The Basic Format for a Research Paper Proposal
If you thought you would be able to get through college without much writing, you may find yourself asking, “Isn’t writing a research paper enough?” No. In many cases, you will need to write a research paper proposal before you write your actual paper. Ultimately, your professors will grade your final paper on your ability to interpret and intelligently discuss your topic and be able backup your findings with solid evidence. To be able to achieve this goal, you need to provide evidence that you are on the right path with a well thought out research paper proposal.
Below is a research paper proposal template for you to use. You will need to fill your information into the [ ] brackets where I have instructions and tips for you. Keep in mind that your professor may have some different requirements based upon their preferences. However, the following fields should suffice for most of your needs.
Date: [Add in the date you submit the proposal.]
To: [Add in your professor’s name.]
From: [Add in your name and your email address.]
Subject of my paper: [Provide the broad topic for your paper.]
My Major and why writing about this topic will be beneficial to me: Write why you are specifically interested in this topic and how it will benefit advancing your education. As I state in another post, “Steps to Writing a Winning Term Paper Using Reference Software” you must have an active interest in your subject (amongst other things) otherwise you will struggle writing your paper and your statements will lack conviction.
My thesis: Keep in mind that your thesis should only be a sentence or two long and it is an answer to a specific relevant question; it isn’t a question. Often your thesis will be more effective if it answers a how or why question instead of a who, what, when or where query.
Approach to the subject of my paper: There are several ways you can present material in your paper in support of your thesis statement. Will you have to define certain terms? Will you include anecdotal evidence? Will you include opposing views and comparing and contrasting them to your views? You want to think of a logical, orderly fashion in which you will lay out your research paper so it transitions well from thesis to conclusion. Your choice of target audience should influence your approach.
Intended audience: Selecting a specific intended audience will define the level of education and biases of your readers. It will alter the information you include in your research paper and how you present your viewpoints. When selecting an audience, target a demographic that has your level of education, but doesn’t necessarily have your background or major. While organizing your thoughts, think to yourself, “What do I need to explain to this audience to help them understand this topic?”
Graphs or charts: Graphs and charts are a way to visually support your written analysis and data. They are not intended to be filler to help you reach your page count requirement. Most professors do not count them towards meeting that goal. Make sure you cite your charts and graphs from other sources using the proper formatting style.
Documentation Style: Your professor will usually assign the APA, MLA or other formatting style to you. If you are unsure what style you should be using, ask them. If they don’t assign a style, the type of class you are preparing your research paper for usually will. Don’t forget; when it’s time to write your paper, there are MLA and APA format software products that can greatly diminish your time formatting the document.
Kinds of sources I will use and why they will benefit my paper: Professors like to see a balanced approach to selecting types of sources for your paper. If you are struggling finding good sources for your research paper while creating your proposal, it’s a good indication you should pick another topic. When you state the types of sources you will be using, include how these sources will strengthen your paper.
Tentative List of References: Your professor will often give you a minimum number of references for you to include as a tentative list of references for your research paper proposal. This will be higher than the actual number of references you include in your final paper since you likely will not use all of those on your tentative list. Your professor wants to see if you know how to select appropriate sources within your field. Check with your professor if you need to get their approval to use sources in your final paper that you did not include on your tentative list.
David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. For more information, log onto http://www.referencepointsoftware.com/ or write to:
info @ referencepointsoftware.com
Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).
Before we delve into the structure of a term paper, let’s first define it and look into the objectives of this writing assignment. A term paper is a research paper required at the end of a school semester. It tracks and evaluates the students’ knowledge about the course. Usually a scientific report or a discussion of an assigned topic, the term paper requires a lot of research and technical writing expertise. This academic writing assignment as this reflects your knowledge of a certain course.
Table Of Contents
How To Outline a Term Paper
The outline of the paper should be made before researching and writing because this will serve as your skeleton as you continue on your work. There are a lot of paper templates to choose from, but most of the time your instructor will require a certain essay format for the whole class to follow. The main parts should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Instructors usually provide topics related to your course. However, sometimes you are free to choose your own paper topic, read articles, news, magazines, and blogs to get ideas for a term paper topic. Make sure that the topic you choose will fulfill the objectives of your course and will interest you. If a certain topic interest you, researching and writing about it will be easier and more fun.
The following should be considered when choosing a topic:
- Length: Consider the length of the required paper. Will it be a 10-page long or 5-page short? How many words are required? Considering the length will help you choose a certain topic because you will be able to decide how broad your subject will be.
