Research Topic Proposal – Instructions

I’m studying for my English class and need an explanation.

Summary:

Research Topic Proposal – Instructions

For your Literary Analysis Research Essay in this course, you are seeking to investigate a topic related to specific course texts, and analyze that topic to present a coherent argument about those very texts, leading to a unique idea or interpretation.

In order to get started with that, you need to develop your critical question. This will help you hone in on texts and ideas you want to address. It will also allow me to provide you with feedback on how to best proceed.

In your research paper topic submission, you will provide a research question, a working thesis, and a basic outline. You should also include why you want to write on the topic you’ve chosen. Your submission will be graded on the Research Topic Proposal Rubric (located in the Course Rubrics page).

Requirements:

Topic

  • You must provide the author’s name and title of the work that you will be analyzing in your research paper.
  • You may choose one of the following works as your topic:
    • Gilgamesh
    • The Iliad
    • The Ramayana of Valmiki
    • The Aeneid
    • The Song of Roland
    • Dante’s Inferno
    • Lysistrata
    • Machiavelli’s The Prince

Quality of Thesis

  • Your thesis must be clear and arguable.
  • When you write your thesis in your paper, you should avoid using phrases like “I think” and “I believe”; however, in the drafting phase, these phrases may help you organize your ideas.
  • Thesis: All papers must have a clearly worded thesis that states exactly what your paper intends to prove
  • As you research, your ideas may change; therefore, you may modify your thesis as you work on the paper.

Structure

  • You should submit your (1) Research Question, (2) Working Thesis, and a (3) Basic Outline of your final paper.
  • Research Question: The development of the research question will help you find and angle or focus. However, as a rule of thumb, just think what you want to know about the topic, why it is important? What ideas or areas do you want to explore? Put that in the form of a question.
    • Example of Research Questions: You may think: What is Homer saying in The Iliad about the suffering and loss in war? What does The Iliad tell us about the role of women?
  • Thesis: All papers must have a clearly worded thesis that states exactly what your paper intends to prove. This thesis needs to be supported by textual evidence from the works you are writing about. So, here, state your question in the form of a statement that you can prove.
    • For Example: Homer’s portrayal of women in The Iliad reveals gender roles as women are depicted as being inferior to men both physically and intellectually.
  • Basic Outline: You are just at the beginning of your research, but imagining now what this paper will look like will help you as you engage in your research. What kinds of material will you need to support your position? What elements will you have to prove?
    1. Intro Material: what will you have to address in the introduction. Remember, it is customary to conclude the intro paragraph with your thesis.
    2. Supporting Idea #1: Include the points you will have to prove or the evidence you will have to provide in order to support the thesis of your paper.
    3. Supporting Idea #2: Include the points you will have to prove or the evidence you will have to provide in order to support the thesis of your paper.
    4. Supporting Idea, Etc.
    5. Conclusion

MLA Style

Mechanics, Grammar, and Punctuation

  • All written assignments should be mechanically and grammatically correct with proper punctuation.

For more information on each of these, you should view the Purdue OWL’s General Writing Resources page:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/general_writing_introduction.html.

This assignment is will be assessed using the Response Topic Proposal Rubric (see Course Rubric)