Research Assignment (750-800 words)

Research Assignment (750-800 words)

Research Proposal Assignment

English 1100


Research Proposal Assignment

Worth 15% of your course grade

The research proposal assignment will demonstrate your preliminary research work for your final research essay

Remember, research proposals give us the opportunity to consult with instructors regarding our initial ideas and to gain approval to move forward with our project

Due in class November 7th, the research proposal requires you to provide key information about the essay you want to write for this course

Your idea might change or evolve as you research further, but this work will establish a starting point for us

You are welcome to change your essay topic after the proposal assignment is complete, but please let me know if your final essay will not reflect the project as proposed


Research Proposal Requirements

Proposed Title (which includes the main concept/idea you intend to discuss)

Research Question (what you want to answer throughout your research and essay composition)

Inventory of Information (what you currently know/ do not know about your topic)

Two Source Entries (150-200 words per entry: at least one scholarly source, formatted using MLA Style)

Three Possible Topics for Body Paragraphs (what ideas you could explore through each paragraph)


1. Proposed Title:

Your proposed title will indicate the main topic or idea you want to explore in your essay

Titles offer important information to readers, so clearly indicate your specific focus

Example: “The Uses and Abuses of Goblins as Symbols of Commerce in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series”

2. Research Question:

Your research question is what you will be working to answer through the research and composition processes

Remember: research questions are both arguable and critically-based

To formulate your research question, begin with your chosen topic

Example: Harry Potter

Assignment Breakdown

Then, consider what about that topic specifically interests you

Example: Goblins in Harry Potter books

Based on this specific focus, you can create an arguable, critically-based research question

Example: How are goblins variously depicted in Harry Potter, especially in relation to money and gold?

3. Inventory of Information

This is your opportunity to account for:

What you currently know about this topic

What you need to learn in order to answer your research question

Example: I have read the Harry Potter series and have found evidence to suggest a link between Goblins and commerce. However, I need specific examples from the text and to discover if this depiction of goblins is unique to Harry Potter

Assignment Breakdown

Assignment Breakdown

4. Two Source Entries

a) Provide the citation for the source in correct MLA style:


b) For each source, provide a 150-200 word summary that specifically explains how you intend to use this source in your essay, considering:

Which aspects in particular informed your topic’s development at this point in the process

What information the source contains that you can use

*Note: Please be aware that this source description is longer than the description in your source analysis (which was only 50-100 words)*


5. Three Possible Topics for Body Paragraphs

Provide possible topics for three body paragraphs by returning to your research question

Ask yourself: What three points do I need to account for to best answer this question?

When it comes time to write your essay, this work will form the basis for your main and supporting arguments


How are goblins variously depicted in Harry Potter, especially in relation to money and gold?

Connections between goblins and commerce elsewhere

Goblins and money in Harry Potter

Goblins and gold in Harry Potter

Assignment Breakdown

Things to Remember

As with your essays, ensure this assignment is formatted in accordance with MLA style conventions (include page numbers, class information, and format references correctly)

This assignment does not require paragraph structure (see example)

Although this assignment will include entries on only two secondary sources, your “Works Cited” page for your essay must include a reference for all of your secondary and primary sources (including the poem(s), book(s), play(s), or graphic novel(s) you will be discussing).


Research Essay: Fast Facts

700-850 words (typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font)

Word count refers to the essay itself, not your works cited list or assignment information

Written using correct MLA format

Worth 30% of your final grade

Based on one of the possible essay topics

Integrates two secondary sources (one of which must be scholarly)

Due over email by 5pm on November 30th


For your research essay in this course, you are required to select from a list of possible topics

These topics are intentionally broad and reflect interdisciplinary potential, so you should find something of critical interest to you

Remember, out of this general topic you will have to develop your own specific research question and, ultimately, an argument that you will be working to prove in your essay

Also remember, although these topics are intentionally broad, you will have to develop your own specific research question

Later, when you write your essay, this specific focus will be reflected through your main argument or thesis statement

Research Essay: Choosing a Topic

1. Any of the Topics From the Source Analysis Assignment:

a) Colonization of Mars

b) The Vietnam War

c) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

d) Sherlock Holmes

e) Colin Kaepernick Kneeling for the National Anthem

f) Representation in Superhero Movies

2. The Changing Role of Technology in Society

3. A Key Environmental Issue and its Particular Global Impact

4. How a Specific Character (in a movie, play, book, etc.) Uniquely Overcomes Adversity

Possible Topics for Research Essay

Remember, one of the key components of conducting critical analysis is identifying points of interest

For this reason, pick a topic that you can imagine creating an argument around and that you can imagine discussing in a specific way

In university writing, we are rarely just discussing or summarizing a topic. Instead, we are developing a specific argument around it

While do not need to have your main argument for your essay formulated yet, you want to choose a topic that you can imagine using as the basis for a critical argument

So pick a topic you can comprehend, use as the basis for an argument, and that you will enjoy writing about!

Advice for Choosing a Topic

Chosen Essay Topic:

The Moon Landing

Based on this general topic, discuss how you could create a possible:

Essay Title

Research Question

Inventory of Knowledge

Possible Topics for Body Paragraphs

Research Proposal: Practice Workshop

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