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Exploratory Investigation: Is the Cost of Higher Education Too High? (Essay Sample)


Writing Exercise I: Exploratory Investigation
Purpose and Description
Your objective in this assignment will be to begin familiarizing yourself with the course theme through an exploratory Internet search. Some of you may already be familiar with the theme in a general sense; some you may even know a great deal about it. The main goal of academic inquiry, however, is not typically to reinforce what we already know or believe—it is to explore and learn from different perspectives, make discoveries, enter into a conversation of ideas, and, ultimately, contribute to the process of building new knowledge. With these foci in mind, please consider the following guidelines as you complete the assignment.

Invention & Inquiry
Consider the following as you develop your paper:
Start with a focused question to guide your search;
Research your question using a common Internet search engine (e.g., Google);
Identify and use at least three different genres for gathering information (one must be a scholarly essay).
Take notes as you examine the various resources you find, with particular emphasis on elements of the rhetorical situation (e.g., authors, audiences, purposes, genres, contexts);
Identify common points of debate and/or argument based on the notes you have taken. Who is making the arguments? What problems are being discussed? What forums are people using to make and communicate their arguments? What seems to be the most pressing issues based on the information you have gathered?

The Composing Process
Even a relatively straightforward Internet search is likely to return more information than you can reasonably make use of in a single paper. Your aim in composing this paper, then, will be to distill your research findings into a few manageable points of discussion that you can communicate to your audience. Consider the following as you draft your paper:
Compose a paragraph that introduces your audience to the topic of your research;
Compose 2-3 paragraphs that identify key foci you have discovered through your research (e.g., common problems and debates, who seems to be making arguments, the consequences of adopting one point of view over another, etc.);
Compose a paragraph in which you identify possible issues you could imagine researching based on your exploratory investigation. Your aim here should be to focus your inquiry and develop a clear sense of how you might develop a viable research project.

Specific Requirements
Your paper should:
Identify general issues related to the course theme;
Start narrowing your own particular research focus;
Include a title that reflects the spirit and scope of the assignment;
Be 1-2 pages in length (single-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman or Garamond typeface);
Be uploaded to Canvas as a Word document by the deadline (consult your course syllabus and schedule for details).

The spirit of this assignment is to help you initiate a semester-long inquiry and give me, your teacher, an opportunity to learn something about you as a writer and researcher. So, do your best to respond to the assignment with the idea that we are starting a productive conversation that we can carry out over the coming months. Please write or stop by my office (or both) if you have questions about this assignment or anything else related to the course.


Student's Name
Professor's Name
Is the Cost of Higher Education Too High?
Higher education in today's world is considered to be a key to the achievement of personal and societal goals. It is thus important for one to pursue higher education if they want to boost their chances at life. It is without a doubt that education, particularly higher education, helps in career preparation, personal development, civic engagement, among other benefits. However, do the benefits really cover the associated costs? The cost of higher education is not only high, but it also continues to rise (Selingo). As informed by the article by Selingo, parents, politicians, and students often wonder why the cost is too high but the answer has been elusive. Therefore, the high cost is a significant issue that guides debate in education.
From research, a number of aspects relating to the high cost of education emerge. One of the aspects is the components of the higher education costs. Dr. Bruce Johnstone examines the categories of costs associated with higher education (Johnstone). The first category involves the basic instruction costs. This includes costs of staff and faculty salaries, libraries, equipment, capital and locational costs, administrative, among others (Johnstone).This allows the institution of higher education to achieve its mission of teaching. The second category as informed by Johnstone is the costs related to sponsored research. While this cost may be high, they help the institution achieve its basic teaching mission (Johnstone). The third category includes the costs associated with student living such as room, entertainment, cl

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