The first step in this process is the research proposal. With this assignment, you will lay out your position, your evidence, and begin to organize your argument. A proposal accomplishes similar goals to an outline, but please be clear: this is not an outline.

Begin by doing some exploratory research into the topic. Reserve judgement until you have read some perspective from both sides of the issue and gotten an idea of what the facts and the feelings are. Then, create your thesis.

Your proposal submissions must include:

A clearly-stated argumentative thesis of your own creation. The thesis must directly engage the topic, and must state a clear position on it. Again, I strongly recommend that you write your thesis after you have done your preliminary research, so that your position derives from your findings, rather than directing your research. The thesis should be concise and clear. Aim for one or two sentences at most.

-Evidence from two sources outside of the text, with one quote from each to demonstrate how they connect to your thesis. You are free to use any of the readings we have done, but you must have two individual outside sources to receive credit.

An abstract, which is essentially a paragraph describing your basic argumentative plan (see the research discussion post for more detail on creating an abstract). This is basically just a very brief condensation of what you plan to write about in your paper.

As you work, keep in mind that the final version of this paper will be 2000 words minimum, and plan accordingly. Research thoroughly and think deeply about all of the nuances and permutations of the issue, not just about the polar extremes of opinion. Think like a researcher, and reserve judgement until the facts are in.

The topic of this paper will be the issue of gun control in America. How you approach this issue is entirely up to you, but your position needs to be clearly stated and convincingly argued, with as much evidence as possible to support your point of view.


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