Research Proposal Assignment
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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