write 1-5 sentences for each of the steps, 1-8 and number the steps.

9.1 Discussion


Propose a topic for your Exploratory paper. It should be something that you have genuine interest in but also relevant to a large group of people/community. It should NOT be something that has been debated for a long time such as death penalty, abortion, gun control, drinking age, legalizing of marijuana, or gay marriage. These topics have been debated for such a long period of time that it will be hard for you to add anything new to the discussion.

Important: You have a n option to re-use the topic for your Researched Paper. This will mean that the exploratory paper will become a natural step in writing the Researched Argument. The structure of the (researched) Argument and the Exploratory paper is very different. So, you will be writing a very different paper when you write the Argument, just on the same topic.

Alternatively, you can choose two different topics – one for Exploratory paper, and another for the Researched argument. So, consider the two options, and for now, focus on the Exploratory Paper.


The goal of the exploratory paper is not to argue an opinion but to present information on a topic after conducting an inquiry. Your essay should include multiple viewpoints on your topic.

For this assignment, please choose the issue that interests you and answer the following questions. You will write a full-length essay on this topic later in this unit.

1. What social issues interest or concern you?

2. Choose one that you you’d like to focus on for this essay and write it below.

3. What is the rhetorical context surrounding this issue, i.e., why is it important to you and how is it prevalent in today’s society?

4. List some of the things that you already know about your topic.

5. What is your opinion on the topic?

6. List some of the questions that you have about this issue. For example, if you are writing about cyberbullying, you may examine the questions:

  • Why has this become so prevalent in our society?
  • What are the consequences?
  • How can we educate people (children) about constructive ways to be online?

7. List some of the different perspectives that exist on this issue.

8. Where do you think you will be able to find good sources on this topic?

Here is a sample paragraph from an exploratory essay:

“The United States admits about 900,000 legal immigrants each year, up from about 600,000 per year in the 1980s” (Lankowski 1999). Why do foreigners want to be part of the United States? What lures their interest to come to this country? Often the reason why foreigners want to come to the United States is family reunification, skills, diversity and humanitarian interests (Lankowski 1999). Why does the United States want people to come to this country? Research shows that immigrants contribute to the United States by working hard and having skills the United States want. What are the detractors of immigrants coming to the United States? Immigrants help the population of the United States to grow but this also contributes to environmental and related problems.