Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography



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Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

Instructor: Jennifer Cover


This assignment is designed for you to outline your research project for the semester and to have it approved by me. We will work together to settle on a topic that will be viable for your semester-long research and that will be of interest to you. This document will explain your topic as well as the research you plan to do and outline a tentative timeline for your research.


Research proposals are often written to receive funding and approval for projects. They are often geared toward a group that is not familiar with your topic and that will need to choose which project is most worthy of support. In this case, your audience is me, and I’ll be supporting everyone’s projects. But you still need to convince me that you have a solid plan and introduce me to your topic.

Purpose and Goals

The purpose of this proposal is to

  • Choose and narrow a research topic
  • Convince an audience that this research topic is valuable
  • Demonstrate your preliminary research
  • Write in the genre of the proposal
  • Write in the genre of an annotated bibliography
  • Create a plan for completing your project
  • Gain approval for, and feedback on, your project


Research proposals often follow a fairly set format. Your proposal for this project should include the following sections:

  • Introduction: Give your audience a quick look at your topic and why it is important (not important just to you, but to academics and the public).
  • Research Question/Project Goals: Write your own goals for what you would like to learn through this research. What is the central question you want to answer through conducting research on this topic. Will library research or field research be more central to answering your question?
  • Methods: How will you collect the research needed for this project? For library research, which databases and journals have proved most useful? For field research, detail the type of research you will be using and how you will conduct it.
  • Schedule: Detail your own schedule for your research.
  • Annotated Bibliography: Include a brief annotated bibliography with the sources you have found so far. Be sure to mention how each of these sources might be of use in your project

Evaluation (10% of your total grade)

  • Rhetorical Awareness: Does your proposal tell your audience what they need to know about your research? Do you convince your audience of the value of your research?
  • Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking: Your proposal should demonstrate your initial research on this topic. It should outline a logical plan for your research to continue.
  • Process: You should attend your scheduled conference time with a rough draft of your proposal. After receiving feedback, revise accordingly.
  • Knowledge of Conventions: Your proposal and annotated bibliography should follow the standard conventions of these genres. Your sources should be cited in the style that is most appropriate for your topic.