Research Proposal and Outline
Research Proposals | Research Outlines | Criteria for Grading the Research Proposal and Outline
This week?s assignment is the research proposal and outline. You will use your work from last week, the position paper, to complete this assignment. Plan on letting the reader know your topic, research question, thesis statement, and points you plan to use to prove the thesis statement. You?ll use the proposal and outline to write your annotated bibliography and final research paper. Also, the second threaded discussion topic asks for your research topic and feedback from classmates, so check their responses to help you shape your ideas.
The research proposal and outline should be 1-2 pages and the assignment is worth 60 points. The assignment is due to the Dropbox by the end of this week.
Below, you will learn about research proposals and outlines, including the format for each one, and criteria for how they will be graded. Also, a checklist for what to include in, and how to format these assignments, can be found in Doc Sharing.
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The purpose of the research proposal is to give yourself and others an idea of what you hope to prove, and how and when you will achieve it. If there are errors in any part of the proposal, your instructor will give you guidance so that you won't make the same mistakes again later in the draft or final paper. Your research proposal will consist of four parts: the topic, research question, working thesis statement, and research plan.
The topic will be the same as your position paper. You started off with a topic from The Omnivore?s Dilemma and developed a paper related either to the problem
or the solution
. The topic should be no more than 12 words. The topic of standardized achievement tests was used as an example in the position paper and will also be used here. It is not a topic to be used for any assignment; it is only used to illustrate how to do the assignments.The topic would be Standardized Achievement Tests.
The research question repeats the topic and identifies the objective of your paper. The objective of any topic is to explore the problem
and advance solutions
to the problem
. Be specific: Are you exploring causes of the problem
, effects, or both? Are you advancing one or more solutions
? An example of a research question for the standardized achievement test topic is below:
What are the problems
with standardized achievement tests, and could schools gauge student learning better using other methods?
The working thesis statement is a sentence containing the problem
, followed by the solution
. Your position paper developed a thesis that argued the problem
or one that convinced the reader of a solution
. So use your thesis from your position paper, but expand it to include both the problem
. If your position paper explored the problem
, then use your position paper's thesis as the first part of your working thesis statement; after it, add a statement of the solution
with two reasons or even two solutions
. On the other hand, if your position paper explored a solution
, then use your position paper's thesis as the second part of your working thesis statement; precede it with a statement of the problem
including two reasons. These two reasons may be two causes, two effects, or simply two reasons for taking a course of action with the problem
. For example, the thesis statement from a position paper that focuses on the problem
would be as follows:
Plagiarism is a problem
in education for two reasons: Students lack the knowledge of plagiarism and how to avoid it, and consequences for violating plagiarism policies are far too lenient.
To change this thesis statement above into a working thesis statement for your research paper, simply add the solution
Plagiarism is a problem
in education for two reasons: Students lack the knowledge of plagiarism and how to avoid it, and consequences for violating plagiarism policies are far too lenient; two solutions
are the addition of mandatory coursework and the institution of serious penalties for plagiarism.
Thus, you have a statement of the problem
as your working thesis statement. The problem
is divided into two reasons, and there are two solutions
. In the research outline you'll develop below, you'll see that each of these reasons will become its own section. If the thesis statement from a position paper focuses on the solution
, it would look like this:
of high school dropouts can be solved by providing more resources for family and community intervention and by adding alternatives to traditional diplomas.
This thesis statement above could be turned into a working thesis statement for your research paper by adding the problem
Students drop out of high school because of overwhelming family issues and lack of interest in traditional academic subjects and careers; this problem
can be solved by providing more resources for family and community intervention and by adding alternatives to traditional diplomas.
Again, like the working thesis statement on plagiarism, this working thesis statement above on high school dropouts has the problem
sections that will eventually become entire sections of your final research paper. The word "working" is added before "thesis statement" because you may change it based on the feedback you receive. A good format for the working thesis statement is to have a complete thought consisting of the topic and two reasons related to the topic, ending with a semicolon. The rest of the sentence is a statement of the solution
, including two reasons. Do not include "I" or "my" in your statement. An example of a working thesis statement for the standardized achievement test topic is below:
Standardized achievement tests should be abolished because they don't accurately predict students' performance and they reduce schools to test-taking institutions; instead, schools could assess student learning more accurately though the use of portfolios and end-of-year subject tests.
