The Research Proposal*
A research proposal is a short paragraph that identifies four essential
ingredients of your work:
1. The purpose of your paper (explain, analyze, and argue)
2. The intended audience (general or specialized)
3. Your voice as the writer (informer, critic, or advocate)
4. The preliminary thesis or opening hypothesis
For example, one writer developed this research proposal:
This paper will analyze the connection between the life of Terry
McMillan and her novels. In interviews Ms. McMillan has suggested
that her story lines closely mirror her own life. The goal of the
analysis will be to determine the role this plays in the success of her
work. The audience is universal. Because the works of Terry McMillan
are somewhat autobiographical, her realistic portrayal of life’s
struggles and victories captivates her audience.
This writer has identified a relationship between the writer’s life and her
work and will go in search of evidence that will show this relationship
contributes heavily to the success of the author’s novels.
*Adapted from James Lester's Writing Research Papers A Complete Guide (13-14).
S. Webster/J. Nardone