Writing and Research
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A proposal is an extremely useful document to create at an early point in the research process. It is a way of both taking stock of what you've discovered about your topic and determining what still needs to be done. The proposal that you create for this class will consist of AT LEAST the following items:
- A thesis/research question -- that is a question that specifically indicates exactly what you expect to say/prove in your paper.
Example: What is the reason for the popularity of assisted suicide? Or What are the childhood traits/tendencies that point towards someone growing up to be a serial killer?
Notice that the question is very specific, not generic. The research question should be specific to your paper, not simply restating your sources’ theses.
- More than one side -- the proposal should clearly show that you have read and analyzed AT LEAST two different "sides" or perspectives of the issue at hand. You don't have to give equal time to each perspective, but you do need to at least indicate that you haven't just limited your search to sources that "prove" what you believed before you started the research.
- Clear indication that you are ready to write a synthesis paper that you have multiple sources that you can use for arguing your points in your paper. A paper that argues each point with only one source is not a true synthesis research paper it’s just a collection of summaries and that is NOT what we are looking for.
- An understanding of who your intended audience is and what you want them to learn from your paper.
- A clear sense of whether your paper is intended to be persuasive or informative. There’s no requirement one way or the other in this class either approach is fine, but YOU need to know which approach you are taking in order to write a properly focused paper.
- An understanding of what background material your reader will need to know before they can understand the specific points and arguments that you want to share with them.
Simply fill out and submit the form found on the website or in your packet. This is a pass/fail assignment, and, quite frankly, it’s more to benefit YOU as the writer than it is me as the instructor. These are the sort of questions that you should always be asking yourself before you write any sort of academic/professional research based paper.