Instructions from the professor
Introduction. This introduction should be designed to interest your reader in your topic and proposal and provide some historical/cultural context for your project. At the end of your introduction, include a tentative thesis to indicate to your reader that you are entering your project looking at your topic through a critical, analytic lens — this thesis should clearly state your intentions using a metadiscursive structure (i.e., “In this project, I will…” or “This research project will investigate …”). A good formula for an introduction is context + problem/complication + proposed argument or research question. Each stage in this formula should be a few sentences long. If you are not ready to construct a hypothesis at this point, be sure to include at least one well-thought-out research question to indicate what line of inquiry you’re going to use in your research. NOTE: consider using reference sources (such as those found on our Library Research Guide – list under “Key Links” on the right sidebar of the Ning) to help you develop an understanding of the background of your topic.
Research methods and sources. In this section, you should discuss the methods and sources you will use to conduct your research, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that you feel will be indispensible to your project. Include here also reference to less traditional research methods– fieldwork, interviews, surveys, visits to chatrooms, gaming — as applicable to your topic. This is also the section in which you might troubleshoot the research project, or weigh the benefits and drawbacks of certain types of sources (i.e., availability, bias, etc.). Make sure your reader understands how the methodology/sources you have chosen are appropriate to your specific topic. Keep in mind, also, as you move forward that you are required to use some of BSU’s databases as part of your search strategy
Timeline: Schedule milestones over the 14-week semester schedule that you plan to follow when you take COMM 496 (i.e. “By week three, I will…”). The timeline should reflect some awareness of the demands of your time outside of class, as well as the different stages in the process of research (going to the library, taking notes, going to the writing center, reviewing sources, etc.). You may also want to include other notable time commitments (significant midterms, a trip to visit family, etc., away games for a team). Finally, remember this is a proposal for your research project, not just your research paper, so your timeline should reflect that.
Conclusion. In your conclusion, address the “So What?” of this research. That is, why does what you are investigating matter as more than an academic exercise? Why should your audience want to read it? Why does it matter?
Revised literature review
Revised annotated bibliography
About the Author section. Finally, as an addendum to the proposal, create a biography of yourself as a researcher — an “About the Author” section in which you establish your persona and your ethos as a student-researcher on your topic. Please include an appropriately sized photograph of yourself alongside your bio (remember to consider ethos in your photo selection!). Be sure to use the third person in your biography.
Updated works cited page
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