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Research Proposal: Getting Started!

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Suzanne Labadie

on 24 April 2016

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Transcript of Research Proposal: Getting Started!

Personal Greening
ditching plastic bags
driving a hybrid
buying natural products at home
going vegetarian
Public Greening
bike share
public gardens
public transportation
electric car technology
factory farming
Going green is a great subject area for research, but it is incredibly broad. There are also many different approaches to the topic, so it really must be narrowed.

Recommended Steps:
-brainstorm narrowed topics
-research a few of these and select one
-choose a stasis question
-refine your new topic
-select an argumentative structure
Narrowing a topic
For this project, there are a few off-limits subjects. These general subjects make the list because it is very difficult to complete a successful project on any of them:

gun control
gay marriage
legalization of marijuana

Selecting a Topic
Narrowing a Topic
This presentation will help you to:

narrow your topic for research
get started with your research
begin planning your research essay and visual argument

What are we doing here?
Research Proposal: getting started.

Most students begin with a general topic for this assignment and will need to narrow their idea significantly to fit into the scope of a research project. If your topic sounds as general as one of these, this includes you:

Going Green

Preliminary Research
Once you have some narrowed topics to choose from, it's time to do some research so that you know what is going on in the world related to your potential topics. Research may reveal that you *don't* want to use one topic...but it may show you another that you're more interested in. Look into at least 3 of your subtopics and try to narrow it to one that you're most interested in. Use library sources and subject guide searches for this stage in your research.

Choosing a stasis question and a purpose for your argument is helpful once you have sufficiently narrowed your topic.

I think it will be most interesting to focus on "Is what has happened good or bad?" (evaluation) but I think that at least one part of my project will address "What should be done?" (proposal).

Since your research essay will be longer (8 pages), you may have multiple stasis questions you'd like to address.
A few searches in the library databases show me that there is a lot of literature on reclaiming wasteland for public gardens. I know this is happening in Detroit too, which makes it especially interesting to me. I will focus my paper on this subtopic.
Stasis Questions
My purpose for these arguments will be to
whether or not the greening of Detroit project has been successful AND to
more people in the area to get involved.
Planning your Proposal
Who will you write to?
Determining who you're going to reach with your argument is essential to knowing what you should include in your project.
For my project, I'm aiming to reach people in metro Detroit who are interested in "greening" their life, who care about the environment. I'm also going to reach people who aren't sure how they can help and people looking for inspiration
Argument Structure
Sky is the limit here! You can make arguments in MANY forms as we have learned this term:
Design an advertisement
Create a photo essay or Instagram feed
Develop a twitter campaign
Design a t-shirt
Make a video or a commercial
Develop a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation
Create an Infographic

be creative...
Next, consider your Visual Agument
All of elements of this project should be based on research and include documentation...even your visual argument!
Plan to explain the information we reviewed in this lecture, as well as the research that you have done so far...and what you still need to learn about your subject. Proposals are also more convincing when the writer discusses their personal connection to the subject, so try to work that in as well.
In your proposal...
Select a topic that is
relevant to your life,
something you won't mind
thinking and reading
about for several weeks.
Chapter 7 discusses three primary argument structures: Toulmin, Rogerian, and Classical Oration. Consider which of these approaches would best fit your topic.

Since I have a social and popular topic that is not terribly controversial...and I'm writing to a slightly less formal audience, I will choose the classical oration format. It allows me to give some personal connection to the topic while maintaining a formal tone
Keep in mind...
Visual Argument for my
sample project:
I will create a t-shirt design to sell in order to raise money for the Greening of Detroit project. The t-shirt will be combined with a Twitter campaign promoting sales/involvement. My audience for this argument will be young residents in Detroit who want to get involved.
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