Topic Proposal for Research Paper



Helpful Hints

Assignment Requirements

Maximum Score and Due Date







In successfully completing this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Find a workable research paper topic
  • Have a strategy for dealing with it
  • Communicate your ideas on the topic in a succint manner


The research paper is our last and biggest assignment. We've discussed in class how this paper will be similar to the source essays in that it is taking an argument and using research to support it. The difference is that you will have to go into more depth with your topic, your research, and your writing, because the research paper will be 2000-3000 words long and have 8-12 sources.

Because we need to get started on this, you don't want to waste your time on a topic that isn't workable. Therefore, you must complete a topic proposal for my approval by Friday.

In a paper that is longer than 300 words but no longer than 600 words (I mean it), answer and discuss the following questions in complete sentences and paragraph form:

  • What will your main argument be?
  • Why do you feel this is an important topic? What does it mean to you?
  • What are some reasons you plan to put forward for your topic? Briefly explain why they will support the thesis. You should mention at least three. Of course, when you are writing your paper, these will develop and change, but I would still like to see what you are planning.
  • Where do you plan on looking for sources?
  • Who are you trying to persuade, and why?


Helpful Hints:

  • Give a LOT of thought to whether you can stretch this topic in to 2000 words, or find 8 sources on it. Take this seriously. YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR TOPIC AFTER NEXT MONDAY WITHOUT SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
  • Group the questions above into paragraphs. DO NOT say 1) My topic is.... 2) I am ...etc. You are explaining your topic to me, not filling out a form.
  • If you're unsure of what your topic will be, run things by me. This is especially true if we have not discussed your topic before.
  • Do NOT turn this in late. On Monday we start reseach and you must have a cleared topic by then.
  • If you are dealing with a technical or specialized topic, make sure to include the necessary definitions so that I can understand what you are talking about!


Assignment Requirements
How well you meet these requirements determines your grade. The topic proposal must:

  • Be 300-600 words in length
  • Have all questions answered FULLY and THOUGHTFULLY
  • Have at least three reasons for your argument given and discussed briefly
  • Use MLA format
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. and avoid careless errors


Maximum Score: 60 pts.

Due Date: Friday, March 28


Home | Syllabus