State your research question. Include a paragraph explaining why you picked this topic. What interests you about it? How did you refine your original ideas to get where you are? What is your current level of knowledge on the topic? Include any background information or relevant ongoing “conversation” in your field on this subject.
2. Your proposal will be designed to convince readers of the value of your question and research. How will you tailor your argument to appeal to your audience? Your audience can be your reading/writing group (the class), or a hypothetical organization that could fund your research, or a group consisting of other students in your discipline. The goal is to convince your audience of the relevance of your research and the benefits if you answer this question or solve the problem posed in your research.
3. Discuss where you will look for evidence to answer your research question. Discuss the reliability and relevance of any sources with which you are already familiar and plan to use, including those that helped you determine that this is a current issue or problem. Briefly discuss the kinds of sources you intend to use, the types of evidence you are likely to need, and what fields or disciplines you will likely draw information from.
4. Anticipate objections, concerns, and questions your audience might have and how you would handle these objections. Booth’s Chapters 8 and 9 will be helpful as you compose this. Acknowledge the complexity of your proposed research, and re-emphasize its importance without overstatement or repetition. Indicate your awareness of feasibility issues and concerns, possible research/information limits, and aspects of the problem that you won’t cover or that may remain unresolved after your research. Remind the reader of the importance, relevance, and benefits of your project (despite the complications acknowledged). Be succinct and don’t unnecessarily repeat information already provided.