Important Submission Notes: Since this is one of eight major assignments in this course, all students will submit it at least once.


The proposal is where you will form a plan for writing the Researched Argument and begin to treat yourself as more of an active participant in the conversation. Your goal is to persuade your audience (for the Proposal, your instructor) that your topic and claim for the Researched Argument Essay is debatable, significant, and well constructed; essentially, you will “propose” how you intend to complete the project.


Your proposal should explain an active stance that you will take for the Researched Argument. Contemplate who you want to talk to, how you will talk to them, and what you will say.

Although this assignment should not be a question-and-answer paper, brainstorming answers to these questions should help to build your Proposal:

  1. Why are you writing about this subject? What’s your ethos? What’s your pathos?
  2. Why do people need to know about your topic? What do they need to know?
  3. What’s your research question?
  4. What’s your thesis?
  5. Who, specifically, is your audience? What is their demographic? How are you going to talk to them? What information do they need and why?
  6. What research do you have? How much or how little are you going to use that/those source(s)?
  7. What research do you need to do?
  8. What points do you need to make to support your thesis?
  9. In what order do your points need to occur that will make the most sense and support your argument the best?
  10. How can you make your audience want to know about your topic?


  • Two or more pages
  • Must address the majority of the 10 instruction questions
  • Must summarize at least three sources and discuss your plan for using them in the Researched Argument Essay (although, it shouldn’t quote them)
  • Works cited page (not included in the original page count)
  • MLA formatting

Grading Questions:

  • Do you propose your plan for writing the Researched Argument? (After all, that is the main point of this paper.)
  • Hint: This is your plan, so, unlike other essays, you should likely use “I” or “my.”
  • Essentially, your primary audience for the Proposal is me (your instructor). Does it seem that way with the tone of your paper?
  • Does the paper discuss who your primary audience will be for the Researched Argument? (Hint: This should be a larger group of readers.)
  • Do you summarize and discuss at least three research sources and explain how they will be used in the RA? (Hint: This doesn’t include quoting them.)
  • Do you avoid binary thinking as much as possible? In what sections are you thinking in more black/white terms? How might you complicate matters and provide more depth in these sections?
  • Do you identify and discuss how you will argue for some type of social change in the Research Argument? Do you identify what your call for action is? If not, how might you?