Essay

Your topic proposal should include the following items and address the following:

Describe the topic you wish to pursue. 

  • It may be somewhat broad at this point and it may imply a problem. Use the Additional Resources in your course materials to help you search for ideas.

Identify your purpose: Why are you interested in this topic? (Narrow your topic.)

  • Specifically explain what it is that fascinates you or draws you to this topic.
  • Clearly describe the topic’s relevance in the field today.
  • Identify a purpose for a paper on this topic:
    • What might you accomplish in exploring this problem?
    • What is your intended goal?
      • To evoke change
      • To make new connections (new cause and effect)
      • To introduce a new theory, solution, or idea
    • Is this goal realistic?

Identify a problem within the topic and draft a problem statement. (It will likely evolve and be revised as you progress through your research.)

  • Identify a problem related to your topic and state it.
  • The problem statement should be specific and indicate the focus of your final paper.
    • Not too narrow, not too broad
    • Intellectually challenging (a simple solution is not apparent)
  • Who would benefit from a solution to this problem (who is the target population)?

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