Major Paper 3 Grant Money Research Proposal
For your third major paper in our class, you will be drawing from all the information you gathered in your research into your topic for Major Paper 2 and repurpose some key elements of what you learned into the style of a “research proposal.”
You have no doubt come to realize that some of the important pieces of information you need to know about your topic just don’t seem to be available in public sources. As part of this assignment you will design research tools to help you collect that information you still need.
In many professional fields people who want time and/or money to conduct research on a subject of interest write proposals to their boss or an organization that is offering grant money in hopes that they will be given the opportunity to perform their study. Your third major writing assignment this quarter will take the form of such a research proposal.
For this scenario, there is an (imaginary) committee in charge of giving out research grant funds, and you are going to apply for them. The grant committee is expecting a number of applications, but only has enough money this quarter to fully fund one proposal, so you obviously want your grant proposal to be the best one they see.
The grant committee will be evaluating the submitted research proposals based on how well applicants (that’s you…) present their knowledge of the issue being studied and the information that is currently available in the field; why their ideas for conducting new research on the topic are necessary; and how having this new information would help them develop potential solutions to the problems related to this issue.
With that in mind, the committee has created a grant proposal format that they want everyone to follow very carefully (and that grant proposal will be what you turn in for Major Paper 3).
Below is a description of exactly what they want from you. You will need to organize your research proposal carefully to ensure it provides the committee with the four specific sections they are requesting.
Part I: Introduction This first section will only be one to two paragraphs in length. In it you will simply present a short introduction of your topic. You will describe the issue, explain why it is important, and mention what the primary points of disagreement currently are.
Part II: Literature Review — The grant committee wants you to show them four of the most useful sources you’ve already found and explain the information they do, and don’t provide. So in this section you will provide an annotated bibliography of four published sources (cited in APA format) you found for Major Paper 2. (If you located a great source after you submitted Major Paper 2 that you’d like to include here, you certainly could.)
In your annotated bibliography you will offer a brief evaluation of each source and explain the information it offered. Then you will describe the limits and/or weaknesses of this source. (By “limits and/or weaknesses” I mean a description of information you need that the source just doesn’t provide.)
These annotations need to be specific, yet concise—just three to four sentences for each source. In this section, you need to convince readers you have really done your research on this topic, and that the information you are saying you need has not already been published by someone else.
(Note: At the end of this document I have written up a very simple formula for writing a great annotation. I’ve also provided an example of an annotation for you to look at, so be sure to refer to it when you create your annotations.)
Part III: Research Plans —In this section you will explain the specific issues relating to your topic that you believe have not yet been adequately researched and provide your specific plans for obtaining that information.
The grant committee is asking you to describe two things: an immediate research project that you can complete in no more than a few weeks, and a long-term research project that would require months, or even years, to accomplish, but if you were able to carry it out would result in a lot of extremely valuable new knowledge.
So where the immediate research project needs to be realistic and doable (it will probably be either a survey or interviews), your long-term research project should be very ambitious and exciting, as if you had unlimited time and money to work on it.
In this part of your paper you will explain exactly what work would be performed in both your immediate and long-term research projects. So for instance, if you want to design a survey, you will list the exact questions you plan to ask, the types and number of people you want to take your survey, how you will administer it, etc.
Since both the immediate and long-term research projects need to be explained very thoroughly, it will be the largest section of your paper; however, it cannot exceed three pages.
(Note: You obviously won’t have the unlimited time and money necessary to actually perform the long-term research project you’re describing in this section, so you won’t be expected to ever do that work. However, you will be expected to carry out the immediate research project you propose by the end of the quarter so you can use the information you collect to help you write your last major paper—the Policy Brief.)
Part IV: Conclusion —You will end your research grant proposal by writing one to two paragraphs where you explain what having the information you hope to obtain from each research project will contribute to your understanding of this issue and how having that information will help you identify possible solutions to the problems surrounding the topic.
This is the place you really get to “sell” your plan to the committee who have the power to say “yes” or “no” to your proposal, so make it very clear why they should support your idea instead of all the other people who are applying for this same (imaginary) research grant.
The four separate parts listed above will be collected together into one document, and that will be what you turn in for Major Paper 3.
One final point of clarification: You are not expected to present the results of any of the surveys or interviews you propose in the final draft of this paper . You are only explaining the research you want to conduct here. You do not need to carry out the surveys or interviews before you turn in the final draft of Major Paper 3. (But just so you know, you will conduct those surveys or interviews before you finish Major Paper 4…)
Annotated Bibliography Tips
An annotated bibliography describes the subject and scope of sources related to a topic, and can include any book, journal article, newspaper article, personal interview, web site, or any other kind of source you consulted.
It differs from a works cited page in that an annotated bibliography provides a short evaluation of only a select number of resources you want to highlight, whereas a works cited page simply lists all the sources you made use of during your research.
For “Part II” of Major Paper 3, you will need to include four annotated sources. Here’s a simple formula you can follow to write an effective annotation.
For each annotation include the following information:
Here’s an example of a great annotation you can use as a guide:
Dillinger, E. (2016). Globalization and the independent American retailer. Journal of Applied Economics, 43, 127-144. Retrieved April 11, 2020, from Academic Search Complete database.
Elizabeth Dillinger contends that major “big box” retailers, including Wal-Mart, have sped up the transition of America as a nation of workers primarily employed in the manufacturing industry to one where most now work in the service industry. She presents many specific case studies of manufacturing plants that no longer operate in the U.S. and comparisons of national employment figures over a 50 year time frame to illustrate her point. However, Dillinger’s research does not include any data since 2010 and makes no mention of Colorado in particular, which is the location my research is focused on.