Creating a proposal and working bibliography for your research paper.

Choose a controversial/argumentative issue to explore  


 The Proposal is considered the first formal document of your research 

• Write this document in the first person in terms of what you intend to do. For example, one paragraph might begin: I propose to examine the position that gay marriages should not be legalized

 • State how you plan to prove this point. For instance—through in depth research and interviews, I will . . .

 • Consider beginning this Research Proposal with an anecdote that ties in directly with your subject; pull a reader into your plan while clarifying for yourself a clear direction. 




You should be beyond a general topic and moving on to a specific researchable claim. Avoid predictable topics unless you can demonstrate new and compelling issues. Select subjects, then issues that matter to YOU. Your topic must be controversial/argumentative. 

Explaining purpose in your Proposal: 

x clarifies the topic. 

x analyzes the issues. 

x sways the reader with varied, compelling evidence. 

 Simply stated, your claim: 

 x should clarify the topic and take on the issue as well as your  selected approach. Are you, for instance proposing changes?  

x may point to a general, specialized, or expert audience. A good Proposal should have: 

x a solid issue (beyond the topic) with brief background information

 x a working claim (one that offers some flexibility since, as research  continues, you may modify it a bit) 

x awareness of the level of the audience 

x a plan for locating appropriate sources and consideration for researchable views 

x a possible/feasible conclusion

 Working Bibliography: 

Your bibliography is a listed collection of possibilities. These are sources that you have scanned after exploring the library’s books and databases as well as the internet. Collect varied sources that may work for your research. Remember that it is a Working Bibliography and will change as you begin writing your paper; you will eliminate and add sources.  

o Make sure that full bibliographical information is included for each source. Include full web addresses, for instance, for internet searches.  

o Include Primary and Secondary sources as well as Scholarly/Peer re viewed journals, not merely websites. Ask the librarian how to include scholarly journals in your library search.

o Do not include sources from Wikipedia in academic papers


 o Label the first part: “Research Proposal” and the second, “Working Bibliography” followed by the usual course information 

o Double space, size 12 font in proper paragraphed form o Aim for roughly 250-300 words 

o Proofread carefully 

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