Something that I have been interested in learning more about has been <something specific>. I remember <someone you know> talking about it <when?>, but <explain why you didn’t learn more at that time>. Lately, the issue has caught my eye again. I know that may people feel that <what do some people say about the issue?>. From what I have heard, <what do you know about the issue?> For example, I heard that <be specific with one example of what you have heard.> Now that’s just what I’ve heard, it may or may not be true.

One thing that I know for sure about <your subject> is that <be specific>. Now, I’ve studied my share of <Put a subject here, for example: U.S. History, Biology, Environmental Science, Religion, Philosophy, Music, Sports…>, and <make a claim about your topic. What do you believe?> Personally, It’s funny to me how <explain how what you are studying is a pattern that you’ve noticed before.>

<Your Subject> <was / was not> <explain what was important about this topic in the past.> <In two or three more sentences, explain everything you know about this topic.>

Being that I didn’t have a lot of background information on <your subject.>, I chose to do some research on the topic. As I searched for blogs and news articles on Google, I came across this one article: <Title and link to the article.> This article provided a lot of information and opinions on <your subject>. Some people felt that <your subject> were <summarize some facts from your article.> <Insert a quote from the article.> This <statement/statistic> didn’t really surprise me all that much, but it did make me feel <emotion>. <Write 2 or 3 more sentences, explaining why you feel the way you do.>

In another <article, podcast, video, image, poem…> there was this one statement that made me <nod my head in agreement / shake my head in disagreement> with the <writer/produce/creator>. It was: <Insert a second quote from this second source.> This is so <true / untrue> because <explain why you think this in 3 or 4 more sentences.>

All of this makes me think that <write 3 or 4 more sentences summarizing what you learned from reading these articles or poems/listening to these podcasts/watching these videos/looking at these images…>

Use this guide after you have done some initial thinking and freewriting about a question that you would like to research, and after you have already written responses to at least two essays, articles, podcasts, videos, images, poetry or other source about your inquiry.

You will be asked to tell the story of your thinking about your question, and you will be asked to quote from at least two sources that are helping you to learn about your topic.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Personal Inquiry by Paul is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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