Research Paper Proposal – preparing your term paper

Your objective is to write a proposal outlining the topic and rough content of your research.  Your paper is due on November 22, 2013. Not only should you clearly state the subject of your research, it is important for you to think about and sketch out the scope of your research.  Remember, you will only have 5 double spaced pages for the paper, which means you must appropriately narrow down your topic to a scope that allows you to support your thesis with proper detail and clarity within the page limit.  For this exercise, you will:

1) State the topic of your research in the form of a research question or thesis.
2) In a short paragraph, consider what sources you will use to support your topic.  If you already know of essays, articles, documentary films, etc., that you will use, state them.
3) Make a short outline of your paper, breaking down each section and its contents.

In-tutorial exercise [you could also do this with a friend outside of class]:

You will spend about 15 minutes writing your proposal.  Then, partner up with the person next to you and exchange proposals and feedback.  This peer review process should take 10-15 minutes.  We will then spend the remainder of the class time discussing your questions about potential topics, covering a research topic thoroughly in 5 pages, writing styles, or general thoughts about crafting a successful research paper.

Anthropology is a writing-intensive field and you will be marked not only on the content of your paper but also on how well you can present that information in writing.  If you feel you need help with essay or paper writing, I highly encourage you to make an appointment or drop in on a tutorial at the UBC Writing Center (more info here).


Please also check the post Term Research Paper that includes the overall ‘terms of engagement’ for the paper.

[Revised from handout prepared by Huma Mohibullah (2012)]