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Topic Proposal for Research Paper
A Topic Proposal is a written document that expresses your interest in writing about a specific subject or topic. This is a common step in the process of writing a research essay. Not all topic proposals are the same, but they usually have common elements.
First of all, the purpose of the assignment is to get you working on this project early, so youâ€™re not procrastinating. Your proposal should be between 300-500 words (about a page to a page and a half), typed, and follow MLA format guidelines.
If you follow all of these guidelines and give feedback to your peers, you will receive 20 pts.
What should be included in the Topic Proposal (I would recommend writing this in multiple paragraphs, so itâ€™s somewhat formal):
- The topic you are interested in writing about (give a little background and detail)
- The reasons why you chose this topic and why you are interested in learning more about it
- What you already know about this topic
- Your main research question and possibly some sub questions (for example, if you are writing about a subject like immigration, your question might be: What are some potential solutions to fixing Americaâ€™s broken immigration system? A sub question could be: Would Trumpâ€™s Wall be effective?)
- A tentative or working thesis statement for your essay and a preview of your analysis/argument, where you present claims and sub claims and possibly a counter argument
- Your research plan (what kind of research do you plan to pursue for your essay? What specific sources have you found so far? You might even put together a Works Cited with the sources youâ€™ve already found)
Here’s how the Peer Review Workshop will work:
1.) You will post your Rough Draft of Essay #4 by 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 14th.
2.) You will be assigned a peer group on Friday. This will be sent out in an Announcement to the entire class.
3.) You will answer the following questions about the Essays you evaluate, and then reply to your peers by 11:59 pm on Sat., May 16th.
4.) Once you are finished with this process, you can revise and edit your essay (based on your peers’ feedback) and the Final Draft of your Essay will be due by 11:59 on Thursday, May 21st (this is a bit of an extension).
**Note, if you do not submit your Rough Draft by the time and date listed above, you will Not Be Able to participate in the Workshop, and you will miss out on the opportunity of getting feedback from your classmates as well as the 20 pts.
Questions to Answer:
1.) What do you think of the title? Is it original and appropriate for the subject matter of the essay?
2.) What do you think of the introduction? Does it clearly introduce the topic? Does the writer engage you with an anecdote, surprising quote or any other strategy? How can it be improved?
3.) What do you think about the thesis? Location appropriate? Does the essay follow the thesis statement? If not, suggest how the thesis can be changed so that it does.
4.) How well does the essay address the assignment: to make an argument about a local issue, and offer potential solutions to the problem? Is there enough background or historical information to familiarize you with the topic?
5.) Does each paragraph have one main focus? How well does the writer integrate sources (quotations, paraphrases, etc,) into his/her essay. Are they sufficiently explained/analyzed? How do the in-text citations look?
6.) What do you think about the organization? What do you think about the transitions? If a paragraph seems out of place, let the writer know.
7.) How does the counter argument work to make the essay seem fairer?
8.) What do you think about the conclusion? How could the writer improve it?
9.) Is the Works Cited in sufficient shape?
**If you notice any other strengths or weaknesses (this may be more sentence-level related such as run-on sentences, repetition or wordiness), feel free to comment on these areas.