English essay



The research proposal is intended to focus your attention on the topic which you selected as your research project this semester. ester.

You will define the focus of your research in the following way:

  • Focus your topic on one research question related to one issue;
  • Design a rhetorical situation for the project;
  • Present your own interests and prior experience with the issue;
  • Explain your purpose in researching the specific issue;
  • Focus on a specific audience to communicate the details of your research;
  • Discuss how all of these elements construct the context [rhetorical situation] of your research and writing.


Your written proposal should provide the reader, your audience, with the following information:

  • An overview of what the issue is that you are interested in;
  • A focused research question;
  • A discussion of how and why the topic is relevant as a topic of research;
  • A brief discussion why the topic is of interest to you;
  • A reflection on what your specific experience(s) is/are with the issue (if you’ve had experience with it);
  • Your purpose in researching and writing about the issue;
  • Your perspective and/or opinion on the issue right now;
  • Who your proposed audience will be;
  • A research plan that includes the types of sources you will use;
  • A timetable for completion of this research project.

Your completed essay will be at most 2-3 pages long.

Make sure you submit your essay in .docx, .pdf, or .odt format–not Google pages or Google docs.

All these elements are covered in the sample research proposal by Alexandra McMullin. Use McMullin’s essay as your model.

Type your essay in MLA format. The guidelines are posted in Week 1. Reread them.

If you choose to use in-text citations and Works Cited, be sure to read through the examples in Chs. 58 and 59 in The Everyday Writer. They will need to be in MLA8 format [2016 update].