ENG 1023, Texas Woman's University (Fall 2012)
Step 1: Consider the rhetorical context (author, purpose, audience, form/tactics, context). Then choose a topic.
To begin a research project, you obviously need a topic. In choosing a topic, it would help to think about both your interests, and those of your (eventual) readers (he folks who might visit our website) and their interests. The purpose of the website we will build with your final projects (pf 3, which you’ll write using your research from pf 2, remember?) is to teach others about people OR events significant (for good or ill) in women’s history (here or abroad). So, choose someone, or something you want to think others ought to know more about.
There are lots of ways to get at topics that both work for our publication and our intended audience that ALSO are interesting and meaningful to you. One way in is to think about groups, communities, issues, or activities that you engage in (or want to). For example: what’s your major? What kind of hobbies do you engage in? I love baseball, so I might begin by exploring women in baseball, and then see, from there, who or what catches my eye. Or (because I’m Scots-Irish and so find her fascinating, and because of the discussions over how women should/shouldn’t be soldiers even today), I might write about Boudicca, a Celtic warrior/queen. Being interested in social justice and equality, I might research the ERA, or the Payroll Equality Act. Having grown up in Texas, I might research Ann Richards, whom I admired, and contrast her to “feminine ideals” as well as some of the women in politics today. I’d have to decide which of these possible topics I REALLY think others should read about, and why. And then I’d write a proposal. So will you.
Step 2: Write (and post) a research proposal
The research proposal is NOT part of portfolio 2—it’s just something to have to do to get on with the rest of this assignment. Your research proposal will be graded as complete and thoughtful (full credit), incomplete/undeveloped (half credit), or not done (no credit), and will count as part of your participation grade. (We will do more “informal but important” writing like this as you work on this project. Take these seemingly-low-risk assignments seriously. They must be done, and done well, in order to succeed on portfolios 2 and 3.)
Your research proposal must be posted to the blog by midnight on Tuesday, October 9th.
The proposal should be at least 500 words in length, and should: