The Issue Proposal
“For this assignment, you will write an essay proposing the issue you would like to research and write about for the Research Project. You will explain the controversy surrounding your chosen issue and explain why you want to write about this issue, what you already know, and what you still need to learn.
The purpose of this essay is not to make an argument about the issue; the purpose of this essay is to propose the topic you want to write about for the research project. The focus of the paper is to convince your audience that this is a workable topic for the research project.
The Issue Proposal will help you organize and develop your thoughts for the longer papers in this project. As you consider possible issues for your research, you may want to do some background reading to make sure that 1) you are truly interested in the issue, 2) your issue is current enough to allow you to find sources published within the last six months, and 3) you can find enough sources to support sustained research on the topic.
The issue you choose must be arguable (there is disagreement about the issue), significant (it’s important, there is something at stake in the issue), and timely (it’s important now).
The Issue Proposal requires that you identify a controversy, not a general topic. ‘Topic’ is the general subject area. ‘Issue’ is the specific controversy about the topic. A topic may have several issues. An issue, however, should have only one topic.
As noted in the Choosing an Issue lecture, avoid choosing “popular” topics that have been overdone. These topics tend to be too broad (they are not yet issues), too simplistic (for/against), and/or have been written about so many times that it is challenging for students to formulate a new and original response to the issue. When choosing a topic, avoid arguments, such as abortion or gun control, that have created long-standing debates with little resolution between the opposing sides, unless there is recent legislation or proposed legislation that has created a new controversy about the issue. Also, avoid arguments about religion or topics that try to persuade based on religious preferences.
Includes a snappy title that catches the reader’s attention and indicates the topic and argument.
Identifies an arguable/contestable issue appropriate to the assignment and
Presents the issue in question form,
Provides well-developed reasons about your relationship to the issue:
why you this issue is compelling to you,
what you already know about this issue, and
what you need to learn and how you will find this information.
Answers the “so what” and “who cares” question by explaining why the research topic is significant and to whom.
Supports reasons with thoughtful, well-developed examples anecdotes, ideas, and questions.
Comes across as a credible writer, and appeals to the values and emotions of the audience.
Develops a seamless, coherent, and well-organized argument.
Sentences are lively, engaging, and relatively error free.
If outside sources are used, they are used effectively and integrated smoothly to help substantiate or support points.
If outside sources are used, there is proper attribution to each source cited via in-text parenthetical citation and a correctly formatted Works Cited page.
Write 3-4 pages (not 2½ or 2¾) in MLA Style in 12pt. Times New Roman font.
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