College Research Paper Proposals

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If you would like to add a quotation to your proposal, you are not required to provide a citation or footnote of the source, although it is generally preferred to mention the author’s name.

Always put quotes in quotation marks and take care to limit yourself to at most one or two quotations in the entire proposal text.

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Papers with respondents are structured around a speaker who gives an approximately thirty-minute paper and a respondent who contributes his own thoughts, objections, and further questions in the following fifteen minutes.

Finally, the speaker gets that same amount of time to formulate his reply to the respondent.Accordingly, you will receive some rejections to your submissions in the course of your career, which, in contrast to book proposals or fellowship applications, do not come with an explanation for the rejection.There are common pitfalls that you might need to improve on for future proposals.Furthermore, you should always proofread your proposal carefully and check whether you have integrated details, such as author’s name, the correct number of words, year of publication, etc. If you are comparing and contrasting two different authors or subjects, you should clearly outline the process at which you arrive at your conclusion, even in a short proposal.The reader needs to realize the importance and legitimacy of comparing these two themes and get a sense of cohesion.As Kate Turabian states, “whether your role at a conference is to talk or only listen depends not just on the quality of your research, but on the significance of your question” (Turabian, Kate L. Along those lines, you might want to check whether you are basing your research on specific prior research and terminology that requires further explanation.As a rule, always phrase your proposal clearly and specifically, avoid over-the-top phrasing and jargon, but do not negate your own personal writing style in the process.Structure and components A conference proposal will typically consist of an introduction to your topic, which should not amount to more than one-third of the length of your submission, followed by your thesis statement and a delineation of your approach to the problem. Important considerations for the writing process First and foremost, you need to consider your future audience carefully in order to determine both how specific your topic can be and how much background information you need to provide in your proposal.You should then explain why your thesis is original and innovative as well as important and interesting to scholars who might be outside your specific area of research. Larger conferences, such as regional MLA meetings or the ALA (American Literature Association) will require you to direct your remarks to an audience that might not conduct research on the same time period or literary field at all.The proposal does not reflect your enthusiasm and persuasiveness, which usually goes hand in hand with hastily written, simply worded proposals.Generally, the better your research has been, the more familiar you are with the subject and the more smoothly your proposal will come together.

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