This assignment requires that you to produce a formal proposal of at least 1200 words describing the research project you were assigned. Typically the proposal introduces and builds on your topic. You are to freewrite. Paper format: 1500 +words; 1.5 spacing; please include page numbers. You may use images in your draft if you wish – just please use them rhetorically, not decoratively. In addition, be sure to cite any sources (textual or image-based) that you include in your draft. Outside sources are not required for your proposal, though they may enhance your ethos as a researcher; separate title page including name, title, and date; page numbers; in-text citations and works cited in APA format; 1” margins; visual evidence (as appropriate) with captions. Section #1 – Introduction. This introduction should be designed to interest your reader in your topic and proposal and provide some historical/cultural context for your project. At the end of your introduction, include a tentative thesis to indicate to your reader that you are entering your project looking at your topic through a critical, analytic lens — this thesis should clearly state your intentions using a metadiscursive structure (i.e., “In this project, I will…” or “This research project will investigate …”). A good formula for an introduction is context + problem/complication + proposed argument or research question. Each stage in this formula should be a few sentences long. If you are not ready to construct a hypothesis at this point, be sure to include at least one well-thought-out research question to indicate what line of inquiry you’re going to use in your research. NOTE: consider using reference sources (such as those found on our Library Research Guide – list under “Key Links” on the right sidebar of the Ning) to help you develop an understanding of the background of your topic. Section #2 – Research methods and sources. In this section, you should discuss the methods and sources you will use to conduct your research, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that you feel will be indispensable to your project. Include here also reference to less traditional research methods– fieldwork, interviews, surveys, visits to chatrooms, gaming — as applicable to your topic. This is also the section in which you might troubleshoot the research project, or weigh the benefits and drawbacks of certain types of sources (i.e., availability, bias, etc.). Make sure your reader understands how the methodology/sources you have chosen are appropriate to your specific topic. Keep in mind, also, as you move forward that you are required to use some of Stanford’s databases as part of your search strategy. Section #3 – Timeline. Include a timeline for your project, using the dates from the syllabus as the foundation for your plan. Section #4 – Conclusion. In your conclusion, address the “So What?” of this research. That is, why does what you are investigating matter as more than an academic exercise? Why should your audience want to read it? Why does it matter? Section #5 – About the Author section. Finally, as an addendum to the proposal, create a biography of yourself as a researcher — an “About the Author” section in which you establish your persona and your ethos as a student-researcher on your topic. Please include an appropriately sized photograph of yourself alongside your bio (remember to consider ethos in your photo selection!). Be sure to use the third person in your biography. See Envision Chapter 7, p 174-175 for strategies for writing an effective bio. Section #6 – Works cited or Preliminary Bibliography. If you cite any sources, you’ll also need to have a works cited at the end of the proposal, with the citations in APA format. Any parenthetical citations in the text itself should also follow MLA guidelines. Even if you don’t have a works cited, you should include a preliminary bibliography at the end of your proposal containing at least 4 sources; be sure this is in proper APA form as well (please be sure to include URLs for your source UNLESS you found them through a database).
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