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Overview Your project proposal outlines the scope and focus of your research project, which is worth 30% of your final grade in this course. In doing so, you will have the chance to test the project parameters to ensure they are both realistic and engaging to you. It is common — even expected — for the scope of a research project to adjust over time, but beginning with a clear sense of your topic will set you up for success in the weeks to come. Your proposal consists of two parts: Your research overview An annotated bibliography Part 1: Research Overview For this part of the assignment, your proposal should adhere to a general APA proposal format, as outlined below: Title Page. Include the proposed title of your research paper, your name, and your institution. Abstract (max. 150 words). On the next page, summarize your proposal by defining your topic and your research question. Include a brief rationale for your topic selection — in other words, why does this issue matter now? What do you expect to add to the conversation? Write your abstract last after the other elements of the proposal are complete — you cannot synthesize something you haven’t yet written. Main Body of Proposal (500-750 words). On the next page, write your working title centered at the top. Introduction. Your introduction is, in some ways, an expanded version of your abstract. Here, you aim to answer the “So what?” question that is raised by every research endeavor. Consider the historical and contemporary stakes of the issue. You should also include the revised research question for your research paper. Literature review. The literature review orients your reader to the major thematic components of the existing scholarly and public conversation regarding your topic. Consider the following as you write your literature review: What literature currently exists about your topic? What angles do the authors take? What isnt being said that needs to be said? What can you add to the conversation? Part 2: Annotated Bibliography A crucial part of writing effective research papers is the ability to stay organized. An annotated bibliography is one tool that many researchers use to keep their bibliographic information, quotes, paraphrases, summaries, and analyses in one place for later reference. While a references page documents all of the sources actually cited in your final paper, an annotated bibliography organizes source material you are considering as you move through your research process. Then, when you are ready to begin using and citing source material in your paper, much of the work has already been done. Note: The annotated bibliography, though listed last here, is actually the first step you will take toward assembling your research proposal. Please note: Your sources should come from a variety of publications and represent a variety of arguments/perspectives on your topic. You must annotate at least six sources; at least three of your sources must come from peer-reviewed, academic journals. None of your sources may come from referencesthat is, none of your sources should be dictionary or encyclopedia entries or the like (e.g. Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, etc.). All of your sources must have an identifiable author or set of authors, unless the source is a state or federal government website. Each annotated source must begin with an APA-style citation for the source, and your annotations should begin directly below its corresponding citation. Annotations are generally between 150-200 words each. To write your annotations, start with one or two sentences describing each of the following topics: A summary of the central theme, scope, and purpose of the source. What argument is being made? How is that argument supported? To what situation does the work seem to be responding? An evaluation of the authority or background of the author. What attitude does the author seem to have about the topic? Commentary on the intended audience (scholarly, public, medical community, etc.) Comparing or contrasting this work with another source on your list. Does the source echo the claims made by others? Does it add another dimension to the conversation? How is the source similar to or different from the other sources youve located? An explanation of how this work illuminates your topic, including comments on the overall quality or usefulness of the source in relation to your own argument/research. To do the above work well and in such a limited number of words requires that you thoroughly understand your source. Print out your sources, read them carefully, and annotate them well.
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