Topic Proposal

Printer friendly version: Topic Proposal Guidelines

Due Date:  2 November by midnight in Blackboard

Your major assignment for this semester is to write an eight (8) to ten (10) page research paper. Before writing your paper you must decide on a topic/issue of interest to you. I encourage you to choose a topic about which you have a strong passion, as you will be conducting intensive research and doing a lot of deep reading and writing. In other words, make sure you choose an issue/topic that will hold your interest for the duration of the project. For your current assignment you will write a short essay that discusses your choice of topic and your plans to research and write about your topic.

For your current assignment you will write a short essay that discusses your choice of topic and your plans to research and write about your topic.

Purpose:  To introduce your topic idea.

Audience:  Your instructor.

Length:  1-2 pages/300-600 words

Format:

  1. Your essay should have an introduction, body paragraph(s), and a conclusion.
  2. In your essay answer the following questions to assist you with narrowing the focus of the topic of your research assignment:
    • What argument do you hope to make?
    • Would others agree or disagree on how to see, define, or come to terms with your issue or problem?
    • What do you know about your topic?  (In answering this question, you should provide some sense of the focus to your argument, but keep in mind that your focus might change as you conduct research.)
    • How do I plan to conduct my research? (Elaborate on your answer to this question a bit.  Don’t write a novel, but I would like to gain some sense of your research plan—include titles of sources.  Avoid simply stating that you plan to use books, journal articles, newspaper articles, etc.  Include at least one credible Web site and include a copy of the site with your topic proposal.)
    • What do I hope to learn about my topic?
  3. In addition, consider and answer the following questions:
    • What is my current position toward my research paper topic?
    • How did I reach this position?
    • Does my position reflect my religious beliefs, political affiliation, or personal experiences?
    • Does my position reflect what I have heard my family or friends say, what I have read, or what I have seen on television?
  4. This essay should be written in your voice and should reflect your thoughts about your topic and the research process.
  5. Grading:  I will grade your proposal based on organization and content, as well as grammar, punctuation, and clarity of writing.

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