Limitations to Student Success Exploratory Essay
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Limitations to Student Success Exploratory Essay
Your task is to write an exploratory essay that describes chronologically your own exploration of a problem or issue relevant to student experiences within the US educational system (K-college). Pick a research topic/issue that came up in at least one essay/text that we examined in class, an issue that some would consider a key barrier to student success and a contributing factor to the student achievement or opportunity gap.
Your research topic should be something in which you’re genuinely interested, and it should be one that your readers will agree is worth looking at. Possible topics include: financial challenges, implicit racial/gender bias, Zero-Tolerance policies, standardized tests/poor assessment tools, stereotype threat, and so forth.
Your peers and me—we are somewhat familiar with the topic or problem based on the class readings and discussions, but we don’t know a whole lot yet. Like you, we’re curious but naïve about your research topic, and we’re anxious to learn more about both the process and your sources.
To convince your readers that you have chosen an interesting and worthy research question and to help your readers understand your research process and how it helped you to expand your understanding, but perhaps not yet answer, your research question.
- Length: 1750-2250 words (about 7-9 pages) — not counting the Works Cited page
- Formatting: double-spaced, 12 pt font (Arial or Times New Roman), following MLA/APA guidelines
- Sources: 6 sources minimum, one of which may from our course texts. The rest must come from your own research–at least TWO of which must come from academic/scholarly sources.
Tips for Success:
- Read the back side of this handout, which explains how this assignment differs from a traditional essay.
- Read the sample exploratory essay. This is on a topic you can’t use for this assignment –but it’s organization and content is what you should aim for.
- Review your notes before choosing a topic!
- Don’t be afraid to use the word “I”; begin your paper with a first-person (I, my, me) narrative about your issue, how and why you became interested in it, how it’s significant, and then why it is problematic for you (that is, why you can’t yet answer it).
- Apply lessons from They Say/I Say.
- Start early on your rough draft! Go to WAC for help and revise, revise, revise.
- Pick an issue that you genuinely don’t know much about and want to further understand.
How to Organize Your Exploratory Essay
Exploratory essays are very different from argumentative essays. In fact, an exploratory essay is likely different from any other essay you’ve written. Instead of writing to convince an audience of the validity of a thesis, you will be writing to find out about a problem and perhaps to form some preliminary conclusions about how it might be solved.
But there is another aspect the exploratory genre that is equally important. An exploratory essay is, in essence, a retrospective of your writing and thinking process as you work through a problem. It describes when, how, and why you completed certain types of research.
This kind of writing is about how you work through problems that require writing and research. You will have to be introspective and think about your thinking process in order for your essay to turn out well. Very roughly, then, your exploratory essay may follow this sort of structure:
The introduction should provide context about the problem you explored and why it’s important–why the readers should care and keep reading. In addition, you should briefly discuss 1) some of the problem’s possible causes and other contributing factors; 2) the institutions and people involved with the problem; 3) your research question(s) that clearly communicates what you hoped to discover and why you are interested in this issue. Then, provide a brief overview of the types of sources your researched during your inquiry.
Body paragraphs should discuss the inquiry process you followed to research your issue. These paragraphs should include the following:
- Introduction of source (title, author, publisher, pub date, etc.) and why you chose to use it.
- Important information you found in the source regarding your problem
- Why the information is important and dependable in relation to the problem
- Some personal introspection on how the source helped you, allowed you to think differently about the problem, or even fell short of your expectations and led you in a new direction in your research, which forms a transition into your next source.
Throughout your paper, describe your intellectual wrestling with the articles’ ideas—what you were thinking about as you read the articles, how your ideas evolved, the impact of discussions you had with your others as you reformulated the problem, changed your mind, and likely experienced confusion versus “aha!” moments.
By the end of your essay, you’ll need to sum up how your ideas evolved during your process of research and reflection. Your conclusion should also restate the problem you explored, outline some of its possible causes, review the institutions and people involved, and explain the preliminary conclusions (if any) you have reached, having done some research.
If you still have any questions about the problem (and it’s perfectly fine to have some), you will discuss them here. Talk about why you think you still have questions regarding the problem you explored, where you might look to answer these questions, and what other forms of research you would have to do.
Again, you do not have to argue for a solution to the problem at this point. The point of the exploratory essay is to ask an inquiry question and find out as much as you can to try to answer your question. Then write about your inquiry and findings.
Make your exploratory essay an interesting intellectual detective story—something your readers will enjoy.
*This assignment was adapted from Prof A. Corcoran’s assignment and Purdue University OWL
Limitations to Student Success Exploratory Essay
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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