited page.
Due Date: See Syllabus for due dates for TR and MWF Worth: 20% of your final grade