Research Project

Final Project Research Paper Proposal

Before endeavoring on the final project, students will write a 250-word proposal for a research paper that explores a contemporary technology through the lens of language and technology. The proposal should pose a question to be answered in the research paper, identify and describe the technology being investigated, and attempt to answer the research question with the knowledge already held by the student. On a separate page, students will write alphabetized list of 5 potential library-based sources for their research.


Final Project Research Paper

Based on the final project research paper proposal, students will write a 2500-word minimum research essay responding to their research question. This project requires at least 5 library-based, cited sources. In addition to these required sources, students may cite readings from class readings and non-library-based sources.


Final Project Presentation

Each student will have an opportunity to present a condensed, professionally delivered presentation based on their research paper. It must be between 5 and 10 minutes in length, and use PowerPoint as the visual component of the presentation.


As we progress through these three assignments–first, proposal; second, research paper; and finally, presentation–additional information will be added to this page.

1. Final Project Research Paper Proposal

In order to develop, research, and write a strong research paper, you need to have a good research plan. This plan will be your final project research paper proposal. Its purpose is to convince the professor that you’ve given some thought to the topic of your research paper by describing the object of your study, raising some questions that you would like to answer by conducting research, and demonstrating the beginning of your research with some initial sources that you may or may not end up using in your research paper.

Your proposal should look like the following. Email a copy as an email attachment in Word docx format to Professor Ellis before the class on the day that it is due. Early submissions are encouraged!




2. Research Paper

All of your research papers should address the following things. Your paper might not be organized exactly in the way that I am suggesting, but it should cover these topics.

All of your supporting evidence must be parenthetically cited in-text (meaning where you write your essay) and listed alphabetically in your paper’s References section at the end of the paper. For the purposes of this assignment, quotations are stronger evidence than paraphrasing.

On the due date, email your research paper as a PDF attachment Microsoft Word docx or doc format to jellis at with the subject: ENG1710 Final Paper. Please write a brief, professional message to me (such as what is your paper about and the fact that it is attached to the email). Remember to attach your document. “Shared” or “Invitation to edit” documents will not be accepted. I will reply to your email confirming receipt of your submission.

Suggested Outline

Each section in the outline below might be more than one paragraph. You may use headings of your choosing as long as they are descriptive and useful to the reader.

  1. Introduction [Explicitly state your thesis or argument. This is what your paper means to prove to the reader. It responds to a research question that you wrote in your proposal or that evolved from your research]
  2. Definitions [Define what you plan to discuss. For your selected technology, you should explain what it is, what “type” of technology is it, what technologies are related to it, and perhaps most importantly, what are the technologies affordances and constraints that contact language in some way?]
  3. Discussion [In this section of your paper, which should be the most substantial part of your paper, discuss the interaction/influence/relationship between your selected technology and language. These paragraphs should be you talking the reader through how the technology influences language and vice versa. Support your claims with evidence based on your research and observation. Each paragraph should discuss only one topic and have a good topic sentence. You may discuss other technologies that influence language in this section as long as these discussions illuminate a point that you are talking about your selected technology. Do not let digressions ruin your essay’s unity of thought!]
  4. Conclusion [This is where you answer the question: So what?! Explain the importance of your argument/discussion to the reader. Explain what you have just discussed in your essay might mean for folks using that tech today or in the future, or how you imagine the relationship between the technology and language to develop further in one year, two years, five years. The idea here is to give what you have said further and deeper meaning for the reader. What you do not want to do is regurgitate what you have already written!!!]
  5. References [On a separate page, using the Insert Page Break option in your word processing software, title it References and list under this title your cited sources listed alphabetically by the beginning of each entry. Follow APA rules for your in-text and references citations. If you did not quote or paraphrase something in your essay, do not list it in your references.]

Sample Research Paper (NB: yours will be slightly longer)


Download the Sample Paper PDF here.

3. Final Project Presentation

In addition to writing a well-developed argument about the relationship between a technology and language in an essay, the final component of your project is an oral presentation based on your paper. Each student will have the opportunity to combine spoken words with a visual presentation that summarizes your essay’s argument, definitions, and (some) discussion. The goal is to distill the most important parts of your research paper into an oral presentation supported by images and text displayed on the overhead screen with PowerPoint. These would include your thesis, a description of your selected technology, the definitions that you rely on, one or two examples from your discussion, and your conclusion’s response to “so what.”

Use the WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal) modes of communication to make your presentation interesting, engaging, and memorable.

Your final project presentation should be between 5 and 10 minutes in length. You may not exceed 10 minutes.

There are two components that you should bring with you on the day of your presentation: a PowerPoint presentation file on a flash drive, and a printed, double-spaced script. I am including examples of each below.

Before coming to class to give your presentation, it is your responsibility as a professional to read your script while going through your PowerPoint to make sure that the two correspond and the time for your reading does not exceed the time limit. I will not collect these from you–your presentation grade depends on how well you present your paper using these supporting artifacts.

Script Example


PowerPoint Example