Research Paper Proposal

Basic Information
Topic/Focus: Analysis, Argument, and Research

Length and Format: 500-750 words, double-spaced, 12-pt Times New Roman; MLA formatted document

Submitting Your Work: When you are ready, please upload your work as a .doc or .pdf. Name your work LastName_TitleofAssignment
Relevant Course Outcomes:
Students will compose essays, including a formal research paper
Students will illustrate critical reading skills
Students will use conventions of standard American English
define the purpose, audience, authorial position, and special requirements of the research paper assignment
develop an argument supporting your interpretation of the work(s) and their elements
conduct library research for scholarly sources to support your analysis
cite sources properly in MLA format
Assignment Guidelines
Your proposal has two parts. Please write both of these parts in one document. Label each part clearly.

Part One: Rhetorical Analysis (up to 250 words)

Write up answers to the following questions, which ask you to analyze the purpose of your research paper project, the audience for your research paper project, your position as the writer of a research paper,  and any special requirements for the research paper project. You should refer to the instructions for the project to help you answer these questions. Please label this part “Rhetorical Analysis.”

1. Consider your Purpose: Analyze the purpose of this essay. Why are you writing this essay both academically and personally? How does the type of essay it is (a research paper in which you analyze, evaluate, and respond to a story/author) impact or affect how you will need to approach this essay?

2. Determine your Audience: Who is your specific audience for this essay? Who are you trying to reach and why? What background information will you need to provide? What will they be expecting to learn from your research paper?

3. Analyze your Position as Author: Think also about how do you want the audience to see you as an author. As well informed? thoughtful? witty?

4. Consider Special Requirements: What specific aspects of format or the assignment will you need to pay special attention to? What questions do you have about the project so far?
Part Two: Research Proposal (up to 500 words)

Once you complete part one, write up a proposal that includes the following requirements. You should write this proposal directly below part one and label it “Research Proposal”:

1. A tentative title: Think of something that will grab the reader’s attention and keep them interested. Be as concise as possible. Study the following handout (Links to an external site.) for help writing a good title.

2. Your proposed paper topic: This part of the proposal is one sentence. Keep your paper topic narrow (but not so narrow that there are no scholarly sources available on the topic).

3. Why the topic is interesting and important: Address how you will focus the topic. If you choose a topic that is not of interest to you, it will show in your paper. This topic must remain of interest to you for the next few weeks, so give it some serious consideration.  This part of the assignment requires that you include one paragraph about why this topic is interesting and important. Why should the reader care about your chosen creator’s works, and his or her use of the elements to communicate themes?

4. Write a revised thesis that states the angle and purpose of your research paper:  After reviewing your feedback from last week’s discussion, revise your tentative thesis or hypothesis for your research so far. A great resource to help here is the “Developing an Analytical Argument” resource. Additionally, study “Developing a Thesis for a Literary Analysis Paper.” Ensure that your thesis follows one of the patterns provided in the research paper instructions and makes a claim worthy of analysis.

5. List the aspects of the author and the works you might cover in the body of the paper that support your thesis statement: As you study the work, percolate upon what you might like to study in this piece. Will it be an element of the plot? Structure? Editing? Cinematography? Figurative Language? Poetic Form? Characterization? Theme? Symbol? An aspect of the creator’s literary or cinematic technique? Remember, your goal for this assignment is NOT to summarize or promote this author. It is, rather, to bring some new thinking on your part to the study of this literature for a larger audiencethe reader of your essay.

6. Present your preliminary research: Include works cited entries for three library database secondary sources  (journal articles, books) found in your research this week that have given you some insight or ideas about your chosen work.

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