The research plan is an overview of where you plan to conduct your research; it also includes some dates for completion. You need to be sure that research exists to support the ideas you're proposing in your working thesis statement. Thus, preliminary research should begin this week. For research, DeVry's online library should be used, including the online NetLibrary and databases that include CQ Researcher, EbscoHost 2.0, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, and Facts.com. Consult the Student Resources section of the Course Home tab above for more information. An example of a plan for consulting sources for the standardized achievement test topic is below, followed by a timetable that details the specific assignments, their descriptions, and deadlines. The timetable chart below can be copied and pasted directly onto your own paper; just fill in the exact dates and times as indicated in the last column.
Researching this topic will involve exploring various e-books in NetLibrary, reading articles in CQ Researcher, and finding out what EbscoHost 2.0 has on this topic. I will take my ideas from the position paper and find support using various articles and/or e-books. My deadlines for completing assignments are indicated in the following timetable:
Timetable for Research Project Assignments Assignment related to the research paper Description of and points for the assignment: Due date as indicated in course syllabus: Exact Date and time in MST:
Research Proposal and Outline
Four-part proposal and six-part outline (60 pts)
End of Week 4 in Dropbox
List and summary of at least five sources (100 pts)
End of Week 5 in Dropbox
First Draft of Research Paper
Draft of first three sections of final paper, including introduction, thesis statement, and problem
section (60 pts)
End of Week 6 in Dropbox
Discussion of research paper thus far (50 pts)
On-site Week 7 class, or in Dropbox by end of Week 7 (online students)
Second Draft of Research Paper
Draft of final paper
Bring to on-site Week 7 class, or in Discussion Topic 2 (online students)
Final Research Paper
Entire paper addressing feedback on first two drafts. It must have all six sections and include a References page (150 pts).
End of Week 8 in Dropbox
As detailed in Chapter 24 of Writing Today, be sure to evaluate your sources for credibility, bias, and reliability. If authors are credible, they will want their names to appear on their papers. It's important to have one's research available to a wide audience; the author's purpose should not be to sell a product, service, or idea. Aim to find articles that are free of bias, where information is slanted to suit an author's purpose. Stay away from blogs, students' home pages, and editorials. When an author's initials are the only sign of a name, then it's often a giveaway that the author isn't credible. Toss the article and find another. Also, find articles that are as recent as possible. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't use information that's 10 years old; just consider that problems
are always changing, and you should aim for newer rather than older sources.
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The research outline consists of a structure for information that will eventually comprise your research paper. There are six major sections in the research outline; each section represents one to two paragraphs. The first section consists of the introduction or plan of introduction for the first paragraph, followed by the working thesis statement. Then the remaining sections start with a topic sentence or opening sentence for each section. See the diagram below for the relationship between the working thesis statement and four other sections of the paper:
Each section of the research outline consists of the following:
I. Introduction or Plan for Introduction. Working thesis statement regarding problem
. The first several sentences of your research paper will be your attention-grabbing introduction. You can use the same one from your position paper, or you can change it if you can think of a better one. If you're using the same introduction, then copy and paste it here. If you want to change it, then in a few sentences, write down what the introduction will be about. After this introduction or plan for introduction, write down your working thesis statement. Use the same one from the research proposal; just copy and paste it here. Again, it should be a statement of the problem
. In your final research paper, the first paragraph will consist of this attention-grabbing introduction, followed by the thesis statement, which will be the last sentence of this opening paragraph. An example of a plan for introduction and working thesis statement is below:
For the introduction, I plan to find a startling story of a high school honors student who had trouble graduating because he or she failed the state's standardized tests. Then, my working thesis statement is the following: Standardized achievement tests should be abolished because they don't accurately predict students' performance and they reduce schools to test-taking institutions; instead, schools could assess student learning more accurately though the use of portfolios and end-of-year subject tests.
