There are three parts to the research proposal that you are going to submit here in the online classroom: a topic proposal (two pages in length), a traditional outline of your topic (one page), and an annotated list of three potential resources (one page) that you might use in your larger research argument.

Please upload a single, four-page document here in the online classroom before the submission deadline noted in the course calendar.

Format Requirements

  • Use Times New Roman, 12-pt font for all of your work
  • Use double spacing for the topic proposal and the annotated citations and single spacing for the outline.
  • Include a running header (right justified) on each page with your last name and the page number.
  • The document should include the following information in the upper left corner of the first page of the document:
    1. Student Name
    2. Professor Name
    3. Course Number
    4. Assignment due date

Topic Proposal

The first two pages of this document should include your research proposal. Your work should address each of the following six areas listed below, and you need to include a word count inside a parenthesis at the conclusion of each section. Please follow the word-count guidelines listed for each section as follows:

  • Summary (100–150 words)
  • Purpose (50–100 words)
  • Audience (50–100 words)
  • Opening Statement, Thesis, or Hypothesis (50–100 words)
  • Method, Materials, and Data (50–100 words)
  • Expected Outcomes (50–100 words)


The third page of your proposal should include a traditional outline (Roman numerals, capital letters, numbers, and lower-case letters) that plots the course for your research paper. It is okay if this plan changes in the course of your writing process, but for now you are just illustrating forethought in planning your work.

Annotated Citations

The fourth and final pages of your proposal should include the alphabetized citations for three resources that you might use to support your research argument. Each citation should include as much publication information from the core elements of the MLA documentation style as you can identify as well as a written annotation of 2-3 sentences outlining the features of this particular resource.

Please note that annotations are not required in the final draft of your research paper, which has a requirement of ten resources. This exercise is meant only to orient you to a common research practice that you are likely to encounter in future college classes. You can remove the annotations and paste the citations into your Works Cited page when you have finished the final draft or your research argument.

Here is a sample for what your final page should resemble:

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