reviewed sources plus 5 additional high quality sources W r i t i n g
The purpose in writing a Term paper proposal is to give your professor an opportunity to provide feedback on your topic, argument, and research goals. Most importantly, a paper proposal requires you to narrow your topic and begin formulating the argument you’ll make. The Term Paper proposal also helps you by possibly redirecting you away from a potentially unworkable topic and toward one that is workable with far less research. The objective is to avoid the problem of finding out too late that your topic isn’t practical / feasible / doable. For the exercise to be meaningful, you need to do at least some real research before you write your proposal.
1. Description/Justification for your topic
• Given the range of possible term paper topics, why did you choose this topic?
• How is your topic relevant to this course? That is, what themes or issues from the course will be central to your research?
2. What is your Research Question?
• Use a paragraph to consider the significance of the Term Paper question that you have selected to address; what answering it might help make sense of or illustrate which course themes; how your response might gesture toward larger, more generalizable phenomenon; etc.
• Writing a strong research question that is neither too narrow nor too broad is actually quite challenging. It is essential to get feedback from your Professor to ensure that your question is in the right range.
• For more empirical investigations, “why” questions are often a good place to start: for example, “Why is the EU not considering Debt relief for Greece?” or “Despite solid arguments against Minimum wages they are in place in almost all western Democratic countries, why is this the case?”
• Make sure that there are enough sources on your topic that you can actually do research: if you are having difficulty locating sources, you may want to consider changing your question. You will need at least 3 peer-reviewed sources plus 5 additional high quality sources.
3. Thesis Statement: Your Answer to the Research Question
• You will need to do some research before you can even begin to offer an answer here. For your term paper proposal, you just have to do enough research to figure out the puzzle that remains unanswered: that will be your research question, and given what you already know, you can formulate possible answers.
• Should be brief – Make sure your thesis statement addresses your research (“why”) question.
• Explain what you think happened and make sure to point toward causal mechanisms.
The proposal will be graded on the completeness of the above requirements. The grade is out of 3 with 1 mark for each of the above 3 requirements.
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