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How to write a good proposal for a research paper

The proposal for your research paper is a new requirement. For many students the proposal process was an informal one. For example: you would simply email your teacher the topic of your choosing and they would approve or not. Today it is a much more formal process by which you must write a draft proposal and submit it to the appropriate parties.

The proposal for your research paper is merely a few pages in length wherein you provide your professor or TA or advisor with your thesis and topic as well as a brief outline of what you will do in your paper and a short review of some existing literature. The literature is presented in the form of an annotated bibliography much the same as those required in high school. The purpose of this is to show that there is enough existing and high quality information out there for you to properly research and write your paper. While you do not need to present all of the literature you are going to use nor are you confined to using only the sources you have already presented in the proposal they should nonetheless act as a starting ground.

If you are struggling to figure out a topic or thesis for your proposal have no fear. Review the list below for some topic ideas and see if anything stands out to you:

  • You can write about the Roswell UFO incident and what may have actually happened in 1947
  • You can write about the different Olympic events which were practiced in ancient Greece
  • You can write about the theories to explain how dinosaurs disappeared
  • You can write about how the skateboard was invented and how over the last few years it has changed
  • You can write about the manner in which the long bow contributed to the English military’s ability to dominate
  • You can write about the causes of the 2008 stock market crash
  • You can write about the manner in which Cleopatra came into power and what all she did while she was in power
  • You can write about how airport security has changed since 2001
  • You can write about the origins of hip hop music and who are considered to be the founders
  • You can write about what aspects of a platypus makes it a mammal

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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Research paper writing advice