English writing

Research Paper Proposal Format

Here is a Proposal Template. Your actual document should mirror the length in the template below.


To: Professor J.P. Hall

From: [name]

Subject of my paper: [The subject is the broad topic]

My Major and why writing about this topic will be beneficial to me: [If you are not vested in your topic, chances are your incentive to write about the subject will be weak. If you are interested in the topic you will probably write a better paper.]

My thesis: [The thesis is generally a sentence or two, which comes after the introductory material and states the main point/s in your paper. It is NOT a question. Most likely your thesis is going to change as your progress through your paper.]

Approach to the subject of my paper: [Try to envision a logical way in which to present your material. In what order will you present your material to best address the issues? How much of the story’s plot will you describe? Will you have to define any terms? If so, which ones? Will you have to clarify terms and concepts? Where do you think you will be inserting quotes from your secondary sources? Perhaps you will be using a number of these approaches in your paper. Let me know where you think you are headed.]

Intended purpose: [In general, what do you want me to learn from reading your paper?]

Tentative List of References: [You should have at least 2 to 3 sources at this point. List them in proper MLA format.

Creating an Effective Research Paper

A Research Paper is required in this course. In the academic world, most research papers begin with a prompt (often in the form of a question) that introduces a topic and asks the writer/researcher to identify, analyze and eventually synthesize information from relevant texts that helps to develop and support a thesis relating to the given topic. The paper must also practice ethical scholarship including the use of appropriate citation style.

Does that make sense? Maybe. Let’s take away all the “teacher” talk and put it more simply. Ready? Here we go:

Your professor is going to give you a topic and expect you find and read texts to help you become more of an expert on the topic. Once you do this, you are going to answer the promp; this will be your thesis. Then, as with all other essays, the rest of your paper will really be about supporting that thesis with evidence from the texts you have read.

Your Research Paper Prompt

The student will examine the impact of a crisis and resolution, whether political, social, economic or environmental, and seek to answer questions concerning the causes, impact and ways in which the crisis is being or can be resolved.

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