Research Proposal Assignment

Technical Requirements

900-1100 words. The Work Cited page is not included in the word count. Times New

Roman font, size 12. Double-spaced with one-inch margins. Use MLA style formatting,

including headings and citation.

Goals of the Research Proposal

The purpose of this assignment, like any research proposal, is to ask permission to

begin a project. For this assignment, you are asked to write a proposal to research a

problem in your community. This problem will continue to guide you through the rest of

the semester, as we conduct secondary, exploratory research and ultimately compose

writing aimed at social change at the end of the term

Many academic disciplines and programs ask students to write a research proposal

before they launch a research project – a study or paper. Research proposals are also

very common in professional or corporate environments where supervisors may ask an

employee to write up a project proposal before that project is launched.

What you’ll need to do

This assignment requires you to define and defend your research questions and show

that you can find credible web and academic sources in the research. The proposal has

three required elements: a research question, a preview of the literature, and your plans

for future research.

Research Question : Pose your research question by explaining the problem

to be investigated. You must show importance and significance of the

problem and discuss how it affects a community of which you are part. The

question should be one you find perplexing. In other words, you are open to

explore the question from many different perspectives and don’t already have

an expected answer in mind. I expect a research question that is: clearly

defined, appropriate in scope, and feasible for investigation through your own

library and internet research.

Literature “Preview” : Survey the articles and texts that you have examined

in your preliminary work. This includes 3-4 sources, cited in MLA style. The

purpose of the preview is to show that you are able to find sources that

discuss the problem you’re researching and that you have some direction in

mind for your research project. It is not necessary yet to provide a full

summary or evaluation of the sources – we will be doing that in future

assignments. This assignment requires, instead, a preview. Let readers know

what made this source look promising, where it came from, and what value

you expect for each source to have for your research.

Plans for future research : Describe the secondary research you plan to

conduct. You must let readers know the purpose and scope of the research

you will be conducting.

Your rhetorical context

A research proposal is a document where you propose your plan to your instructor by

demonstrating that you have a good idea for a project, that you have the knowledge

necessary to do it, and that you have a plan for how it will get done.

That context means that your instructor is your primary audience here, and your

purpose is to persuade me that you have a research question that would be appropriate

for ENC1102 and that you can establish ethos for yourself as a prepared and focused

student. Another purpose of this project is to help you focus your goals. The proposal

will help you put together your ideas to make sure you’ve planned most of the important

steps to begin your research.


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