Link to my Essay Topic
Essay One Assignment
Your first essay for the course will be an Exploratory Paper in which you examine a number of perspectives, opinions, and arguments surrounding an issue. Rather than promoting your own argument, as you will do in later essays, the Exploratory Paper will, as the name implies, allows you to “explore” an issue. The issue under consideration is chosen by you, the writer. Choose a topic that interests you and that connects to the larger topic of “Food and Culture” (reading a bit in In Defense of Food can provide some ideas)
- First, you must find an issue. The criteria for an “arguable issue” are broad, but generally, such an issue should invite debate and have at least two sides. Note that your topic must have some food/culture link. It could be fast food, GMO labeling, health and food…the list is long
- Second, do some research on the issue. I expect you to cite at least three sources, such as newspaper, magazine, or journal articles. You will most likely need more than three. The aim of this research is to familiarize yourself with the important points of debate, and the argumentative positions on the issue. Cite any sources using MLA format and include a Works Cited page. You can find useful databases through our library. Please do not include web pages as the three sources. You may use In Defense of Food, but this does not count as one of the three researched sources
- Third, synthesize your research. Your goal is to write a paper of four-five pages, typed and double-spaced, that summarizes the main points of debate for your reader. A good rule to follow (but be flexible) is to devote one or two paragraphs to each major position, or sub-position, on an issue. Proposed solutions to a problem, if applicable, should also be included for the reader. The reader should finish with your paper and say “Ah, now I understand this issue and I am ready to make an informed opinion on it.” Try to anticipate and answer any potential questions a reader unfamiliar with the issue might have. An Exploratory Paper is the first step to developing an argument on a key issue.
The aim of this research is to familiarize yourself with the important points of debate, and the argumentative positions on the issue. Cite any sources using MLA format and include a Works Cited page. You can find useful databases like EBSCOHost through the Solano College Library Homepage. Please do not include web pages as the three sources
Remember that this paper is not an opinion paper. You are not asserting your own position on a subject, or assessing the arguments of others. You are simply an objective reporter and writer. If you are unsure of what to write about, reread Chapter One of Perspectives on Argument on how to find and identify issues that are worth attention. A good example of an Exploratory Paper is “The Controversy Behind Barbie,” in Perspectives on Argument.