Should obamacare be repealed

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Exploratory Essay Instructions
Issues rarely—if ever—have only two sides. This assignment asks you to explore, explain, and

analyze the multiple perspectives on the issue you have chosen to research.

Your Exploratory Essay should cover the same topic you explored in your Issue Proposal and

Annotated Bibliography. In order to develop your Exploratory Essay, begin by utilizing the sources

you identified in your Annotated Bibliography. As you have gathered, read, and annotated a

significant number of sources, you are ready to begin your Exploratory Essay (Note: You may need to

uncover more sources to fulfill the requirements of this assignment).

As you did in your Issue Proposal, begin by analyzing the rhetorical situation of your chosen

issue. Ask the following questions about your issue: What caused the issue? What prompted past and

present interest and concern with it? Who is interested in the issue and why? What are the various

views in the ongoing conversation about this issue?

Identify the multiple perspectives on the issue. Summarize at least three of those perspectives,

noting how people who identify with each perspective support their arguments. Support each

perspective with at least one academic source. This mean you should have a minimum of three (3)

academic sources in your paper. (Note: you should not reveal your own perspective on the issue

until the end of the paper).

Your audience is a group of readers who are interested in your topic and who hold firm opinions

about it. Make sure to represent each side of the issue in such a way that readers from all three “

sides” of the debate could agree with your description of their perspectives on the issue.

In the final paragraph of your essay, explain your interest in the issue and make a claim that

states your position.

Note: Your FYW textbook includes a sample Exploratory Essay on pgs. P63-65.

For this assignment you must:

Identify an issue for readers.
Explain the rhetorical situation and describe at least three perspectives on the issue.
Support each perspective with at least one academic source (for a minimum of three sources total)
Explain your interest in the issue and make a claim that states your position.
Integrate and cite your sources correctly.
Write 4-5 pages in MLA Style with Works Cited. Your essay must be double spaced and in 12pt. Times

New Roman font.

Just a few reminders and tips as you put finishing touches on your Exploratory Papers.

The Exploratory Paper’s purpose is to show that you understand the broader conversation surrounding

the topic and controversy you have chosen. Think of the Exploratory Paper as the “They Say”

component of your course assignments. What do “they say” about your issue? Who is for, who is

against, and who is somewhere in the middle? These perspectives are what you should have discovered

in your research for your Annotated Bibliography.

The Exploratory Paper’s organization is methodical. Your first paragraph (or 2) should be the

introduction to the topic and specific issue you have chosen. How many sides are there? Why is the

issue controversial? Whose perspective will be used in the Exploratory Paper?

Your body paragraphs should be very clear which perspective you are summarizing. Start your first

body paragraph with a claim, like this: Proponents of banning pit bulls claim that the animals are

too dangerous for a community like Cat Haven. The rest of the paragraph (or 2) should clearly

explain and provide evidence for the Proponents of a pit-bull free community. Your next perspective

should start with the second claim, like this: Opponents of banning pit bulls claim that the

animals are friendly guardians to the youngest members of Cat Haven. And, the rest of this

paragraph (or 2) should clearly explain and provide evidence for the Opponents of the pit bull ban.

The third perspective, again starting with a clear claim, could look like this: Another group, Pets

Anonymous, claims that all pit bull owners must register their dogs and participate in mandatory

training to ensure the owners know how to keep the peace between their dogs and the rest of the

community. Notice the pattern that emerges with the claims given in this paragraph? You identify

the group and the group’s claim that connects to the controversy in the paragraph’s beginning


Your body paragraphs need to provide evidence – not just chunks of copied information, but a

combination of your source material and your own explanations of how that group interprets the

evidence supporting their claim. For example, using the ‘ban the pit bulls’ perspective, you could

have a paragraph that looks like this:

Proponents of banning pit bulls claim that the animals are too dangerous for a community like Cat

Haven. They point to the breed’s genetic traits, especially the pit bull’s “hold and shake bite

style. According to forensic medical studies, similar injuries have only been found elsewhere on

victims of shark attacks” (Vegas, Calhoun, Mader 27). This means that anyone bitten by a pit bull

suffers bodily trauma that can be fatal.

Notice how the quotation marks set off the source material, and the citation that follows directly

after that source material. The sentence after the citation is the writer’s added explanation and

conclusion of the evidence. Notice also how there is a ‘lead-in’ to the quotation. Don’t just

‘quote and run’, leaving your reader to guess why that evidence is important to the perspective.

Your 3 perspectives should be balanced. That means that if you develop 1 perspective using 3

paragraphs, the other 2 perspectives need 3 paragraphs each.

Finally, your conclusion is the place to begin your entry into the conversation. The conclusion

should include your position and perhaps a bit of exigence to explain your interest in the

controversy. For example, the pit bull controversy might end this way:

As a resident of Cat Haven, I am very interested in whether or not pit bulls will be banned or

strictly regulated in my community. I am skeptical that pit bulls can be safe all the time, or that

pit bulls are always dangerous. I am willing to see if mandatory training sessions help reduce the

high statistics of pit bull attacks.

Remember, the conclusion is not the place to prove your own claim. It’s just your initial entry

into the conversation, a segue to be continued with your last paper, the Researched Position Paper.