ENGL 102 Research Proposal

ENGL 102 Research Proposal

ENGL 102 Dr. R. Buckton-Tucker

Writing and Information Literacy Fall Semester 2015


The purpose of a research proposal is to help you narrow your topic, choose a research question or questions and formulate a working thesis. It shows what you know and have learnt about the topic so far and the reasoning behind your choice of topic and your thesis. It also explains how the topic is important and relevant to your audience. Finally, it shows how you intend to pursue your research and what you hope to find. You will also construct a calendar to indicate the timeline for completion of your paper, with due dates for each individual task.

Your paper should be formatted according to MLA style, as follows:

· Use one-inch margins· Use Times New Roman font type· Use 11-12 point font size· Do not include a cover sheet· Title your paper Research Proposal, centered, with a space between the heading and the first line of your first paragraph· Double-space within and between paragraphs; do not use extra spaces between paragraphs· The first line of each paragraph must be indented .5 inch (MS Word default) from left margin· Use the “insert page number” function of your word processing program and type your family name (last name) and page number in the upper right corner of all pages, excluding the first page.

Please give the following information in the upper left-hand corner of the first page:

Your name

Your ID number

Dr. Rosalind Buckton-Tucker

ENGL 102- (add your section)

Due date: Thursday 5th November

Organise your paper using the following headings in the order below. Include the numbered headings at the top of each answer.

1. Working title

A title should be a phrase, not a sentence, of about 5-10 words, and should provide a brief indication of the direction the paper will take, for example, “The importance of reducing electricity consumption in the home”.

2. Research question(s)

Your research questions are those you use to explore your topic and help formulate a working thesis; for example, “How significant is the amount of electricity consumed in the home?” “How does it compare to the country’s total usage?” “What are the major ways in which wastage occurs?” They are not just Yes/No questions, but require researched answers.

3. Working thesis

The working thesis is a single-sentence statement of what you expect to prove through your paper, and may provide suggestions for future action. For example, “Reducing wastage of electricity in the home should be a Government priority.” As a working thesis, it may change with your later research findings, especially as you will be considering sources that both support and contradict your thesis.

4. Background

You should describe the origin of the topic to provide a background to the present-day situation, and show how the question(s) you wish to discuss in your paper have arisen. For example, when did the topic first become important, and why? In what way(s) is the topic of current significance globally and/or locally? Are measures already being taken to resolve any problematic issues? You should define any key terms in order to clarify your statements.

5. Justification of topic

You should explain your interest in your topic and your previous experience of it. For example, have you studied it in class or done independent reading or research on it? Does anyone in your family have experience of the topic? Which particular issues prompted your research? What do you think you can add to the debate on the topic? Can you provide an original perspective and offer constructive suggestions for the future?

6. Methodology

Explain how you plan to conduct your research. What kinds of sources have you consulted so far (for example, books, scholarly articles, newspaper and magazine articles, official documents, online articles) and what information are you still searching for? What keywords will you use? Will you do any field research (personal interviews, visits to sites, surveys, etc.)? You should organize your answer under the headings below:

a) Keywords

b) Library research

c) Internet research

d) Field research

7. Tentative research calendar

Construct a calendar showing the dates by which you plan to accomplish certain tasks. Include the remaining deadlines listed in the course syllabus (annotated bibliography, first, second and final draft). Add the dates for completion of the search for sources, analysing material, compiling a bibliography, commencing your draft, proofreading, etc. You should plan your calendar to suit your individual research pattern (with the exception of the fixed dates on the syllabus) allowing adequate time for each task. See the sample calendar on p.358 (8th ed.) or p. 331 (7th ed.) of Hacker, A Writer’s Reference, for guidance.

Your paper should be well-written in academic-style English.

Length: minimum 500 words (not including the calendar). Give the total word count for answers 1-6 at the end of no. 6.

DUE DATE: Thursday 5th November, 3.00 p.m. Please provide a hard copy and an entry on Turnitin.

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