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ENGL 2130 Research Proposal Guidelines

compose and submit a 1000-word essay that proposes a thesis and research potential for a longer academic project. The spreadsheet of research assignment signups is available here.

Your research proposal must:

  • demonstrate the value of a longer research argument involving two of the novels (primary sources) read for class;
  • identify a clear thesis in the final sentence of the first paragraph;
  • involve at least 5 academic secondary sources;
  • follow MLA formatting for in-text citations, works cited section, and document formatting;
  • demonstrate efficient and precise academic style and diction;
  • convince the reader of the value of making such an argument beyond the discipline of English (answering the “so what” question); and
  • conclude with reflective language on the possible complications or challenges of developing the idea further into a longer research project.

Some of your language can and should be reflective and hypothetical, for example “If I developed this idea into a longer essay, I would concentrate on …” or “The value of this research could provide ..” However, remember that academic style and diction avoid a conversational and wordy tone. Limit first person pronoun use and avoid second person pronoun use entirely.

The intention of this essay is to convince a reader that you’ve completed enough research to know that your idea would work, that you’ve read enough to be familiar with the concepts and definitions central to your project, and that you’ve taken an interdisciplinary approach toward inquiry about the texts that you’re studying.

Remember also that sources don’t have to name or be specifically about the novels you’re focusing on in order to help in developing your idea. In interdisciplinary research, it is often best to connect texts/arguments that do not intentionally mention each other.

Due to the appropriate Assignments folder in D2L on Monday, 4/29/24.

Published in engl2130


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