Type: Written Paper
Style: Modern Language Association Format
Length: One double-spaced page
Description: The purpose writing a paper proposal is to give your professor an opportunity to provide feedback on your topic, argument, and research goals. Perhaps most importantly, a paper proposal requires you to narrow your topic and begin formulating the argument you’ll make.
Be Sure to: Include and identify a your main thesis statement
Your research paper proposal is a single page the let’s the reader know what you hope to argue in your paper. The most important item in the proposal should be your current thesis statement (it might change as you write) and how you hope to engage in arguing this. Your consideration of this thesis is best placed in the first paragraph of the proposal.
For the second paragraph it is a good practice to write about how you intend on researching your proofs. Remember that a thesis statement is an argument that will need expert opinion to help you prove. Before writing the proposal you should have engaged in some research of your topic and thesis and have a good idea where you will find the sources (at least 3) you need for the paper. TIP: “I plan on looking on the internet” is a bad answer. “Harold Bloom’s consideration of the motivations that drive the plot of Hamlet will be utilized in this exploration is good answer.
The final paragraph in the proposal is used to sum up what you hope to accomplish by writing this paper.
TIPS FOR RESEARCH PAPER:
Your paper should:
Contain an introduction paragraph which 1) introduces the audience to the issue being addressed, 2) identifies clearly the writer’s claim, 3) examines why this information is important to the specified audience, 4) announces the organization of the paper.
Offer a thesis statement in the form of an argument.
Offer academic sources to support the thesis statement.
Include evidence of scholarly research.
Maintain focus on the paper’s thesis throughout.
Organize the material presented in a consistent, rational manner.
Contain a conclusion that reasserts the writer’s thesis statement and reiterates the introduction.
Use transitions to achieve unity between ideas and paragraphs.
Use conventions of standard written English (appropriate diction, no omitted words, grammar, punctuation, and spelling).
Follow MLA format guidelines.
Please be certain that your treatment of your topic is complete, thoughtful, and well-researched. The topic of the research paper can be any of the subjects covered over the course of the lecture series. As always, please contact me with any concerns.
Be connected to your topic—you should pursue a topic that interests you and perhaps fits in with other studies you are engaged in.
Specifically state your thesis early and often.
Spend your effort working to prove your argument based thesis. DO NOT waste time summarizing if it is not needed to further your argument.
Acknowledge and refute counterarguments.
Remember to cite when needed. This includes quotes, paraphrases, and summaries you add to the paper.
Make sure your paragraphs are fully developed and have topic sentences and concluding sentences.