Ms. Gokturk

Writing for the 21st Century


Guidelines for Preparing a Project Proposal

The first step of your mammoth semester-long project is to decide what it is you want to study. This will be the basis for your research and lay the groundwork for your cause.

Here are some guidelines to help you write a project proposal. In preparing your written proposal please use the headings discussed below to organize your ideas and plan your work.

The benefits of thinking through your project in this kind of detail and writing a formal proposal are immeasurable. Most important, when it comes time to write your final report you will find the proposal to be a very useful guide and you may even find yourself quoting sections of it. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE PICKED A TOPIC THAT INTERESTS YOU! You will be working with this subject the entire semester.

Your proposal should follow the following format:


Discuss the general subject that interests you, for example -- environmental clean up, immigration, racism, child abuse, etc., Then, determine a specific topic for a manageable investigation. For example, if you were to write about the specifics from the above topics, you might consider the following: cleanup of Manhassett Bay, changing immigration laws for South Americans, cops and racial profiling, or increasing children’s rights in abused scenarios. In this paragraph,

This paragraph explains an overview of your topic.

PART II: THE MOTIVATION (minimum one paragraph, but more are probably needed)

The answers to these questions should help you write a paragraph explaining why this is a project worth doing.

PART III: QUESTION(S) YOU WILL ADDRESS (OR, PRELIMINARY THESIS) (minimum one paragraph or bulleted list)

Again, the questions you will ask will depend upon the topic you chose. If you want to know how drinking laws came to be, or how many species are endangered in our oceans, you will begin with a different set of premises and ask a different set of questions.

PART IV: THE PROPOSED CAUSE (one paragraph minimum)

In this section, summarize your cause.