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Assignment: Write a 1,250-1,500-word proposal
Deadlines: Due June 5
Length: 1,250-1,500 words
Description: A proposal makes a recommendation, requests funding or asks readers to take action regarding an issue or cause. In scientific fields, researchers typically request funding for projects aimed at discovery or problem-solving. Such scientists in their proposal make a claim, provide background information on the issue or topic to be studied, detail how the research will be conducted, explain the benefits and address opposition (if any) to the proposal. For your proposal, use the topic you selected in your profile essay and write about an issue affecting this topic in your major.
In drafting your proposal, you also will need to identify the causes of the problem or issue you are addressing. Use no less than five references in your research.
To organize the proposal, you’ll include the following parts/elements and use headings to identify each section:
I. Introduce the Research Problem – Provide a research topic and offer a research question or problem prompting your intended study. Explain the purpose of the research, why you’re seeking fundings and briefly explain the latest research and paradigms of the field on this topic – explain this briefly in the introduction. Then, you’ll identify the methods you intend to use for the study. You might even indicate what you anticipate finding.
II. Provide a Problem Analysis or Background History on the Topic – In the problem analysis section, you’ll explain the major causes and/or effects of the issue and include evidence (prior research) that supports this analysis. You’ll also identify the effects of the subject, problem or issue. Who does it affect, and what has been done to correct this? Also, as you finalize your problem analysis, you’ll also identify where research on the subject needs to go. This is where you’ll identify your intentions. What do you expect to find based on your own theory or hypothesis?
III. Explain Your Proposed Research Methods – While the methods section in reports can be long as scientists explain in detail how they conducted their study, in the proposal, the methods section will be shorter since the research hasn’t been conducted yet. Still, you’ll identify how you’ll conduct your research – offer the who, what, when, where and why information. Also, provide evidence to demonstrate that your approach or methods will work. (Your methods section will be written in the “future tense” since this is what you intend to do.
IV. Explain the Potential Benefits of the study, and Address any Opposition to the approach you intend to take. Perhaps, your proposal is controversial or doesn’t follow the field paradigms. You’ll need to address any opposing views to your proposed study and offer a rebuttal.
V. Conclude Your Proposal – Restate your proposal, the background and your methods to be used. Keep in mind this is the conclusion, so you’ll be brief.
Topic: In choosing your topic, be sure to choose an issue facing the topic you chose in your profile essay, and make sure you understand the issue and can explain it without difficulty.
For proposal ideas, refer to Chapter 7, Activity 6 on p. 196 in your Writing in the Sciences textbook.
Audience: Classmates and instructor
Style/Format: In drafting the proposal, you will write in third person (he, she, it, they, the instructor), though first person may be used, too. Avoid using second person (you).
The essay should follow the Council of Science Editors paper format and documentation style. Before submitting the paper, be sure to keep photocopies of the work for your own protection.
Value: 20 points
Research Proposal Grading Criteria
Content/Key elements of the assignment are included – 4/1 point each
Paper is 1,250-1,500 words in length and uses the Council of Science Editors (CSE) paper style and uses at least five references.
Introduces the proposed topic with brief details on its need and background issues.
Provides a detailed problem analysis section.
The proposal explains the methods that may be used, providing support to show the methods will work, and it identifies the benefits, addresses potential opposition and shows the writer is familiar with and understands the subject matter.
Content/Documentation format and inclusion – 4 points/2 points each
The paper includes Council of Science Editors (CSE) in-text citations to document references within the assignment.
The paper includes an CSE reference page, listing all references cited in the document.
Organization/Style – 4 points/1 point each
The paper includes an introduction with a thesis sentence that doesn’t announce the subject and is organized well, including enough information to allow the reader to understand how the paper will unfold.
The paper body expands on the thesis, discussing the main points in separate paragraphs. Each paragraph has a topic sentence.
The conclusion summarizes the main point without introducing details not discussed in the body.
The writer uses transitions between sentences and paragraphs, and the writer doesn’t rely on slang, nonstandard English or inappropriate wording to convey the meaning.
Sentence Structure/Verbs – 4 points/2 points each
Comma splices, run-together/run-on sentences or fragments
Subject/verb agreement errors
Grammar/Style – 4 points – .66 points each
Parallel, varied and concise sentence structure
Other grammar points
The grading criteria sheet includes general categories, which may cover other related errors.