A Research Paper Proposal: Specifications, English homework help

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A Research Paper Proposal:


(40 points)

Instructions: This, essentially, is a creative project: one in which you “envision” and provide the skeleton for a formal research paper while you “sell” the idea to an imagined reader. On the other hand, it is also a project in which you demonstrate your familiarity with the essential components of good research and writing: components that you have practiced this semester.

There is no required length. To earn a basic grade of “C” (20 points) on this project, you must complete each of the specified sections, but you may do so briefly and without going into much detail. Higher points will be given for thoughtful and creative development of ideas, the addition of useful and illuminating visuals, and careful editing and presentation of the writing itself.

You may use one of the topics you’ve addressed this semester, including actual material from those papers, or you may go in an entirely different direction. You may present the project as a

basic college paper with its limits of length and research sources; or, you may create a persona in which you have unlimited access to financial backing, research facilities and sources, and editorial discretion as to format and length. You may also combine the two approaches by envisioning a college paper that has the potential to develop into a major contribution to your future professional field and briefly sketching that metamorphosis. There is no “preferred” approach, so go with your strengths.

Finally, while this project obviously entails work, you will do your BEST work if you have fun in the process, stretch your creativity, and remember that the magic is in the details. Dazzle me!

Required components:

  • The “Abstract.” This briefly summarizes your project in two or three sentences and tells your audience why we want to keep reading. Think of it as the teaser, like a film trailer or the blurb on the back of a book.
  • The “Sell.” This is the proposal proper. While you don’t have to put these elements in this particular order, be sure to include each of them.
    • The general topic of your paper. Simply put, what are you planning to write about? This is where you discuss the “macro” view of the topic.
    • The specific focus of that topic. What particular aspect of the general topic will you more closely analyze as a “micro” example of that larger issue?
    • Why it’s important and to what audience.
    • Your thesis. This is where you suggest what you believe you will find
    • Research methodology and scope. What kinds of sources and data will you be using to support your research? Remember to address issues of credentials and credibility. Add a note about the citation method (MLA, etc) you plan to use.
    • Your frame. How you plan to introduce and shape the reader’s engagement with the topic.
  • The “Outline.” Sketch the skeletal structure of your research paper.
  • The “Visuals.” If you plan to use illustrations, be sure to caption them.
  • The “Works Cited.” This is where you list (in alphabetical order) the actual sources you’ve consulted in planning this project.
  • The “Extension.” If applicable, what is your vision of the project in a larger format and with greater scope and impact? This section might include the following:
    • Why YOU are uniquely suited to lead this project.
    • Who might you get to work with you.
    • What kinds of funding are available for research and development.
  • Any additional material you’d like to add.

Formatting Specs: With the exception of page length, these are the same as previous class work.

Writing Style: You do not need to write in formal prose style throughout. Feel free to make use of lists, bullet points, etc.


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