Goals of the Assignment

The Inquiry Essay asks you explore a range of positions, compare and contrast them, and work towards an understanding of the various perspectives on the issue. You will also add in your own perspective on the issue, though you will not be arguing for it (yet). 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 is the goal of the Inquiry Essay, thus not only does it expand on the Analytical Response, but leads you towards the Convincing and Persuading Essays where you will be making your own argument about an issue. As has been pointed out in class, before we can argue effectively, we must ground ourselves in the subject so we speak with authority. The Inquiry Essay helps with this goal of effective argumentation.