Research Proposal Assignment Sheet
Coming after the Annotated Bibliography, our next assignment deals with a brief but equally important form of academic writing: the proposal. You will develop the paper you propose here as your Synthesis #2. For a number of reasons, the Proposal is an assignment you want to master for our class and beyond.
In upper level classes, you may write proposals for long projects and essays. You will also use proposals in formulating business plans and almost any group project that involves producing documents or other deliverables. Proposals are also embedded in the writing process itself in the Invention stage of discovering an idea. Finally, a proposal is often the first step in taking action to get something done or secured in many industries, grant, or government office as well as a variety of other areas of work. Proposals, and proposal writing, count a great deal. Our Proposal assignment will take a general approach and provide you with the basics to build on in your later courses.
For our assignment, I want you to write a proposal on a topic that interests you and is new to you. I do not want you writing about a topic you have written about before in any course. I want to give you maximum freedom to let your mind roam here, but also need to limit the range to a topic that is in some way related to the four chapters from our text: “Business and Economy”, “Media and Popular Culture”, “Health and Medicine”, and Science and Technology”. Choose a topic from the themes explored in our text that has something to do with two (or more) of our readings.
Your Proposal should be between 2-3 pages long and lay out a specific plan you have for developing a 10-page paper with 7-10 sources: your Synthesis #2.
Your Proposal will have four distinct parts: Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion. Please use these subheadings in your Proposal. You may use first or third person in the Proposal. I suggest you use first person and stay with this perspective the entire time.
Your Introduction should layout the topic area and your interest and what motivated or sparked your interest.
The Discussion (or body) section should discuss what you think you may find out or what areas you are eager to learn about in your writing. At some point in this section, discuss the two sources that somehow figured into your proposal and interest. Perhaps the articles left you with a question or need for further information?
The Methodology section should list your method of pursuing your topic, step by step. What will you do first, and why? Will you begin writing or researching or a little of both? Be concrete here. Do not leave the reader guessing. What sorts of writing process will you follow? How many drafts will you probably make? When and where will you do research? (Be as specific as saying, “I will write 2 pages of freewriting to think of ideas to research along with a 10 item list.”) Remember now, you are proposing to do a longer, 7-10 page essay about this topic, so try to propose a realistic approach and method here.
The Conclusion: All good writing includes effective conclusions. Wrap up your proposal by doing just that; point back to the most important ideas, restate or remind the reader as to what they are, and conclude.
One nice thing about the Proposal is that it is fairly short at 2-3 pages. The tough thing, though, is it almost has to be perfect in terms of sentence structure and grammar and mechanics due to this short length. Proposals don’t take long to read, so your reader will be picky and easily remember any sentence fragments or grammar mistakes. Proofreading and Finalizing are very important!
This is a 10 point paper with the following point values:
· 4 points for the main idea and critical thinking in the proposal in general
· 1 points for developing each section (Introduction, Discussion, Methodology, Conclusion)
· 2 points for sentence structure, grammar and mechanics
Nuts and Bolts
Typed, double-space, 1″ margins. Please use Standard Written English!
Between 2-3 pages in length.