ENG101 Research Paper Proposal Assignment

By Editorial Team Jul 03, 2022

ENG101 Research Paper Proposal Assignment

In one or two well-developed paragraph/s explain your topic and purpose for the research paper. Include mention of what specific points or topics you envision including in your research paper, what kind of research you think you will need to find and your tentative thesis statement. Provide your one-sentence thesis statement (IN BOLD/HIGHLIGHT).  Your main objective is to explain how you envision the paper coming together for you.

This will be half a page to a page long using our standard formatting guidelines from previous essay assignments.

**After this week, continue gathering sources for this upcoming paper, as well as put together some key points in which you would like to expand in your research paper in week 7.  Remember the six-page bare minimum.  Do work on this each week so you're not starting from scratch in week 7.**


A formal Research Paper is one of the required assignments for ENG101. This assignment won't be due until Unit 7 (that would be the end of Week 7 in an 8-week class and the end of Week 14 in a 16-week class).

Although this assignment is not due until near the end of the semester, since it is a bigger assignment that requires more work and time, the course is introducing it to you in this earlier unit. You should look ahead to Unit 7 to see the actual assignment information. This page is just to give you some background on the research paper and to explain what the course will require that paper and what the course will cover for this assignment.

Eastern Gateway Community College has required a research paper for ENG101 since this college went from being a technical college to a community college in 1995. Although some community colleges do not require a research paper at this level, the faculty at that time felt students should have the knowledge and skills to write research papers since they are required so often for future classes. Also, having a research paper as a part of this class allows the class to transfer more easily to other colleges.

In 2010, the state of Ohio, where Eastern Gateway is located, came up with standards for many courses so that the courses would easily be able to transfer between colleges in the state. One of the standards that the state decided on for ENG101 is that the course needs to include a research paper. By meeting the state standards, the ENG101 you are taking at Eastern Gateway should transfer easily to any state college in Ohio. If you plan to attend a college or university in another state, the research paper in this class will help make it easier for this class to successfully transfer.

Here are the general guidelines for this Research Paper for this ENG101 that will be due in Unit 7:

  • The research paper will need to be at least 6 pages long, not including the Works Cited page at the end. If you desire to go over the 6 pages, please ask your instructor. Instructors will vary in how much over the page limit students may go.
  • The paper will have MLA Style for documentation of sources and formatting. Later units will have instruction for MLA Style.
  • Your instructor will provide guidance on the topic of this essay. Some instructors will allow great freedom in choosing topics, while others will limit topics or have a selection of topics to choose from. This freedom on topics will vary depending upon the instructor, so please ask your instructor if he or she does not make this clear.
  • The paper will need to have a Thesis to keep the paper focused and organized. Unit 3 explains how to develop the thesis and use it for organization.
  • The paper needs to have at least 4 outside sources. At least half of the sources you use need to be non-internet. By non-internet, this means general web pages found through a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. It is acceptable to use library sources that are accessed online, such as the college's system of OhioLINK and the EGCC Gateway search that future units will explain.
  • Include a visual aid such as a picture, graphic, table, chart, etc. in the research paper and give credit to the source of this visual aid. In the six pages this assignment requires, the graphic should take up no more than one-half of one of those pages. (That really means 5.5 pages of writing with .5 of a page allowed for the visual aid).

A common experience for many students is they go through smaller essays, such as the Organization Essay and Compare/Contrast Essay without any problems. However, when it comes to the Research Paper, it seems like they hit a roadblock and many of the techniques learned in the other essays are gone.

For many students, there just seems to be something intimidating and scary with research papers, and that anxiety with them inhibits their success with writing the ENG101 Research Paper.

Here is some advice to start off with that can help: Think of the research paper as similar in process to the other smaller formal essays we are doing in the class. The main difference is instead of using your own knowledge and information to support the thesis, you would primarily be using outside sources (research) for that support. Beyond that difference, there are some other considerations as well: Research Papers are usually longer than the other essays; there needs to be crediting (citing) of the sources used, and many times there is more of a formal style expected.

Here is an example:

In Units 3 and 4, there were some examples given to show how to build the essays required for those units. With the "older dogs" thesis, for that assignment, the student could write two pages based off of his or her own knowledge of older dogs. However, that thesis could be turned into a research paper by using sources to show the loyalty, obedience, etc. of older dogs. The same thing with the sample comparison between community colleges and universities. We could do that Unit 4 assignment just based on our own knowledge about the two schools, but we could also make it a research paper by doing research and finding sources that address cost, size and teacher issues between the schools.

With that in mind, here is the process we will be taking for the Research Paper in this class: First, we will deal with finding the topic and thesis. Next, there will be time spent on finding and evaluating sources. Finally, there will be instruction on how to credit (cite) the outside information you are using and incorporating into your research paper.

The first step is finding the topic and thesis. You will want to follow your instructor's guidelines for a topic. Some instructors will give you freedom in topics, but others will limit your topic choices. Your instructor will explain his or her expectations, but if you are unsure, ask your instructor.

In this Unit, you will be deciding on your topic. You will want to limit that topic, so it is not too broad. In addition to the topic, you also need to be considering how to focus the topic by coming up with the thesis, by using our formula of Topic + A Claim About The Topic =Thesis.

This unit has an assignment to write a proposal for your research topic.

The purpose of this assignment is so the instructor can offer feedback for your topic.

In Unit 5, there will be information on finding sources for your research paper. In those units, there will not be as much information from the Lecture Notes, but there will be references made to our online text and other outside resources. It is very important to closely read those pages referred to in our text and to visit the outside resources the notes give you for help with finding information, and in Unit 6 for citing that information.

To begin that process, please read Chapter 12.1 in our online text "Creating a Rough Draft for a Research Paper." This is a good overview that covers many aspects of this type of assignment.

Here is a link to take you directly to that chapter. You Do Not need to do the exercises in the chapter; just read the information to get a better understanding of the process of this assignment:




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