Final Project Proposal (Due to blog as post #7 by Sunday–no comments necessary, as we will be sharing our research proposals in an informal presentation the following class. Remember that the SRC proposals are due March 20!)

A graduate research proposal should be 500 words long. It needs to provide an impression of the strength and originality of your proposed project and its potential to make a contribution to knowledge. It should be written in clear, jargon-free, and unexceptionable prose. Grammatical mistakes and typographical errors give a very bad impression. You should make sure you cover the following areas (without explicitly dividing the proposal into headings):

The topic

Briefly outline the area and topic of your project.

The context

Relate your proposed project to other work in its field or related fields, and indicate in what ways your research will differ; you might mention books or articles on the subject, as well as important theoretical models or methodological exemplars: this is a chance to show your understanding of the background against which your research will be defined. You should reference some of these sources in your discussion.

The contribution you will make

This is your chance to show how you have arrived at your position and recognised the need for your research, and what it is that makes it both new and important; you should indicate what areas and debates it will have an impact on, what methodological example it sets (if appropriate) – in short how it contributes to knowledge and to the practice of your subject. Give examples of the sort of evidence you might consider, and of the questions it might help you to raise. Show that you are already thinking about the area in detail and not only in outline.

Your methods

What is striking about your methodology? Explain this. For digital projects this is particularly important, and it might be combined with some of the other areas of the proposal.

The sources and resources you will use

Explain the sources you have looked at and plan to consult, and why. If you are working with a corpus, explain what it contains and how it has been constructed. You should reference some of these sources in your discussion.

How the project will develop

You might indicate some of the possible ways in which the project could develop, perhaps by giving a broader or narrower version depending on what materials and issues you uncover.

Additional to 500 words: Bibliography

Include MLA-formatted bibliographic entries for each of the sources you have consulted and plan to consult. Include at least 5 here. Include links where possible, here and throughout your proposal.