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Research Proposal Assignment Like any research project, you will...

Research Proposal Assignment

Like any research project, you will need to write a proposal and have it approved. Basically, my approval serves as your “funding” for this particular research project. There are several reasons for this: 

Criteria for an acceptable topic
  • Your topic should be related to an event currently being discussed in the news on a regular basis. For the purpose of this assignment, the news is defined as top stories, front-page headlines, hot topics in the blogosphere. 
  • Your topic is narrow enough to work in the confines of this assignment, yet broad enough for you to complete an adequate 8-10 page paper; 
  • You should be able to access enough information and sources for your project;
  • I should be able understand your topic from the start, and see where you are planning to go and where you end up—this is not a solitary journey; 
  • You need to have an initial plan—a project like this requires a great deal of planning and thought; no one should jump into a research project like this without a plan;  
  • This is an argumentative paper, so you must have a plausible argument. Remember, an argument paper requires that you have a point that someone could argue against, and that is worth arguing about.
  • Be sure to review the "Top 10 Most Overused Research Paper Topics.pptx" powerpoint before deciding on a subject. 

Note:The Research Proposal is a mandatory assignment. That means that even if you are so late that I will no longer give you a grade for it, you still must turn in a proposal before your Research Paper Draft  or Final Research Paper will be accepted. 

Proposal Components - You Must Follow this outline



The research proposal should contain the following components (Each component should include a heading.) 

Your name, class, instructor, and the title “A Research Proposal for [add subject]” 

A Research Statement: (2-3 pages)

  1. Tentitive Thesis Statement and Counterarguments [Write a paragraph that includes your tentitive thesis statement along with potential arguments the opposition might make in disagreement with your thesis statement. 
  2. Current Knowledge [Write a paragraph that explains what most people already know about your topic (the current status quo) as well as what you already know about your topic. This paragraph may also include reasons for your interest in the topic]
  3. Research Goal [Write a paragraph that explains what you wish to learn from your research, including a tentitive conclusion]
  4. Audience [Write a paragraph introducing who your readers are and they might care about this topic?]
  5. Sources [Where do you plan to look for sources? Include a list of 3 sources you may use in complete bibliographic MLA format and a brief explanation of why each source would be useful to your argument. One of your sources must come from either the CQ Researcher database or the Opposing Viewpoints database, and one of your sources must come from another database such as EBSCO, Gale, or Proquest.] 
  6. Google News Search [Google your topic, then click on News (as opposed to Web, Maps, Images, etc). Read current stories on the topic to see what fresh angles you can come up with. List five headlines with a 1-2 sentence summary of what the article is about and how it might have an interesting angle for your research]

This is an important step in the research process. You need to construct a clear and concise plan that will guide you through the early stages. Otherwise, you will become frustrated and overwhelmed very quickly. 

Turn in your Research Proposal via the Dropbox.

Check the Research Process Prezi presented at the beginning of the semester to see where this assignment fits in with the 8-step process to completing the Argumentative Research Essay.

MLA Document Guidelines is a document I created to explain how to format essays for composition courses. This is a document you should print and keep handy, reflecting on it often as you turn in assignments. 

Answer & Explanation
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