Many academic disciplines and programs ask students to write a research proposal before they launch a research project - a study or paper. Research proposals are also very common in professional or corporate environments where supervisors may ask an employee to write up a project proposal before that project is launched.
The purpose of this assignment, like any research proposal, is to ask permission to begin a project. For this assignment, you are asked to write a proposal for the research you will conduct. The results of your research will be reported in your Informative Report/Essay. This problem will continue to guide you through the rest of the semester, as we conduct secondary, exploratory research and ultimately argue persuasively for a solution to the problem in the final Proposal Argument essay. A secondary purpose for this assignment is for you as students to reflect personally on your own success in ENC1102, and the value of writing and rhetoric for you beyond this class.
You will conduct your own primary research through field methods that may include surveys/questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Note that field research is considered primary research, which means you are finding the data yourself. The field research you are conducting is the sort of research that scholars in social sciences such as anthropology, linguistics, sociology, and political science often conduct. Still, field research is used in every field. For example, observation is a common form of primary research for biologists and surveys are used frequently in the business and marketing fields. Students from any academic field will find value in conducting original primary research based on a subject matter question.
Layout and Formatting
Your research proposal is a formal, academic document with four major sections:
1. Research question
2. Literature review
3. Research methods
Section 1: Research Question
In this section, pose your research question by explaining the problem to be investigated. You must how importance and significance of the problem and also pose the determinate research questions to be investigated. I expect a research question that is clearly defined, appropriate in scope and appropriate for ENC1102 and feasible for investigation through your own field research. Your research questions should help address the broader class question of "What determines a successful experience for FIU students in writing and rhetoric?"
Section 2: Literature Review
The literature review will survey the articles and texts that you have examined in your preliminary work. This includes 3 to 4 sources, cited in MLA style. A literature review should clearly and concisely summarize the research you've conducted so far, showing your audience that you have some understanding of the academic conversation you're proposing to enter.
Section 3: Research Methods
In this section, describe the primary and secondary research you plan to conduct. You may choose to conduct an interview, observation, survey, or some combination of different field methods for primary research. Your secondary research methods include what types of publications you will be looking for in your library and internet research; what academic fields, news sources and discourse communities write about the questions you are researching.
In your Methods section, you must:
- let readers know the purpose and scope of the field research you will be conducting
- ensure the data is being collected in a fair and ethical way, without leading questions or flawed methodology
- be very clear and detailed in the research you plan to conduct, so that readers can replicate your research
- discuss your plans for further secondary research
I expect a manageable research plan appropriate for the time period allotted. To do that, consider these questions:
- How are you planning to conduct the necessary research for this project?
- How much time do you think you'll have to dedicate to research?
- What research challenges do you anticipate?
- How will you meet those challenges?
- How will you handle your research notes, and document your research?
Section 4: References
Follow MLA guidelines to compose your references section, listing all cited sources in MLA format.
By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
- Complete a writing project with the purpose of convincing their reader of the feasibility of their proposed research project;
- Define an area of interest appropriate for extended research;
- Define a problematic, significant and interesting question which will be explored and refined in the research;
- Demonstrate that adequate resources are available for the topic;
- Identify an audience or discipline appropriate for the topic;
- Develop a plan for effectively managing, organizing and conducting a research project.
Note: To encourage original thinking and thorough research, you may not use any of the following nine topics:
-Gay marriage or adoption
-Changing the legal drinking age
-Legalization of marijuana
-Legalization of prostitution