Final Project Research Proposal Assignment Prompt

Research Process_MethodsFinal Project Research Proposal

30% Course Grade

Design a research study focused on “writing” defined broadly as something verbal, graphic, static, dynamic—as it is produced to exist in print or electronically. When you have completed the proposal, you should have a robust outline of a digital writing research project that you will then be able to implement (if you desire).

I firmly believe you don’t really learn/know a method until you’ve implemented it!

We obviously don’t have time to complete a full research project during this course; heck, we barely have time to read/learn about some methods and technologies and start a research plan. By the end of the course, you will have fleshout out a research plan; based on your project, you may have more information in some areas and less information in others. That is OK; we’ll continue to negotiate as we go; I will expect, however, you to complete each section even if it is with a description of what/how/why you can’t do that section yet.

Sections of the Research Proposal

For each section you will be expected to reflect on how the following things are impacting what you are doing/thinking: experience, philosophies, theories, disciplines, institutions, materials, and other scholars/individuals. Each section will probably have both the “content” and a “self-reflection” component (they may, or may not, be separately labeled sections).

  • Personal Introduction to the Project: What brought you to this project? Why? What do you hope to gain from it? Why is it important to you? What do you gain from engaging the topic and/or answering the research questions? etc.
  • Topic Introduction/Review of Literature: What have other scholars/individuals/institutions said about this topic? Why is it important to the field?
  • Research Questions: What are the exact research questions you will be answering?
  • Objects of Study: What is it you’ll be looking at? How/why is this/are these object/s appropriate for answering your research questions?
  • Methods
    • Collection: How will you collect the data?
    • Data Management: How will you manage the data?
    • Analysis: How will you analyze the data?
  • Budget: What resources will you need to complete the research?
  • Timeline: Who will be doing what, when, where, and how?
  • Expectations: Do you expect to implement this research project? why or why not? What are you excited about? What are you worried about? What type of support do you think you’ll need to complete the project? What do you hope to do (or would you hope to do) with the results of the research (e.g., if publication, where)?
  • Reference or Works Cited (MLA or APA style; I expect MA students to have at least 10 scholarly resources and PhD students 15 scholarly resources. You’ll use resources to discuss your topic as well as your research methods.)

To do justice to the proposal, your project will be at least 11 pages normal formatting (double space, one inch margins, etc.). I honestly expect it will probably be double that for most of you (remember, you have both the content and your critical self-reflection of most sections).

Scaffolding Steps/Assignments & Due Dates

You’ll keep a research journal as a part of the process of your research project. Your journal will “live” in two places, the course blog and your Research Resource Database (for reading responses/annotated bibliographies). All scaffolding/process that is not an annotated bibliography will be posted in your research journal (including full drafts and the final submission). Be sure to categorize all postings as “Research Journal” and tag them all as “journal”.

  • 7/7: Journal, Research Topic Reflection
  • 7/11: Journal, Research Question & Object of Study Reflection
  • 7/12: Peer Review, Research Question & Object of Study Reflection (Reply to classmates–MAx2, PhD x3)
  • Week 3: Suggested: schedule time to meet with a librarian to help with your review of literature.
  • 7/17: Reading response for article/chapter for your research project in your Research Resource Database
  • 7/18: Reading response for article/chapter for your research project in your Research Resource Database
  • 7/19: Reading response for article/chapter for your research project in your Research Resource Database
  • 7/19: Journal, Methods
  • Week 4: Meet/chat with Shelley
  • 7/29: Journal, Revised Methods
  • 7/30: Peer Review, Revised Methods (Reply to classmates–MAx2, PhD x3)
  • 7/31:  three/four (MA/PhD) more articles/chapters for research project in your Research Resource Database
  • 8/5:  three/four (MA/PhD) more articles/chapters for research project in your Research Resource Database
  • 8/7: Complete Draft Research Proposal
  • 8/8: Peer Review, Research Proposals (MA students, one MA and one PhD; PhD students, two MA and one PhD)
  • 8/9-15: Final Revised Research Proposal


  • 25% – timely process work (listed above)
  • 75% – final project (due on 8/15)

All the process work counts as homework; however, 20% of the final grade will be awarded for process. Therefore, the homework grades for all of the work listed above is just for “doing it.” Your 20% of process grade towards the final grade of your Research Proposal is about doing the homework/invention work on time. Good research and writing can not be completed at the last minute; you’ve got to chip away at it on a regular basis.

C – Will include all of the required major components of the assignment listed above (content, basic formatting, and minimum length) presented in a traditional essay format without many distracting surface feature errors.

B –  Will include robust engagement with each major required section presented in a traditional essay format with few distracting surface or formatting feature errors.

A – Will include sophisticated and nuanced engagement with each major required section presented in a traditional essay format without any distracting surface or formatting feature errors.

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Derek Mueller

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6 Responses to “Final Project Research Proposal Assignment Prompt”

  1. July 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I couldn’t tell that this was revised much from the earlier draft I already commented on. I do want to note that I appreciate that we aren’t expected to carry out an actual research project but just to plan one. That is much more doable in 6 weeks 🙂 And I also like how you have staggered all of the smaller assignments to help us build up to the final proposal. Looks good to me so far!

    • July 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      Jennifer, it wasn’t really changed. I had made some changes in the document based on what folks had said and then cut/paste here. If we make further changes as a class, they’ll happen here.

  2. July 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I think WordPress should include a “Like” button. 🙂

    • July 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Your wish is my search for a plug in…let’s see how it works!

    • July 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      And we now have one…at least for posts and pages. I’ll see about liking comments.

  3. July 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    I see! That’s cool! 🙂