There are two parts to your research topic proposal: the memorandum and the preliminary annotated bibliography.
Part I – Memorandum:
For your memorandum you will be writing a 4-5 paragraph formal letter to your Composition II professor arguing for the feasibility of your project. You must be persuasive in making your case. Not only do you need to persuade your audience that you have a plan, but you must show your professor that it is likely that you will follow through and complete quality work. While you are only in the beginning stages of your planning and researching, you still need to demonstrate that you have put sufficient thought into your project.
You have some freedom in choosing the content of your memorandum. It is your job to figure out how to present the strongest case for your project. Some students will show how the research project will benefit them personally; some will prove that their topic is original; others will emphasize their own credibility and prove that they will be able to produce a high quality research report at the end of the semester. There are many, many ways to demonstrate your project’s feasibility. Even acknowledging where your weak areas are can show a tremendous amount of awareness and can work in your favor for this project. The point is, there are many angles you can take with this project. The important thing is to be selective. Brainstorm possibilities, and then choose the two strongest points to develop. Always remember that your job in this memorandum is to make a persuasive case for why your professor should approve your research project. The following are the requirements your memorandum must meet:
• Your memorandum must have appropriate headings and follow the general memorandum format (see template and example under D2L Content)
• Introduce the topic and controversy; state your thesis (reason(s) why your project should be approved or reason(s) why your project is feasible)
• Present a rationale which justifies your proposed project
• Include a request for approval
• Your memorandum must be between 4-5 paragraphs long.
• The paragraphs from the rationale section of your memorandum must work to prove why your project is feasible for this class and how it meets the requirements for being debatable, original, significant, narrow/broad enough in scope for a 8-10 page research essay, as well as the kind of topic that will allow you to find and use at least five scholarly sources in the research essay.
• You must include at least two references in your memorandum in the form of a direct quote or paraphrase. As always, your sources must be cited properly within the text and on a separate works cited page to avoid plagiarism. RTPs that contain plagiarism will automatically earn an F.
• The memo must be well organized and a persuasive piece in nature.
Part II – Appendix:
The second part of the research topic proposal is the appendix, or preliminary annotated bibliography. Part of demonstrating the feasibility of your project is showing that you have already found a variety of high quality sources on your topic.
• You will need to include four varied sources (two must be scholarly) – complete with MLA citations and annotations.
• Annotations are usually under 100 words, but they may be longer, especially when describing long or complex resources.
• Annotations summarize or describe the work being cited and identify important features. They should also indicate the credibility of the source. The process for writing annotations is much the same as writing a paraphrase: summarize the main point of the selection and then summarize its main supporting points.
• The annotation may also identify information that has specific applications to your proposed project. Be alert for features such as illustrations, tables, or lists of references – anything especially that can lead you to additional source material.
The research topic proposal should be between 2-4 pages (this includes the memorandum and preliminary annotated bibliography). It should be double spaced and page numbered.
Important Notes createur in-text and works cited citations in MLA format. Plagiarized Research Topic Proposals that do not include proper documentation will automatically earn an F.