Developing a proposal

Developing a proposal is one of the first steps in an academic research process. While proposals are commonly reviewed by faculty and other researchers in relevant fields, your audience for this proposal includes your classmates, who may have disparate backgrounds and limited knowledge of your topic. Even your instructor is unlikely to have specialized knowledge in exactly the topic you’ve chosen. Consequently, your task is to present a concise (350-500 words) yet well-supported proposal in which you introduce the contemporary global issue you’ve selected, explain its significance, both in your own field of study and to the larger external population, and present a clear argument as to why this topic is worthy of time and attention. Your proposal must demonstrate your understanding of the scope of the social and cultural issues related to this topic while demonstrating your familiarity with relevant scholarly research.

Using the information included in Scaffold Step #1 Model Filled Worksheet (Topic Proposal Worksheet) and other scholarly sources you may have collected, organize your work in a manner that most effectively develops your argument. Follow the conventions of academic essay writing with a title page; double-spaced text; clear introduction, body, and conclusion; and a reference page. Your work should be original, with quotations limited to less than 10% of your total word count. Use only scholarly sources in your proposal, and include citations in APA format.

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Be sure your work clearly states the problem in a way that anyone unfamiliar with your field of study will understand. Draw an explicit connection between the topic and one or both of your Degree Depths; this will help establish the relevance of your topic to your studies.

When summarizing key issues and themes found in your preliminary reading, consider how the issue may affect vulnerable and disenfranchised populations around the world, and the ethical issues that may be involved. Synthesize the key disagreements among the research studies; this will help your audience understand the need to study the issue.

Your proposal should be 350-500 words and reflect appropriate critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, and senior-level written communication skills. Resources on stages in the writing process are included in the Assignment Support Resources document [PDF File size, 397KB].

Using the Journal tool, submit your Research Proposal for approval. In M2D1, you will share your proposal with your classmates by copying the text and pasting it directly into a discussion post.

Your Research Proposal Journal entry must be submitted by Thursday at 11:59 PM. Meeting this deadline is crucial, as your instructor will need to review and approve your proposal before you can begin the next scaffold step.

Compose your work using a word processor (or other software as appropriate) and save it frequently to your computer. Do not include the actual instructions in your submission. (Including the instructions will cause inaccuracies in your Turnitin report). Create a title page for your document with your name, date, course information, and “Scaffold Step #2” clearly noted. Proofread carefully and correct any spelling or grammatical errors.

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