Research Proposal Topic

Week 9/Activity 1: Research Proposal Topic/Prewriting

In the Week 9/Activity 1 Discussion Forum, post, both in the text box and a correctly formatted Word document, a 300 word (minimum) paragraph(s) answering the following questions:

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  • What is the profession you have chosen?
  • What are different skills necessary to be successful in the profession you have chosen?
  • Why are those skills important?
  • How do you think you gain those skills?
  • What type of information do you want to try to find through your research?
  •  What is one thing that you don’t know that you want to be able to learn by researching?

The goal is for you to think about these questions and begin focusing on your topic of interest. This activity will serve as focused prewriting for your essay.

Becoming Informed: Research, Summarization, and Synthesis

Many educators, as well as business men, are stressing the importance of a highly educated work force for the continued success of this country. Many people argue that college educated individuals have a higher quality of life than individuals without a college education. Being “educated” can have many meanings. It means having a degree but it also means being able to make informed decisions which are going to benefit you and benefit society. In this unit, we will turn to skills which you need to use in order to construct an informed argument. Let’s say that someone asked me to give them some information about the profession which you are interested in. I could begin by asking myself questions and thinking about what I already know about the topic. What causes people in this profession to be successful? Is it something that secondary schools teach? Is it the parents? Is it something that the colleges can do? Is it the classes that students take? Is it the skills that students develop while in college? Do successful students gain those skill in the workplace itself?

An important aspect of having an informed opinion is knowing how my opinion fits in with the opinion of others in the field. What do experts have to say? Usually in any topic of conversation, we will find experts with different opinions. To become informed, we must know what those opinions are, how they differ, what strengths and weaknesses arguments have, and finally we get to examine how our viewpoint fits within the conversation. We can provide our own ideas, but usually our argument will have more power if we support our opinions with the opinions of others. Before we can do that, we have to understand what others are arguing.

In this unit you will research information about your chosen profession and relate that information to the reader. Here is the essay prompt:

You have just met someone who is very interested in the career you have chosen and that person has asked you to explain what three experts in the field claim are skills which are crucial in order to be successful in that profession/job so that he or she can start preparing for a career in this field as well. Write a researched essay that presents and explains the three skills it takes to be successful in your chosen profession.

So in the coming weeks, you will be:

  • choosing a topic
  • doing specific research about the topic
  • research to learn about important skills
  • you will report your findings in an essay.


Unit Goals

In this unit you will write an essay in which you include information from research sources. The essay will show understanding of incorporating source material and MLA documentation.

By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • focus a research topic
  • research using online databases
  • use MLA format to document sources
  • learn to summarize, paraphrase and use quotations and to integrate that material into your own writing.
  • incorporate source material into your own writing and document sources in MLA format
  • write an essay that includes material from outside sources



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