, first reason: Take the first reason from the problem
part of your thesis statement and make it a complete sentence here. This second section may become one or two paragraphs in your final paper. This could be the first reason for taking action with the problem
. It may also be a cause or negative effect of the problem
. An example for the standardized testing topic is below:
First, standardized tests should be cut because they don't accurately predict a student's future performance.
, second reason: Take the second reason from the problem
part of your thesis statement and make it a complete sentence here. This third section may become one or two paragraphs in your final paper. This could be the second reason for taking action with the problem
. It may also be a second cause or negative effect of the problem
. An example for the standardized testing topic is below:
Secondly, these tests should be abolished because they reduce schools to institutions for test takers.
, first reason: Take the first reason from the solution
part of your thesis statement and make it a complete sentence here. This fourth section may become one or two paragraphs in your final paper. This could be the first solution
and why this solution
will work. It should include why it's better than solutions
that are presented by others. An example for the standardized testing topic is below:
is that schools could assess student learning better by using portfolios.
, second reason: Take the second reason from the solution
part of your thesis statement and make it a complete sentence here. This could be the second solution
and why this solution
will work. If you have one solution
, then this section should explore another reason for implementing the solution
. Also, the nuts and bolts of your solution
should be explored in this section: who will be in charge of implementing the solution
, where they are, when they will begin, and so forth. This fifth section may become one or two paragraphs in your final paper. An example for the standardized testing topic is below:
Also, end-of-year subject tests assess student learning more accurately.
VI. Call to Action: This final section indicates why urgent action is necessary. Some negative consequences of not taking action and implementing the solutions
are indicated and developed in this passionate plea for action section. An example for the standardized testing topic is below:
If we don't act fast to replace standardized achievement tests, more and more students will fall through the cracks and drop out of school.
Thus, the research outline will have a short paragraph for I, and then one sentence for each of the remaining five sections, from II through VI. Each of these sections will be explained in greater detail later in the course.
Criteria for Grading the Research Proposal and Outline
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As noted in the Syllabus, five traits will be used to assess your research proposal and outline: ideas/content, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, and mechanics.
Ideas/content in the research proposal and outline include the thesis statement and ideas used to prove the thesis. In the proposal, details must include the topic, research question, working thesis statement, and research plan. In the outline, details must include a sentence for each of the six sections of the research paper.
Organization in the research proposal and outline includes the four-part proposal and the six-section outline. Transitions are also helpful in signaling to the reader where the ideas are heading.
Word choice in the research proposal and outline will be precise enough so that the reader has a clear picture of what the research paper will be about. Overly technical language and cliches are avoided. Words are used to describe but also to convince the reader of the merits of the writer's arguments.
Sentence fluency in the research proposal and outline involves the ease of reading. Sentences should flow smoothly from one to the next without gaps of understanding or clarity. Sentences should not be monotonous; they should include variety in length and structure.
Mechanics in research proposal and outline are important in that they convey convincingness. The writer who has poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization cannot possibly have compelling arguments. Ideas that are incomplete or contain missing words detract from the overall strength and convincingness of the paper. Careful proofreading will help you avoid errors in mechanics.
Again my working thesis statement verbatum is "Chapter's 1,2, and 3 clearly and eloquently reinforce the message of the book. I will argue that things are not what they seem when you eat what you eat, and that manufacturers are not are not telling you everything about the labels on their products."
I also uploaded the first Chapter of the book of The Omnivore's Dilemma pages 15-119. The pages can be found at the resource files page, already uploaded under Order # A2088138. All pages necessary to complete this are there. if you cannot access the upload, please contact immediately, and i will resend again the way i did the first time.
Please be careful of plagarism, as we have to submit this to turnitin.com
APA Style is a must!!!
My professor is stickler for the rules, so please when quoting Pollan form the book, it has to look exactly like this...According to Pollan, (2007), Pollan's quote,".......", then the page the quote came from,(p.20)for example. So finished it would look like, according to Pollan, (2007),"......",(p.20)
I am sorry about having to do this, but the last time i requested a report, despite me putting everything that needed to be done, it was not, and i had to request a rewrite.
More information can be found in Doc Sharing.
Checklist for the Research Proposal and Outline
Document Format for the Research Proposal and Outline- I will upload and send this to you.
If you have any questions, contact me immediately. Thank you.
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