Research Paper: Proposal
AUDIENCE: legislators, activists, advocates
Select and investigate an issue exemplified through a current event of your choice within the state of New Jersey. Using this current event as an illustration of a larger problem, you will propose a solution to the issue.
Your solution will function as your argument or rhetorical situation – it is the reason you are writing, so be persuasive at all times.
DEFINE: In this paper, you should briefly outline your problem and the significance it has in contemporary society. Regardless of what obvious value you personally think this issue has, you must explicitly state the issue and establish the need for a solution. What groups of people are affected by this issue, and in what ways? What are the causes and consequences of this issue? Why is this problem particularly relevant now? What should your audience know about this topic? How might you define this problem as one that can have a solution (as opposed to a problem that can go away by itself or a problem that will never be solved)?
PROPOSE: Even though this is considered your “research paper” for the semester, you should see it as a persuasive paper (with research): you are to ARGUE for a specific solution and CONVINCE your audience that it is the most reasonable response to pursue. In order to formulate a strong response, you must first research what measures already exist. Why have other solutions failed, and what will your solution do differently? What details can you provide to enact your solution? An argument involves an angle; a research paper is not a book report. You must engage with sources that agree and disagree with you, not just sources that report on statistical information. How might you expect opponents to respond to your solution? What evidence can you offer to show that your solution will address the problem? What are the intended results of your solution? Use details to manifest your solution and make it real. In order to promote your idea, it should be thorough and ready to be put into action.
Remember, a TOPIC is not a THESIS, so you will have to consider a problem within this topic and find a solution to it. Furthermore, the research and the data must establish a problem while at the same time using the research and the data to support the counter measures and the paradigms.