- Resources: Check out your school or community library for available resources. Go through available online research resources and make sure you will have hands on books and other materials needed for reference.
- Complexity: Make sure that you will be able to explain your topic no matter how complex it may be. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask experts. Let your professor explain a certain area in your topic.
How To Start
Before starting, make sure to follow instructions given to you. Clarifications should be made with your instructor before doing any research or writing work. If you want quality work and a high grade, plan ahead and make time every day for writing your paper. Allot time for proofreading your work before handing it to your professor.
A good way to start is by creating a compelling and creative title. Your title page is the first impression of your work so make sure that it will capture your reader’s attention. Take note of the parts as you research and write away.
The structure should be organized and well-researched. Our academic writer reminds that technical writing skills should be crucial in organizing your ideas. The following is the term paper rubric, abstract, or layout that you should follow in presenting your argument or topic:
- Cover page: Align the text containing your name, course number, your teacher’s name and the date of the deadline.
- Abstract: Usually less than a page long, It lets the readers know where the paper is headed, the issue at hand and why the subject was interesting or important enough that you decided to write about it.
- Introduction:The introduction should begin with a statement on the topic to be discussed. Give current social events that are linked or explain the significance of the problem at hand.
- Body: The body of your text should contain the synthesis of your research. Provide information about the topic so that Don’t forget certain positions pertaining to the issue and the analysis of the research you have done.
- Results:. How has your view changed from when you began the project? Has it stayed the same, and why? Tie everything you’ve been explaining into what you started saying in your introduction.
- Discussion: Finish by stating an opening question or by prompting the reader to continue his or her own research on the subject through a discussion.
Download: Term Paper Example
How to Write a Proposal
Before researching and writing, you should know what a term paper proposal is. Basically, you should be able to defend your topic to your instructor through this proposal. This proposal must be handed in and approved before writing the actual term paper.
Include recent studies or research about your topic. Show relevance of your topic to your course effectively by submitting a short article with a clear explanation. Provide your objectives and observe organization in the flow of your ideas.
Related: How To Write a Research Proposal
If your professor didn’t provide a proposal template or sample, you could follow this format:
- Title: This is a draft title of what you want to research on. Make it clear and comprehensible.
- Objectives: This part should define your outcomes after your research. You should be able to answer questions above all, in a term paper.
- Relevance and Importance: Include recent news, social events, articles, and blogs leading to the importance of the topic. Your topic should be up to date and capture the attention of the reader.
There are many examples available online including formats and templates. You can follow these formats but make sure that you maintain your proposal’s organization and don’t forget to highlight main points and objectives.
In arranging the format, consider first the length and the citation style to be used. When you have researched on a certain topic, you are required to use a specific citation style. If you forget to reference properly, you might be accused of plagiarism. Also, a term paper is an academic writing assignment therefore, APA or MLA citation styles are commonly used.
- Use APA (American Psychological Association) term paper format for social sciences. To reference a book in an APA style term paper, the publication name, date, and location are needed. So make sure to take note of this during your research.
- The MLA (Modern Language Association) term paper format are used for liberal arts and humanities. The publication name, date, and location are needed in this format as well.
Good Term Paper Example
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
Tutor Joseph, from EssayPro
This article is very helpful. However, I would like to add my advice to the topic selection process. When you select a topic, choose one that enhances your understanding of the subject. Usually, I would advise choosing a topic that one finds interesting, but with this kind of paper, demonstrating knowledge as opposed to finding something particularly interesting to write about. To begin, get an idea to act as the foundation of the term paper. The idea should relate to the text and the subject. If this is written for a particular class, note down some of the class discussions that you had while taking the class and consider writing about those. That will get you brownie points with the professor. That being said, avoid general topics. Narrow it down according to the article’s directions. Before finally choosing the topic, clarify it with your professor if possible. Go during office hours and ask if they have any advice for in what direction you can take the term paper.
Get Help from Experts
Researching and writing really take a lot of time and effort. Also, school assignments and examinations usually pile up at the end of the semester. If you need custom writing help, don’t hesitate to use EssayPro. This is your number one go-to site for term paper writing service. Experienced writers from all around the world will attend to your writing needs immediately. These writers can proofread and improve your academic paper. They can also help you choose a topic and edit your referencing into an APA or MLA format. What are you waiting for? Head on over to EssayPro!
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