Inquiry-Based Research Essay: Cultural Awareness and Analysis
For all of human history, individuals and groups of people have worked to form their identities. Some elements of our identity are unique and specific to each of us. Other elements are shared and help us feel like part of a group. These elements are all part of our culture.
Yet, we don’t often pause to ask, “What is culture, and how does our culture influence the way we view our world?”
Throughout this unit of study, we’ve been exploring the following essential questions:
What is culture? How do various individuals, communities, and groups describe the characteristics of “culture”?
•What are characteristics of culture? How do these characteristics influence and contribute to culture?
•When are cultural characteristics seen as positive, and when are they seen as negative?
What is cultural identity? How does my culture influence identity?
•What is my own cultural identity in relation to my family and community?
How do these visions and elements of culture influence my life?
•What are the artifacts of my culture (imagery, music, food, clothing, ceremonies, pop culture icons, etc.)?
• How do I imagine these artifacts and characteristics of culture will continue to influence my life in the future?
To further explore these big ideas, you will be narrowing the focus of your personal inquiry question related to cultural awareness and analysis. The following rhetorical situation offers the focus for this inquiry exploration.
Mode: You will be writing an inquiry-based research essay.
This piece will include the following:
Insights related to culture and identity with a focus on your own inquiry question, through which you will develop an intellectual conversation surrounding your inquiry question
Clear subclaims used to support the thesis statement
Evidence from multiple sources used as part of the support of subclaims and ultimately the thesis statement
Warrants used to explain how the evidence supports the claims
You will need to use a variety of evidence in support of your claims. You need to have enough sources to back up your argument. At a minimum, use your literature circle book and three other texts (including various media and print texts). Include your own original research, as well as several primary and secondary sources to support your ideas. You can use sources we’ve explored, but you’ll also need to do your own research to find other sources to support your ideas too.
Writing: A successful inquiry-based research essay will
Pay homage to essential questions about culture and identity
Tease out some characteristics of culture, using artifacts as examples
Embrace an audience and purpose relevant to your topic and beyond just your teacher
Be long enough to develop your argument with adequate support and evidence
(at least 3 pages)
Cite resources according to guidelines from your teacher with both in-text and
works cited lists
Writer: As a writer, be the best you can be. Plan ahead and stay on top of deadlines.
Brainstorm for peer response due Introductory paragraph for peer response due Body paragraph for peer response due Body paragraph for peer response due Draft 1 for peer response due Draft 2 for peer response due Final draft turned in to teacher and published
Assessment: Your paper will be evaluated based on the following:
write a reflection identifying your rhetorical situation and reflecting on your work).
• Writing is shared with an audience identified by the author.
Writing includes an argumentative thesis statement about culture and identity formed from an inquiry question.
• Writing includes clear subclaims used to support the thesis statement.
• Writing includes evidence from multiple sources as part of the support for subclaims and ultimately the thesis statement.
• Writing explains how the evidence supports the thesis statement (warrant).
• Writing includes a variety of evidence used in support of your claims. You need to have enough sources to back up your argument. At a minimum, use your literature circle book and three other texts (including various media and print texts). Include at least one original research primary source, as well as several other primary and secondary sources.
Writing teases out some characteristics of culture, using artifacts as examples.
Writing includes a list of references, including primary and secondary sources as well