Purpose: Before you begin drafting the Research Paper, you will be responsible for crafting a 3-4 page
research proposal that describes the issue you plan to research and includes a bibliography of
sources for your paper. This proposal is both a preliminary exercise in shaping your argument, as well as
chance to identify the varying perspectives around your issue.
Task: Your proposal must have four sections; however, the length of each section is up to you:
Background of the Issue: In this section, identify the topic, issue, or focus of your research and
conversation that is currently taking place about the issue. What is the issue about? What are the varying
perspectives about the issue, that you know of?
Preliminary Argument: In this section, explain the direction you think your argument will go in. What is
stance on the issue? What are your reasons for it?
Why the Issue Matters (Stakes): In this section, explain why the issue matters. Why should people care
this issue? What impact does this issue have, and who does it impact?
List of Preliminary Sources: In this section, list 4 high-quality sources that you think may be useful for your
paper (see below for more information about what a high-quality source is). The sources must be
correctly in MLA format, and listed in alphabetical order. After each full citation, summarize the source in
own words. What is the source? What’s it about? Who wrote it? What is its intent or purpose? Then, briefly
evaluate the source. Is the source trustworthy (how do you know)? What makes this source valuable to
research paper? The summary and evaluation of each source should be one full paragraph per source