G. Research Proposal

Research Proposal Assignment Sheet A
created by: Patricia Warman

Due: Monday, April 2nd

This assignment is required in preparation for your final essay assignment, the “Proposing a Solution” essay, in which you will propose a solution to a specific issue of marginalization. You will propose the topic that you’re considering for your final paper in order to persuade your classmates and me that your tentative issue has good potential and is significant and important. This proposal should include your working thesis, purpose, and audience of your final paper. You will also discuss your preliminary research and thoughts on which rhetorical strategies might be useful to you—for example, which lines of argument will you use and why? Specific criteria for this proposal are listed below.
Your proposal should guide you toward a more successful final paper. It should help you think through your ideas. Often, writers find that they need to get their ideas on paper to be able to work with them effectively. You will very likely discover ideas as you write the proposal. The more work you do on this assignment, the better prepared you’ll be to write your final essay.

You must address ALL of the following questions thoroughly in your proposal. Your grade will be determined by the quality and thoroughness of your work. All questions must be answered in complete sentences, polished for clarity and college-appropriate grammar and style. Points will be deducted for incomplete responses. You may number your responses.

1) What specific community problem will you attempt to “solve” in your essay? How is this issue timely and relevant?

2) Who is your intended audience? Specify the characteristics of your audience. Some questions to consider: Is this an audience that is directly affected by the problem to which you are proposing a solution? What personal stake do they have in the topic? How would they like to see the problem, question, or issue resolved, answered, or handled? Why? How would you define them in terms of age, economic and social class, gender, education, etc.? What typical attitudes, stances, or biases about your topic does this audience hold? What general beliefs and values does your audience hold?

3) What form of writing (genre) would be most effective to persuade your intended audience? Why would this be the best genre for your argument? Where do you imagine your argument will be published? Give an example of a suitable publication.

4) Create a tentative thesis/ state your claim. Answer the question: what action should or ought to be taken by your intended audience? Your thesis will be your solution to one specific community problem. Where the previous essay simply asked you to explore a topic, here you are to take your own stance on the issue, propose a solution, and support your claim(s) with evidence from your research. See The Everyday Writer, chapters 7 and 13 for help crafting a “working thesis.” Identify the problem being addressed, the group who ought to take action, and your solution within the thesis statement.

5) Why should your audience accept your claim? Consider the underlying assumptions of your thesis. Then, give at least four reasons that support your point of view. You may write these reasons as “because” statements.

6) Brainstorm alternative solutions to the same community problem. What makes your solution (claim) better than these alternatives?

7) What are the potential “costs” of enacting your solution?

8) How will your solution benefit the target community? What benefit, if any, will your claim bring to society at large?

9) Play “the devil’s advocate” and consider your opposition’s angle of vision. Include at least three counterarguments to your claim.

10) Consider Aristotle’s three appeals (ethos, logos, and pathos). Where and how will you use them to persuade your audience? Please be specific.

11) What secondary sources you plan to cite in your essay? How can you use this researched information to make your proposal stronger? How might you link your research to your reasons? Consider the role your sources will play in establishing the problem and justifying the solution.

12) After completing this proposal, what questions do you still have about the Proposing a Solution Essay? What will you need to do next in order to complete the first draft?

Research Proposal B
created by: Jeff Wehr

Research Proposal Memo Instructions

Partial Draft Due to turnitin.com Wednesday, March 21st
Final Draft Due to turnitin.com Wednesday, March 28th

A Research Proposal is designed to persuade a specific audience to grant the author approval for some type of study. Like all writing, the length, content, components, and design of a proposal depend on the audience and purpose. In this case, you will be composing a short proposal memo requesting approval from me to go ahead with your Proposing a Solution Argument in the next unit. A memo is an efficient and accessible document used for internal communication (rather than public consumption), and so is appropriate for our communication purposes for this assignment.

TASK: Compose a minimum 750 word proposal memo persuading me that you have a strong topic and plan for your final Proposing a Solution Essay, and that this topic and plan is worth pursuing. This proposal should not be used to argue your solution; rather, you are proposing to me a problem, solution, and plan you intend to pursue for your final Proposing a Solution Essay.

AUDIENCE: Your instructor.

You will have to choose a topic for your final Proposing a Solution Essay during this unit, since this topic will guide your research and thinking. I encourage you to use the same topic for which you composed your Exploratory Essay, as your knowledge and views on the topic should now be more in-depth. Regardless, an appropriate topic for the Proposing a Solution Essay should come in the form of a significant problem (thus the solution part)–but more specifically, for the Proposing a Solution Essay you will be arguing for a policy solution that addresses a public issue.

Your Research Proposal must include these components:
Description, background, cause, and significance of the problem. Research should be provided and cited summarizing and citing credible views that already have addressed the problem as background, and supporting the issue as timely and significant.
Statement of your tentative and specific solution.
An analysis of the audience you are trying to convince, as well as how you might use the three rhetorical appeals to connect with this audience.
Defined scope of your proposed research paper, including what problematic questions will need answering.
Description of the research methods you plan to engage to answer these questions.
Presentations of counterarguments you will need to address, as well as what strategies you might use to find evidence of them.
A conclusion that encourages me to accept your plan for your final essay.
A Works Cited page in MLA format.

You should include a minimum of 2 sources accessed through the F.I.U library database or from the library itself. Your research should be incorporated to support defining the problem, giving background, and proving the problem’s significance.

A proposal memo such as this often places emphasis on efficient, concise writing and visual cues to allow quicker reading for a busy audience. Utilizing document design features such as block formatting, headings, and bullet points will help increase this efficiency.



Problem Defined / Background / Significance



Problem Background and Significance Supported by Credible Evidence



Proposed Solution Clear, Specific, Feasible



Audience Analysis



Proposed Research Scope



Proposed Research Methods



Proposed Counterarguments







MLA Citation



Unity & Coherence



Page Design



Style & Grammar





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