Guidelines for the Research Topic Proposal | pdf
DUE: Draft due Wednesday, October 16 | Final due Wednesday, October 23 (at the beginning of class!)
Your individual research project for this course is a series of writing assignments that lead up to a 5-8 page research paper: a research topic proposal, an annotated bibliography, an outline, a draft of the paper, and the final paper.
For your research topic proposal (worth 5% of your total course grade):
- Choose a research topic that is both: 1) relevant to the course content, and 2) interesting to you. Your topic may be something we have already discussed in class, or it may be on a subject we will discuss in the coming weeks.
- In your paper I will ask you to use a variety of different sources on your topic, including:
◦ at least one news source
◦ at least one internet source
◦ at least one scholarly source
It’s best if you choose a topic that is discussed in both academic and popular sources—please ask me if you are unsure about your sources.
- Write a proposal presenting your paper topic. Your proposal must include your research question.
- Your proposal must be at least 100 words, though of course it may be longer.
- Please give considerable thought to whether your topic is focused enough to write about in 5-8 pages. We will also spend time in class discussing how to narrow your focus and decide upon a manageable research topic.
- Please either: a) type up your research proposal as a word processing document and email it to me or, b) print it out and bring it to class.
- Please submit the proposal as a word-processed document in 12-point font with 1” margins.
- I’ll take a look at your topics and give you feedback fairly quickly. It’s possible that your topic may need to be further refined, and I can meet with you or discuss over email.
- Your annotated bibliography is due on Wednesday, October 30 and your research paper draft is due on Monday, November 18
As always, please ask me if you have any questions! Remember that I have office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:15-12:15 in A439b.
Grading chart for your proposal:
|Insufficient (0 points)||Developing (1-2 points)||Competent (3-4 points)||Excellent (5 points)|
|The research topic is not relevant to the content of the course.||–||–||The research topic is relevant to the content of the course.|
|The proposal lacks a main topic and a research question or problem.The proposal is unfocused and unclear.
|An appropriate topic has been selected; however, the proposal does not include a research question or problem.The proposal is unfocused and unclear.||An appropriate topic has been selected and a research question or problem is included.The proposal is somewhat unfocused and unclear.||An appropriate topic has been selected, and a research question or problem is considered reflectively.The proposal is clearly presented and fully focused.|
|The proposal is less than 100 words in length.||–||–||The proposal is 100 words (or more) in length.|
|All sentences are grammatically incorrect.||Most sentences are grammatically incorrect.||Some sentences are grammatically incorrect.||All or almost all sentences are grammatically correct.|
|All sentences have errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization.||Most sentences have errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization.||Some sentences have errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization.||All or almost all sentences are free of punctuation, spelling, or capitalization errors.|