Project Proposal: Planning and Researching
1. Planning: Analyze the situation in which your project and its ideas will be used.
Start by asking the 5-W and How questions. For example,
- Who will be able to say “yes” to my ideas (esp., other than UST teachers and students)?
- What are the characteristics of those readers?
- Why is this research paper being written? I.e., why do you write this paper in this way?
- What information do the readers need to make a decision?
- Where would the paper’s information be used?
- When will the information be used?
- How will the project be presented (i.e., other than for the U.S.T.)?
2. Subject (topics): define exactly what your proposal is about. Where are the boundaries of the subject? What need-to-know information must the readers have if they are going to say yes to your ideas?
3. Purpose: This may change as you research and develop the project, but your hypothesis statement should be clear and concrete. You can change it later to include new research and information, but make it very simple now. State this hypothesis in one sentence. What will your proposed project achieve? Use action verbs: persuade, convince, provide, describe, argue for, advocate, present, propose, offer, suggest, recommend, support, lead to.
This hypothesis or thesis statement should identify the limited focus that you plan to address in your essay. A thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of your project paper, or in the abstract. You may need to write two or three versions of this statement before you get it just right. The following formula can help you form a thesis statement:
A specific topic + a limited focus = an effective thesis statement.
New methods of seismic instrumentation and measurement
improvements in building construction
New methods of seismic instrumentation and measurement have led to improvements in building construction.
4. Selecting main points:
After you have written your thesis statement, you need to decide what main points you want to use to support it. A line diagram can help you do this. Write your thesis statement in the top part and the main supporting points beneath it.
Here is a line diagram for an essay on Formula One racing:
5. Creating an Outline:
Once you have selected your main points, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. Two types of outline are shown in samples below, a Topic Outline and a Sentence Outline. Use a Sentence Outline (complete, correct sentences) in the Outline you submit at the end of December.
Sample Topic Outline
I. History of driver safety problems in Formula One
A. Bad accidents at start
B. Hazards due to the course
C. Hazards due to the cars
II. Modifications to cars
A. Single–shell construction and cockpit survival cell
B. Fire extinguishers
C. Escape system
III. Modifications to driver equipment
A. Helmet improvements
B. Head–and-Neck Support system
C. Fireproof clothes
IV. Modifications to racetracks
A. Track improvement
B. Medical service upgraded
I. Driver safety wasn‘t always a primary concern in Formula
A. There ls a history of bad accidents.
B. The courses have included hills and sharp turns.
C. The cars are the fastest in the world and try for best
II. Many safety modifications have been made to cars.
A. The body shell and cockpit survival cell are very strong.
B. Each car has several fire extlnguishers.
C. Drivers can quickly escape after an accident.
III. Modifications have improved driver equipment.
A. Helmets are stronger and lighter.
B. The new Head-and–Neck Support
system prevents spinal injuries.
C. All clothing is fireproof.
IV. Modifications have made the racetracks safer.
A. Improvements in track layout help prevent crashes.
B. Rescue and medical services are only seconds away.