Research Paper Assignment


  • Research proposal [Week 5]
  • Model article [Week 7]
  • Annotated Bibliography [Week 8]
  • Abstract [Week 9]
  • Peer review drafts [Week 13]
  • Reverse outline [Week 15]
  • Final paper [Final Exam Week (5/3)]

Research Proposal

Your research proposal should be written in the formal query letter to the editor of the journal. You should pick a specific journal (or conference proceedings) that would be a good fit for your paper. You should describe, as best you can, the general topic of your paper, and how you would proceed to execute it. Any information you can provide here — title, argument structure, who you will be responding to, etc — will be helpful, though of course quite preliminary.

300-600 words, turned in as a hard-copy in class. You may write two, if you like.

Model Article

Choose an article (preferably from the journal used for the proposal) to use as a model for your own article. It need not be on the same topic, though it should be close enough that you can use it to help figure out how to structure your own arguments.

Turn in a hard-copy in class.

Annotated Bibliography

At least 3-5 sources (depending on length) that you play to rely on in your own paper. Each entry should begin with the citation, properly formatted in the same style as your model article (or you can just pick Chicago/Turabian). Each entry should have two paragraphs — the first is an analysis (not just a summary) of the source, the second is an explanation of how it fits into your project.


A plan for the argument of your paper, at a high level. 100-200 words, hard copy. Make sure you include a TITLE for your paper.

Peer Review Drafts


Reverse Outline

Outline of your draft. Details TBD.

Final Paper

Details TBD. Your format of your final paper should match the forum you are submitting to. Generally 5000 words for an extended conference paper, up to 9000 words for most journal articles, 10000-15000 words for a complex textually-engaged work with long quotations. Anything longer or shorter requires approval of the instructor.