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Writing a Proposal. What is a Proposal?  It is the explanation of what you intend to do in your paper.  It is your argument in favor of doing the proposed.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing a Proposal. What is a Proposal?  It is the explanation of what you intend to do in your paper.  It is your argument in favor of doing the proposed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing a Proposal

2 What is a Proposal?  It is the explanation of what you intend to do in your paper.  It is your argument in favor of doing the proposed topic.  It is your demonstration that you know what you are doing and should be allowed to proceed.

3 Your Proposal Should:  Define your topic and your planned approach  Explain your research to date and your expected research in the future  Provide preliminary (and thus tentative) conclusions

4 Your Proposal Should Also:  Demonstrate that you have found a workable topic (one that has limits, one that has adequate sources (both primary and secondary), one that you can enjoy and manage)  Seek to convince the reader that you understand your topic, its variations, and what will be necessary to turn it into a paper, including the problems it seems likely to entail

5 Thesis  Remember that the thesis of your proposal is your term paper, its need/ significance, manageability, etc.  The PROPOSAL IS NOT A SHORT VERSION OF YOUR TERM PAPER. It is an argument for being allowed to DO the term paper.

6 Organization/ Content  Your paper can be organized in various ways, but be sure to write an essay (i.e., with introduction, etc.) that includes:

7 Organization/ Content (Con’t)  1. What is your proposed topic/ problem is (explaining as clearly as possible the specific angle you expect to take and possible questions, issues, or directions you see as necessary to your topic)  2. Your expected plan of action (i.e., how your effort will proceed, its organization, its parts, its current state)

8 Organization/ Content (Con’t)  3. Your preliminary thesis/ conclusion about the results of your research, and  4. the research sources you have found (and expect to find or not find) that will be integral to your paper, with explanations.

9 Research  To write your proposal you must have done some research and given thought to the information you have found. Your research to this point should allow YOU to conclude that you have a manageable, significant, and interesting topic/ problem; the proposal should convince OTHERS that your conclusion is correct.

10 Research (Con’t)  In presenting this material, do more than list. While you have only just begun your research and your thinking, you should have reached some conclusions and have decided why you are planning to use certain sources (as well as why you are planning to find and use other ones).

11 Bibliography  Rather than footnoting each source you cite, attach a bibliography to your proposal. It helps convince readers that the topic is significant, that you are ell on your way, and that you know what you are doing.  Establish credibility.

12 Outline of a Potential Proposal  The proposal might include all or several of the folloing sections: I.Introduction -Introduces the problem or topic. -Establishes the purpose of and need for the investigation. -May state a thesis for the projected project. (The thesis of the proposal is the author’s statement of the purpose and need for the project).

13 Outline of a Potential Proposal (Con’t) II.Plan of Action -Explains how the investigation ill proceed (organization) and what its parts will be. -Describes the current state of the project: what work on it has the investigator done so far? What especially useful sources has he/she discovered and consulted so far? (In what way are they useful?)

14 Outline of a Potential Proposal (Con’t) III.Tentative Conclusions -On the basis of research done so far, what conclusions does the proposer expect to draw by the end of the project?

15 Outline of a Potential Proposal (Con’t) IV.Detailed Bibliography -A detailed bibliography in itself should help convince the reader that the topic (or problem/ issue) is real and that the researcher has the project competently under way.

16 For Additional Assistance  Contact one of the UMW Writing Centers:  Fredericksburg Campus Writing Center Phone: Trinkle Hall 107A, South Building  Stafford Campus Writing Center Phone: South Building Lobby, Room 124


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