Research Paper Proposal
Due in class, Wed. April 15
2 pages double-spaced text. 1-2 pp. Works Cited Bibliography
How to cite entries for a Works Cited:
Choose any particular question you have found interesting, and that you wish to know more about, concerning the role of memory in the work or poets and other writers of the Romantic period, and philosophers and other writers who influenced the writing and art of that period. From John Locke to Jane Austen, you may choose any of our writers represented on the syllabus, or you may choose a new work by one of those writers that letís you pursue your idea in newer territory.
The proposal itself, as a short text has to do two main things: it has to tell us clearly what do I wish to explore and why? What question am I asking? And what resources do I have now & will I need to answer the question(s) with some authority. Part of the latter is done via a bibliography (called a Works Cited if you use MLA format), but also part is done by talking about those sources in the text of the proposal. Take to 2 pages for the statement of question & interest, a page or so for the bibliography/projected works cited.
As long as the question is intellectually illuminating and interesting, and it is focused on saying something useful about memory and/or memory and art it should work.
You must be selective and not try to do too much. If the life of one of our writers or thinkers intrigues you, consider what would most useful to know about that life to better appreciate not just the author as a person, but what that author wrote. If you want to compare texts you might now consider which of the many theories of memory weíve seen is the most useful one? To whom? The smartest one? For whom? The best developed and explained one?
You can build on what you learned from the first paper but donít simply replicate it. The idea now is to synthesize more information and choose the topic independently.
Although the final paper that grows out of the proposal may seem long so some of you, consider that in a ten-page paper you can typically only make and defend one good claim well. This does not mean it is a simple idea, but that the idea is unified and coherent.