English 200—DeAloia *Research Proposal
Length: 2—3 pages, not including works cited page
Requirements: Minimum of four separate sources—scholarly and/or popular—cited within the
proposal and listed on a works cited page
- Verbalize and develop working thesis
- Verbalize and develop preliminary questions and course of investigation
- Begin research in topic area
- Anticipate areas of success and of difficulty
- Provide some time and space to change direction
- Begin more defined and refined discussions with others
- Refine thesis, supporting ideas, and research techniques
- Organize ideas and materials before actually beginning to write in any extended fashion
- Provide a touchstone—although not rigid—as research and writing progress
In business and academia, requests for proposals (RFPs) vary in what they require from those who wish to submit a proposal. Each discipline or agency writing a research proposal has its own requirements as well but, for our general purposes, we will use MLA style and include the following in this order:
- Working title, on the first page, centered. After this title, begin the proposal, starting on this same first page and continuing from there.
- Statement of purpose, as the proposal’s opening paragraph (s) on the first page, addressing the paper’s audience directly and explaining what issue the research hopes to address in what manner, and what the research hopes to show or validate. This section also makes clear—although this point can be made implicitly or explicitly—how the paper centers on an argument—or, in the case of a paper that persuades rather than argues, why the paper’s readers need to be persuaded. Implicit or explicit in the statement of purpose is the thesis—the probable answer to the question at the crux of your research. For our purposes, make your thesis explicit.
- Optional: Explanation of your interest in your topic—deriving from, for example, classes or reading you’ve completed in this field or personal experience related to the topic.
- Explanation of why your research is significant—how it is important in today’s world, and to whom it is important. In this section, identify your potential reader groups, those with whom you wish to share your findings when the research is complete.
- A series of at least five questions, numbered and related to your topic, you hope to answer as you research the topic.
- Describe: a) what kind of research you will conduct (for example, internet, surveys, field); b) what methods you will use (for example, face-to-face, real time, internet, texting, Survey Monkey, “Ask a Librarian”); and c) what kinds of problems you may encounter and how you will deal with them.
- A works cited page, listing at least four sources summarized, paraphrased, or directly quoted in your proposal.
Sandra Jamieson, “Guidelines for Writing Non-Discipline Specific Research Proposals.” Drew University. 1999. 8 June 2010. Web.