Proposals are meant to introduce your audience to the idea you have in mind for a larger and more complex assignment. Beyond the value of a proposal that Kinkead explains, proposals are a common feature of projects in many academic disciplines and workplaces, so learning how to write a proposal is a transferable writing skill that you can use beyond this class. It should include:

  • Description/Abstract (summary):
    • This introduction should be designed to interest your reader in your topic and proposal and provide some historical/cultural context for your project. At the end of your introduction, include a tentative thesis statement to indicate to your reader that you are entering your project looking at your topic through a critical, analytic lens—this thesis should clearly state your intentions using a meta discursive structure (I.e., “In this project, I will…” or “This research project will investigate…”). A good formula for an introduction is: context + problem/complication + proposed argument or research question.
  • Research Method:
    • Discuss the methods and sources you will use to conduct your research, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that you feel will be essential to your project. The primary research types can be found in the “Research Essay Assignment Guidelines” at the top of the unit 4 module.
  • Conclusion:
    • In your conclusion, address the “So What?” of this research. That is, why does what you are investigating matter as more than an academic exercise? Why should your audience want to read it? Why does it matter?
  • Annotations:
    • You’ll need to cite and annotate two sources. This will be an introduction to what you will be doing for the annotated bibliography. For your annotations you will write two paragraphs each: one summarizing the source and one describing how you intend to use the source. Within the annotation you need to identify which source type you picked and why it falls under that category. The kinds of secondary research can be found in the “Annotated Bibliography Assignment Guidelines” at the top of the unit 3 module. (Note: the 4 types are Background sources, Exhibit sources, Argument sources, and Theory/method sources.)

Other Requirements:

Sources and Citation:

All sources must be cited in MLA. This is an academic research project, so all your sources for the literature review should be scholarly ones. The nature of your project will determine which scholarly sources you use and which citation style you choose. You should have the appropriate and sufficient sources to position your proposed research project within the existing scholarly conversation.


While there are very few set length requirements, I will be grading based on how thorough you are.

  • The description/abstract length varies depending on how thorough you are. There is no set length for this portion, but I would aim for at about a page or two. The more thorough you can be about describing your plan for the unit 4 research essay, the better feedback you can receive.
  • The research method also does not have a set length as it depends on how developed your ideas are. However, I would aim for about a page or so for its length.
  • Much like the other portions of this assignment, the length of your conclusion will vary depending on how much you have to discuss. I would suggest aiming for about a page or so for this part.
  • Each annotation should be about two paragraphs.

Submission format:

The final draft of your essay should be submitted as word document.

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