The Research Proposal is a minimum 2-page (double-spaced) first draft.

The Research Proposal is a minimum 2-page (double-spaced) first draft. It must contain your thesis, a minimum of two (2) sources, and should contain many of the key points that will be used in your final essay. It should be a COMPLETE essay – not the first two pages of your final draft. In that sense, it should have a beginning — containing your thesis or topic of research — at least two points of research, and should have a solid conclusion.

DO NOT USE “WRITE SUBMISSION,” meaning do not write directly to Blackboard. If you do, your assignment will not be graded, and you will earn a zero. Your assignment MUST be uploaded as a Word document or PDF file. Please submit in MLA formatting, with a separate MLA 8th formatted Works Cited last page. (NOTE: the Works Cited page is NOT included in the essay’s minimum page count.)

This Research Essay should include the following elements:

  • Indicate a specific goal, career path or creative endeavor (eg. owning a restaurant, becoming an accountant, a career in law enforcement, becoming a musician, a dancer, sailing the Pacific, etc.).Then using either the career path or creative endeavor, introduce the main topic of your Research Essay though a THESIS STATEMENT (argument), and the motivation behind you’re wanting to achieve it.
  • GO DEEP into your topic through analysis backed up by research. Include specific passages or paraphrases from your sources to support a reasoned argument about your goal. Points of research should include the specific steps you’re taking to achieve your “American Dream.”  For example, if your American Dream involves becoming an accountant, then your research steps could include four-year colleges you’re considering after Mercer, graduate schools, internships, certifications and licenses, potential employers, cities to move to, professionals in the field to interview, etc.
  • Sourcing should be a mix of different media–online, library databases, in-person, print sources, etc., using primary sources with no more than one or two informational sites, if needed, to explain a complex profession.
  • The research needs to be practical, real-world sourcing with current (no more than two years old) information. Sourcing should show a practical pathway to attaining a goal. The steps to your goal are your sources, and those sources need to be realistic, recent, and attainable.
  • Tie all points together in a ‘conclusion’ statement that “proves” your goal is attainable.
  • Remember, this is an exploration on attaining your own personal “American Dream,” and should NOT be an extended definition of it.

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