1- A topic proposal gives an overview of what you plan to study through the research process and how you plan to write about it as your project proceeds. It is a brief one-page essay, so you will format it in APA or MLA format, and it should be polished and edited.
The topic proposal has the following sections:
I. Working title of your project/essay
II. Your thesis or research question
III. The outside, scholarly research sources you plan to use (you might have found the specific sources, or you might have an idea of some of the sources as well as types of others, but you have begun your research enough to fill in this section)
IV. What is the point of this topic? Why does it matter? What are the implications?
Here is a helpful chart created by Professor Kubota
1. What is your thesis or research question (the thing about your topic you want to find out)? Your topic must be opinionated and well-phrased and formulated, rather than a petty observation about your topic: “The symbol of the yin/yang indicates duality” (poor thesis) versus “The symbolism of the yin/yang possesses a duality, one that demonstrates the distinct forces of chaos and order in our world.” (a bit better)2. How do you plan on supporting this thesis/research question? This question doesn’t really focus on the sources you will use, but it is a question of the techniques, types of paragraphs, style you plan on employing. It’s like an analysis of your analytical style. You can briefly outline your paper here, if you’d like.What (2-3) outside, scholarly sources do you plan on using? You don’t have to have read all of them yet, but try to have at least 3 good sources ready by the time you turn in the proposal. Such an approach attempts to ensure that you don’t go about getting sources at the last minute. It also ensures that you steer clear of topics of which you cannot find adequate resources.What’s the whole point of this topic? What motivated you to pursue this topic? So what?
Why do you care about this topic? Why should your readers? (Don’t be fooled by how short this question is – it’s of vital importance!)
Here is a sample topic proposal; the topic is different than the project you are working on, but you can see how the parts come together:
Tentative Title: The Dark Tresses: The Use of Hair in Hideo Nakata’s Ringu
At this stage, I’m interested in pursuing this thesis statement: As a powerfully-coded symbol of a woman’s sexual identity, the use of hair in Hideo Nakata’s Ringu suggests the raw power of Sadako’s malevolence.
I plan on supporting this thesis by initally summarizing the major scenes in which we see Sadako or her mother’s hair: we see (presumably) Sadako’s mother brushing her hair in front of a mirror; we see Sadako’s corpse and its mass of hair in the well, and we also witness the long mass of hair covering her face when she kills Ryuji. After this summary, I will assess the archetype of hair as it exists in Japanese and possibly in Western culture. I’m interested in the way how hair says so much about femininity and gender these days; even in modern culture, I’m intrigued as to why power is such a powerful indicator of sexuality and status. We use phrases like “bad hair day,” but it’s also a clever disguise for how we feel about the quality of our hair messing up our general appearance. There’s a lot I can say about hair and how important it is in society today, but I want to connect it back to the movie.
The resources I plan on using are as follows: information about the film from the official Ring website, discussion on the Ring chat forum (I saw an entry about hair), and the DVD itself (my main resource).
I’m intrigued by the Ring, and primarily horrified by the scene in which Ryuji and the main character are sploshing about (well, at least the woman is sploshing about)…there seems to be a connection as to why the woman had to go into the well so as to discover Sadako’s body—perhaps it was a connection or an identification of genders/sisters/mothers and daughters…whatever it was, the scene in which the main character begins to pull up clumps of Sadako’s wet, nasty hair, attached to her skull—that was scary and strange, but utterly fascinating.
Five scholarly sources are required for this project. While three of your sources can be newspaper articles, at least two of the sources must come from peer-reviewed journals.
All sources must be from 2015 or later; you may not use sources for this project that are older than that unless there is a compelling reason. If you think there is a source worth using for this particular project older than that, email me a persuasive case with a link to the source. You must also attach pdf copies of all of your articles.
Annotations on the bibliography must include
1. a summary of the source in your own words
2. an evaluation of why the source is credible, which can acknowledge its strengths and weaknesses
3. a brief overview of how you will use the source in your essay
Note that all works cited entries must be in MLA or APA format and the reference list must be alphabetized.
Using the outline template posted below, complete an outline for your literature review. Your outline needs to be written in complete sentences so that I can get an idea of what you are working on and provide helpful feedback for your upcoming drafts. *Documents must be submitted as Word (doc) or pdf files*
Paragraph 1: Introduction:
- An introductory paragraph that explains what your working topic and thesis is (use one of the templates posted in the brainstorming discussion instructions to formulate your thesis)
- A forecast of key topics or texts that will appear in the review
Paragraph 2: Summarize and synthesize: Give an overview of the main points of each source and combine them into a coherent whole. When we talk about a “coherent whole,” we are looking for the main points of agreement and disagreement among your research. After you have read all of this work, what are the main ideas that are coming together related to your thesis? Working with They Say I Say, templates from Ch 1, 2, and 3 will be helpful here. Ch. 8 will also be helpful.
Paragraph 3: Analyze and interpret: Don’t just paraphrase other researchers – add your own interpretations where possible, discussing the significance of findings in relation to the literature as a whole. This is where you begin to make your own claims, using the research as evidence. You are using your voice to bring out the most important ideas. When you are working with templates from They Say I Say, this relates to Ch. 4 and 5.
Paragraph 4: Critically Evaluate: Mention the strengths and weaknesses of your sources. Ch. 9 and 10 will be useful here.
**Write in well-structured paragraphs: Use transition words and topic sentence to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts. (I’ll post more about this when we get into revision, but it doesn’t hurt to plan for transitions in your outline).
Conclusion (you. may need two paragraphs for this or you might find it fits well into one.:
Paragraph 5: Summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance. Use Ch. 7 in this paragraph.
Paragraph 6: Connect it back to your primary research question–use Ch. 8 here.
Please note that I need each one of them in a different Word document, they need to be related obviesly + Here what I did so far:
1- My career field of interest: Commercial Pilot
2- A related, pressing topic: The impact of the pilot shortage on the aviation industry and flight operations. The shortage of qualified commercial pilots has become a significant concern globally, affecting airlines, flight schools, and the overall aviation ecosystem. Understanding the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to address this shortage is crucial for the industry’s future.
3- Revised research questions for my essay:
a. Why is there a shortage of commercial pilots in the aviation industry? As some argue, is it due to factors such as the retirement of experienced pilots, increased demand for air travel, or changing regulatory requirements, or, as others contend, a result of factors like low wages, long training durations, and limited career progression opportunities?
b. What should be done to alleviate the pilot shortage? Should the focus be on improving recruitment and training programs, as urged by aviation organizations, or should there be more significant efforts to enhance pilot retention and job satisfaction, as advocated by pilot associations and airlines?