Purpose: The exploratory essay builds on the inquiry essay by having you look at and contribute to a range of arguments rather than just one at a time. Whereas the inquiry essay introduced you to a debate by looking at one argument a time, the exploratory essay asks you to widen your vision to the whole conversation. Here are some of the goals of the assignment:
--To continue learning to analyze arguments, but this time on a macro rather than micro level.
--To learn how to discover common points and similarities and differences among a range of arguments on a particular issue.
--To discover your position on that issue in relation to the other arguments.
Audience: Consider this audience to be the same as the one you wrote for in the inquiry essay.
Organization: See pp. 60-61 in Aims for shaping/organizational strategies. Otherwise, as long as the elements of the essay are all present and your organization is clear and easy to follow, the guidelines are open.
Requirements: Read in Aims, pp. 59-73; also read, annotate, and analyze (recall Toulmin) the selected essays from Part Two.
--Select three of those essays for this assignment.
--3-5 double-spaced computer processed/typed pages
--Again, I will ask for all rough drafts and workshop sheets when I collect the intervention draft.
--Thursday, February 8: In-class role play based on the arguments in the selected chapter determining common themes
--Tuesday, February 13: Continue working with common issues, developing and discussing your own position.
--Thursday, February 15: Bring complete typed draft for workshop.
--Tuesday, February 20: Intervention draft due
Grading criteria: Consider the following questions when drafting this essay. These are some of the issues I will consider for evaluation.
1. Focus: Does the essay focus on specific common issues between the essays? Does the essay follow these themes or does it drift into larger or indirectly related issues?
2. Organization: Is the progression of this essay user friendly? That is, is it logically organized and easy to follow?
3. Coherence: Does the essay flow smoothly, with clear, connecting transitions, or are there abrupt, unpredictable jumps from one point to the next?
4. Development: Is there enough information provided to give the audience a clear, thorough sense of the issues, agreements, and disagreements at hand? Is your own position developed and supported with specific examples?