Research Paper Proposal
Before you write your research paper proposal [See the format below.], read this information. Then review the Research Paper Assignment to be sure you are gathering the correct number and kind of sources. Your final product will be judged on how well you succeed in producing a well though out, clear paper which shows you can interpret and intelligently discuss the issue and how well you can backup your findings with evidence. If you can’t find sufficient sources you may have to rethink your subject.
Science and technology rapidly advances; therefore, “old “stuff,” other than as background information, can be misleading and lead to wrong conclusions. Look for possible topics and background information in the CSN Library Databases.
Approach: Your paper does not have a chance to be substantive unless you have substantive sources. You will need to find 10-15 possible sources for your Proposal. Out of the 15 possible sources you found for your proposal, you should end up with 7 to 10 VARIED (NOT all Internet sites, for example) sources – including professional journal articles and professional publications, Internet sources, and possibly (but not required) an interview. It is a balancing act to find sources that you can understand. Be prepared at all times to show me the hard copies of your sources. Keep good notes. Be sure you have records on the title of the article, the title of the journal, the author/s names, date of publication, page numbers and other information required on your reference page and in your in-text citation, plus the key points from the source. Identify whether you are paraphrasing or quoting.]
Below is the format for your Research Paper Proposal. I must approve your topic and sources. I will not accept any papers that have major changes in topic or sources without my prior approval. Your paper must be your original work, fitting the guidelines in your research paper assignment.
DO NOT RESEARCH OR WRITE THE FOLLOWING TOPICS BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN DONE AND OVERDONE:
Abortion – you may have strong feelings about this topic, but you views will probably not change someone else’s since people have discussed this issue for decades.
Gun Control – Again most people have taken a position on this issue.
Legalizing Marijuana – It’s happening already.
Animal Rights – It’s good to be concerned about animals, but this topic regarding PETA, whales, or other animals has been done repeatedly.
Euthanasia – This continues to be debated in the law of various states.
Capital Punishment – This topic will work only if you research some of the Innocence Projects in America that seek to prove people have been wrongly sentenced to death.
Proposal Detailed Description:
To: Professor C
From: [name and email address]
Subject of my paper: [The subject is the broad topic]
My reason and why writing about this topic will be beneficial to me: [If you are not vested in your topic, chances are your incentive to write about the subject will be weak. If you are interested in the topic you will probably write a better paper.]
My thesis: [The thesis is generally a sentence or two, which comes after the introductory material and states the main point/s in your paper. It is NOT a question. If your subject is fertility treatments, for example, your thesis might be “The high number of multiple births is forcing society to examine the ethical issues that are caused by fertility drugs and invitro fertilization.]
Approach to the subject of my paper: [Try to envision a logical way in which to present your material. In what order will you present your material to best address the issues? Will you have to define any terms? If so, which ones? Will you have to clarify terms and concepts? Do you think that inserting anecdotal evidence, for example, high profile stories of people who have had multiple births, as in the case above, will help your reader understand your paper? Will you show opposing viewpoints? Will you discuss the plusses and minuses of different platforms that perform similar functions? Will you be comparing and contrasting? Will you be categorizing some information? Perhaps you will be using a number of these approaches in your paper. Let me know where you think you are headed.]
Intended audience: [Your readers should not be specialists in your field. Assume that your readers have, in general, your level of education, but are not necessarily majoring in the same subject. You will have to define terms and explain concepts. But beyond these obvious ground rules, discuss what people or group of people might benefit from reading your paper. For example, in the multiple birth example, might prospective users of fertility clinics, childless husbands and wives, benefit from the information in your paper? ]
Graphs or charts: [Graphs and charts will not impress me unless they truly help the reader better understand some aspect of your paper. Be sure to document charts and graphs from other sources. Charts and/or graphs should not stand alone. They should complement textual descriptions. Refer to the chart or graph in the text where you discuss the information. Charts, graphs or other appendices do not count toward the 5 to 7 pages of required text.]
Documentation Style: MLA
Kinds of sources I will use and why they will benefit my paper: [Do you have a balanced variety of sources? What strengths will they lend to the paper? How will they help clarify points you want to make? Use a combination of sources. Do not use all Internet sources. Some of your sources must be from a professional journal in your field, such as a nursing journal, a computer science or engineering journal, such as IEEE Spectrum. Some high end general audience publications such as Scientific American, or PC Computing can be used. Internet sources can be used if they are from credible sites such as the National Institute of Health, The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Also, be sure to use CSN Library Database.
Tentative List of References: [You should have 10 to 15 separate sources listed in the proper MLA format. This information should be on a separate page called Works Cited List. Abide by all of the MLA format guidelines for the reference page. The sources should be varied – not all Internet sources, for example – and be appropriate for a college level research paper. People magazine, Readers Digest, and others of that ilk are not satisfactory. Show me that you know how to find and can analyze data from sources related to your topic. Your final reference page in the Research Paper should have a minimum of 7 to 10 sources, each of which must be used as a source in your paper. Do not put any sources in your references that you have not used in your paper. It is possible for some of your sources to change as you become more deeply involved in writing your paper. Advise me of changes in references.
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