Week 4: Developing a Research Proposal

Now that you have written about your own literacy development and writing practices, it’s time to begin researching how others write and think about writing. The next three major assignments (the Research Proposal, the Annotated Bibliography, and the Research Paper) are like a three-act play, and the work you complete during Week 4 will set the stage for everything you’ll do during the next eight weeks, so please think carefully about how you want to spend that time. Here’s what you need to do for each of our class sessions:

  • On Tuesday, we will talk about how to select a research topic that is appropriate for a project of this size and scope. Please bring two copies of your “Statement of Narrowed Topic,” as described on the Research Paper assignment sheet. (Don’t forget to review the list of broad research questions to get started.) In addition, please read the following articles and be ready to discuss them in class: “‘Create a Research Space’ (CARS) Model of Research Introductions,” by John Swales (WAW, pp. 6–8), and “Argument as Conversation: The Role of Inquiry in Writing a Researched Argument,” by Stuart Greene (WAW, pp. 9–21).
  • On Thursday, we will talk about the process of conducting research. Please read “Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews,” by Dana Lynn Driscoll (linked on the Readings page), before you draft your Research Proposal. You should complete your Research Proposal before you come to class on Thursday and share it with me following the instructions in the Google Docs template.

Finally, we still need to develop a list of potential questions that you can ask your professors for the “Interview a Professor” assignment. Because our class is focused on writing studies, I’d like you to ask your professors questions about their own writing and research practices. Please think of one or two potential questions that you could ask, then add them to the comments section of this post sometime this weekend. We will spend a few minutes in class on Tuesday refining this list of questions.

13 thoughts on “Week 4: Developing a Research Proposal

  1. What key concept was the most difficult for you to incorporate in your professional and class writings?

    In what ways do you/have you use your writing skills in your profession/past professions?

  2. How often do you use your writing skills when performing research?

    What specific techniques of writing do you use when researching?

  3. Have you ever had to change your research style? If so, how often does this happen?

    Does your writing accurately reflect your research method?

  4. How much of an impact does your research have on your writing and development of your writing?

    What is your favorite part of researching, and what particular methods do you use to incorporate it into your writing?

  5. I know that you have worked on writing research and writing grant proposals. Do you notice your writing style change between these two different styles of documentation? In what ways?

    Has the way you document research evolved in any way?

  6. How important do you believe writing is for finding a job in your field of study?

    How often do you use writing in your profession?

  7. Do you think that your particular writing style differs from that of a professor of another major? and why?

    What do you find best helps defeat writers block when it comes to the writings you have to do?

  8. Do you find it challenging to incorporate other fields of science into your research? What steps, if any, do you take to prepare your mind for the task of research?

  9. On average, about how many times do you revise your own writing before feeling that it is finished?

    Do you implement peer-revision/grading in your classroom and if so, do you think that it is truly effective?

  10. Do you find yourself asking others to revise your writing, even after you’ve proof-read as much as you feel is necessary?

    Do you have difficulty transitioning your research into a finalized piece of writing?

  11. What rhetorical devices do you include in your writing?
    What steps do you take before beginning a research project?

  12. What method do you find is best when trying to refine an idea for a research topics?

    when putting together your research how do you organize your ideas throughout the paper?

  13. What is your personal method of researching, and how do you think this differs from your colleagues?

    How has your writing, and writing in general changed from when you first entered your field to now? Where do you think it is headed?

    What type of writing do you think those in your particular field utilize most?