From TAMUCC Wiki

ErinCofer: ResearchProjectOutline


Due Thursday, February 28th as an electronic copy, submitted to TurnItIn? (on Blackboard) before 9:30 a.m. and as a hard copy to your Seminar professor at the beginning of your Seminar class

summary for the article/book/etc justifying why you will be using it.

Your proposal should be written in outline form using bullet points (there is an example below).

Your outline must contain the following bold headings:

Title: Give your project a tentative title, it can change later if you wish. It should be descriptive of what your project is about.

Topic areas: Where does your project fit into the field of American politics? For instance, a study examining trade deals might be “economics, tax reform, job creation, foreign relations.” You need at least three topics here.

Research Question: What do the Democrats, Republicans, and Trump Administration think about (insert your specific subject here)?

Importance: Simply put, why should we care about your project? To continue with the example from above you might note that the economy impacts us all and if taxes are lowered it might mean some government service will need to be cut. This should be a short (four to five sentences) paragraph.

Rough Outline: Give me some sense for how you’ll organize your paper. This isn’t set in stone; but I would like to see some evidence that you have thought about how to organize your paper I expect the paper to have at least two major sections (think of the classic five paragraph essay, but substitute the word “section” for “paragraph”) and each section can have multiple paragraphs as need be.

Ultimately, the final paper (not the proposal) will be in the 4-6 page range. The more detail you can give me here the better as it will allow me to give you better feedback. Please point out things which are unclear to you in the outline, that way I know where I should provide the most guidance and where you feel you need the most help.

For instance, I’d like to see something that looks like this:

– Trump’s plan to withdraw from NAFTA (Trump 2017; NY Times: Trump Mulls Pulling Out of NAFTA March 8, 2017).

∗ Details of the proposal (Smith, Wall Street Journal, 2017 )

∗ The Democratic Senate leadership’s response (Jones, Chicago Tribune, 2017 )

∗ Major auto-makers opposed to plan (Doe, CNN, 2017 And then use sub-bullet points to fill in the details between the lines.

Expected Findings: What do you expect to find? Why? This should be about a paragraph or two.

Sources: Tell me what you’ll be using to research this topic. For each source provide a sentence or two as to why you are using that source. For example, you might say:

– Nicholson, Chris and Paul Collins. 2008. “The Solicitor General’s Amicus Curiae Strategies in the Supreme Court.” American Politics Research. 36: 382-415. — This article examines the success of government lawyers. We hope it might show us why some attorneys are more successful than others.

Please include at least three sources other than materials on the syllabus. Refer to your notes from the library tutorial. But also, feel free to ask the reference librarians at Bell Library for help.

Please remember: You need to use reputable national newspapers.

These include: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Salt Lake Tribuen, Boston Globe.

These do not include The Huffington Post, Breitbart, Infowars, Occupy Democrats, the Caller-Times, or local media sources (those are often compiled from national sources anyways).

Please note anything from the opinion section does not count (e.g. the NY Times Opinion page is not an acceptable source).

Television based outlets, such as CNN or Fox, do not count either.

If you have any questions about whether a source is okay, please just ask.

There is a particular format we are looking for in this proposal: Namely, all papers must:

• Have page numbers.

• Your name.

• Turned in to before class (9:30 a.m.) and a hard copy handed to your Seminar professor by the beginning of Seminar

Retrieved from
Page last modified on February 12, 2019, at 12:42 PM CST