Background In higher education and in the professions, people must often propose projects before they are able to devote time and effort to working on them. However, asking and receiving permission is only one possible purpose of a project proposal. Thinking carefully, thoughtfully, and systematically about a large project before undertaking it provides us with opportunities for reflection, preliminary planning, and effective time management. The first major project of English 102–the Project Proposal–will give you the opportunity to think about and work within this important genre of writing.
In this assignment, you will create and present a proposal for a course-long persuasive research project. The Project Proposal will be–in a sense–the first step in a long research journey. The purpose of this assignment is to gather and formalize your initial ideas concerning a research project. However, the purpose is also to present your ideas and rough plan to other readers within an established genre of writing.
Skills and Outcomes
● Recognize a local problem that needs attention (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Processes)
● Recognize why this problem should be addressed now (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Processes)
● Infer who the potential audience might be (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Knowledge of Conventions)
● Differentiate the proposed audience from those potentially affected by the research/work (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Knowledge of Conventions)
● Generate a provisional plan for researching/learning more about this problem (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Knowledge of Conventions)
● Produce a finished text that meaningfully integrates at least one multimodal element (Rhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; Knowledge of Conventions)
● Produce a finished text that meets length and grammatical expectations (Processes; Knowledge of Conventions).
1. Your project must identify a problem in your local community that needs attention. While large, national, or international problems are often tempting to research at first, these topics tend to be more approachable and workable at local levels. As you think about your topic, try to focus on something tangible you can research and engage with in your community, town, or city. You will need to formulate a central research question related to the problem you identify. This question will help guide your thinking and inquiry.
2. You must describe your project’s exigency and why your project is kairotic; in other words, why should you (and potentially others) research this particular problem at this particular point in time? Is it a kairotic or opportune time to address this problem? As you think about exigency and kairos, try to think concretely about how specific circumstances relate to the specific problem you are addressing.
3. You should specify an audience for your proposal and describe why they are the appropriate audience. When trying to call people to action, we tend to address audiences who have some sort of direct agency or power to change things. So, as you think about your problem, try to pick a group or set of individuals whom you think might be able to take action as a result of your work.
4. In addition to choosing an appropriate audience, your project should also describe the people or groups who might be affected by your work (stakeholders) and how they might be affected.
5.You will need to propose how you might go about researching your problem. To do this, you will need to take stock of your resources, describe them and why they are appropriate given your problem, and talk about how you might access them. There are not necessarily right or wrong sources; instead, there are appropriate or inappropriate sources. Your task will be to describe the sorts of sources you might use in your research and why they are appropriate given your problem and your access to those sources.
6. Your project needs to include and meaningfully integrate at least one multimodal element. You could include pictures, sounds, or even hyperlinks to other resources, but you must make sure that your reader understands why you are including these elements and why including them enriches your piece of writing. Consider what media beyond text might reinforce your main idea to readers, convey in another way the significance of your project proposal, and/or appeal to your readers from a different register.
7. Your project should be 800 words in length and be consistently grammatical to an extent that syntax does not obscure semantics (a reader who is proficient in English can read your paper without confusion due to grammatical issues).