When writing a research or paper proposal, the most important thing is to start, even if it seems daunting. Having a basic, rough draft gives you a start towards refining your proposal and honing in on a specific set of questions you want to explore. The basic components of a proposal include:
I. Topic of interest
II. Background on topic
III. Reason for chosen topic, or key question
IV. Relationship to field of anthropology
*Some helpful sentence stems to complete when starting your proposal include:
For more elaborate discussions on research proposals refer to:
Northwestern Office of Undergraduate Research: Proposal Writing
University of California, Berkeley Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship: Writing Research Proposals
* taken from "Twenty Tips for Senior Thesis Writers (and other writers, too)," prepared by Sheila M. Reindl c/o Bureau of Study Counsel
A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using, and usually just include the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).
An annotation is a summary and/or analysis. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or analysis of each of the sources, along with an evaluation of how you will use this source for your project. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:
Your annotated bibliography should serve as a type of outline of sources. For this reason, summaries of sources should not be too long; just enough to help you remember the text. The key component of an annotated bibliography is the analysis, meaning how you will use each of your selected sources for your project. You can also consider engaging in synthesis work throughout the annotated bibliography, which is a compilation of several texts that treat the same subject, explore a particular theme, or argue a certain perspective.
Purdue Writing Lab. “Annotated Bibliographies // Purdue Writing Lab.” Purdue Writing Lab. owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/index.html.
What is an abstract?
An abstract summarizes the entire paper in an organized, sequential fashion. It includes:
1) The overall purpose of the paper and the questions it addresses
2) A description of the approach/theoretical engagement
3) A brief summary of your conclusions (or anticipated conclusions).
Why an abstract?
In the world of academic journals, the abstract allows you to elaborate upon your research and helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper. For this class, the abstract will allow your professors to see what further direction you might need before you commit to writing the full-length final paper.