Society’s Expectation Burden on Young Men

1.  Dramatic Opening Choose a real-life example that emotionally introduces the reader to the main idea of your paper. Think about what you’ve come across in your research. For example, if your topic is about human trafficking in America, have you read an account of a teenage midwest girl walking home from school, getting abducted, and finding herself captive on a distant island? If you’re writing about the possibility of bias in the Fire Department exam, has your research uncovered a story of a hero, maybe a 9/11 responder, who lost out on a promotion because of some prejudicial inconsistencies on the exam? By now, you should have come across such real-life examples in your research. Use the story that affected you most. Tell the story in your own words to maximum effect. This is just an introduction to your topic. 2. Transition to Logos i) First Sentence: State Your Topic In The Form of a Question The opening above shows a specific example of a more general problem. Your paper will explore why this problem exists, who the bad guys are, who the heroes are, how the problem can be fixed, etc. But right now, simply state this general problem in the form of a question — what are you going to explore in the rest of the paper (in a more general sense) that will connect back and perhaps resolve the implicit tensions in your opening paragraph? For example, if you’re writing about Mixed Martial Arts, your question might be “Why is MMA illegal in New York State when it’s statistically less violent than many other legal sports?” The question alerts your reader to both sides of your inquiry. ii) Second Sentence (and the rest of this section): Transition to Your Thesis Statement Using A Source Look over your bibliography. What source captures best what you want to say? Again, if you’re writing about the MMA, your arguments here might start “As John Doe argues in his book The Good Fight, the incidence of serious medical trauma per MMA participant is 0.3%, compared to 0.7% in football and 0.9% in boxing. In fact, Doe points out that MMA fights are statistically safer than driving to the supermarket…” Notice how you’ve transitioned from your pathos opening to logos here. 3.  Expanding with Ethos and Pathos Use a more personal source to back up the more general evidence from #2 above. So, continuing with the MMA example, you cited a bunch of statistics and comparisons to other activities (boxing, football, driving) to illustrate the MMA’s relative safety. Now use a more “human” source to back this up. For example, here you can incorporate first-hand accounts by MMA fighters as to the precautions they take. Or you could quote a sports medicine doctor who’s treated football players and MMA fighters and get his observations as to why MMA is safer. OK, so by now, our reader is beginning to be persuaded by our story — and this is usually where we want to make sure boredom doesn’t set in. In the movies, this is where they introduce the villain — and that’s exactly what I want you to try and do. So… 4. Introduction of the Villain — Using Another Source Text If you’re writing about sex trafficking, the villain is someone who’s part of the problem. He could be a warlord, a pimp or a Congressman. That’s up to you and what you uncover in your research. Avoid the obvious, however; continue to engage your reader in a process of discovery. Don’t waste our time with what we already know or can guess. If you’re writing about children smoking in Indonesia, the villain might be a local tobacco lobbyist or someone working in Asian-market advertising in Philip Morris. The key here is to give the villain his fair time on stage. Quote them directly from another source you found in your research, let them argue their position — it’s okay if some of their argument sounds logical or even seductive. Just like when Darth Vader says “Luke, I am your father” in Star Wars, we, as readers, are curious about the dark side of your argument.  5. Show the Human Cost of the Villain’s Position Using Another Source In this way, you highlight the human cost of your problem.  At this point, your reader is ready for you to complete the last 2 parts of your inquiry: a) discussion of the obstacles and b) possible solutions. So, let’s do just that. 6. Discussion of the Obstacles Why is the villain allowed to do what he does? There’s never just one bad guy. Who else (individuals, organizations) is part of the problem? USE SOURCES. Are there reasons that somewhat justify the obstacles? For example, does Philip Morris make significant charitable donations to Indonesia? Again, USE SOURCES. Are there unspoken reasons for the status quo? For example, are some very powerful people/organizations profiting from human trafficking? USE YOUR SOURCES. This is where your inquiry can break new ground. But remember to make the provided information also emotionally relevant (pathos). If you’ve forgotten how to do that, look back at point #1 above. 7. Possible Solutions to Your Problem This is where you get to be problem solver. Use sources to back up your point, but the big thing here is to be original. Suggest solutions that are realistic but also start a discussion that currently isn’t in the public forum. 8. Conclusion This does just what it says. Wrap it up nicely. Maybe go back to the character in your opening and explain how things could be different. WRITE: Using the outline above as an aid, compose a first draft of your inquiry paper. This is a rough draft. The idea here is to bring together the information you’ve collected so far into an investigative paper that isn’t a book report or a “just-the-facts” essay, but a rhetorical document. Again, I realize at this stage, this work can seem overwhelming. So the structure suggested above provides examples of how you can incorporate and transition between ethos, pathos and logos to develop an inquiry paper

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