Write a brief topic proposal—the topic for your research paper. You should identify a topic, and a specific issue and research question within that topic, that stems from your specific academic interests in your major field of study. Make sure it is a topic you really want to learn more about because you will be working on it for the rest of the semester. Essentially, you are making the case that this is a good topic for you to write about, that your research question is important, that you are prepared to research this issue, and you will explain how you will go about doing so. In other words, convince me that this is a good idea and that you are the right person to do this research at this time.
Audience: Consider your instructor the primary audience for your proposal and your classmates as the secondary audience (since you will present a portion of your final paper to the class at the end of the semester). In the proposal, you should: o Identify the specific issue you will be researching. You’ll do this by giving a quick overview of the issue (this should be stuff you already know or think you know) and stating a clear research question (see pages 59-60 in your textbook and Chapter 50b in your RFW handbook for help with articulating research questions).
o Explain the significance of exploring this issue. Help us understand why it is important to study this issue at this time. To do this, you might need to do a little bit of research into the issue to support your justification for writing about this topic, although this is not required. Important: If you use any information that you had to look up—that you did not know on your own—you must properly document it and cite the source.
o Discuss why you are interested in this issue and explain how you are already invested in it. In other words, how does your experience with this issue and who you are influence your perspective and opinions about the issue? What perspective and attitude do you already have on the issue?
o Give an overview of how much time you can devote to your research, based on your schedule for the rest of the semester. (Use the due dates listed on the syllabus to help you with this. Also refer to Chapter 50 in RFW.) Do this by listing a schedule for a typical week and noting where you can fit in time for research, reading, and taking notes. Be as specific as you can be right now—this is not written in stone.
o Discuss the specific difficulties that you anticipate at this time. This section should also include any potential scheduling conflicts as well as sacrifices you are willing to make to get your work done. If you do cite sources in your proposal, you must use a documentation style appropriate for your topic and major. If you are having difficulty choosing a style, consult with your instructor.