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Proposal Paper Assignment
Due: Sunday October 9 11:59 PM
Worth: 75 Points
Example: Proposal Paper Example.pdfDownload Proposal Paper Example.pdf
Communication Mass Media Complete Database: Here (log in to your Pipeline account first)Links to an external site.
APA Style Guide: READ: APA Style Guide
Writing Hypotheses Guide: Guide to Variables and Hypotheses.pdfDownload Guide to Variables and Hypotheses.pdf
Tutoring: Communication Lab and TutoringLinks to an external site.
Submit Paper Here: DO: Proposal Paper DUE
The purposes of this paper are for you to focus on a specific area of communication research, determine a research gap, and propose a research study that would fill that gap. So far, you have been sampling various areas of research through different Exercises. Now is the time to decide on a research topic. Once you write this paper, it is highly recommended that you stay with this research topic for the entire semester.
IMPORTANT: Yours MUST be a Communication topic. In other words, the topic has to be about MESSAGES.
In general, you should:
Select a topic (interpersonal, media, cultural, etc.) and at least two variables to create a communication research study.
Summarize results from previous research (journal articles) about your topic in order to develop an argument for your study.
Write a least one hypothesis to test your research study.
More specifically, your paper should have the following format and sections:
Title page
The title page should have a running head (header), the first page number, the title of your study (something descriptive), and your word count. The title page should NOT have your name (see below for more information). See the example paper and p. 76 of your textbook for examples (just DON’T put your name).
Introduction (Do NOT use a heading)
After the title page, your paper begins with an introduction. In 1-2 paragraphs you should introduce the context (interpersonal, mass media, persuasion, etc.) of your topic, and briefly justify the selection of your topic within the study of communication. Definitely cite articles in your introduction. What do we know about your topic? And what has past research missed about your topic (i.e., the “however…” statement for your gap)? Also, end the introduction with a clear purpose statement of this paper (“The purpose of this paper is . . .”) and then preview the main points of the paper.
Body (Use Research Background heading)
After the introduction, you’ll have the body of your paper. In 3-5 paragraphs you should first identify your variables and define them conceptually (cite articles); be sure to label your variables as independent and dependent. What specifically are the variables? Next, present your research argument in more detail by citing and summarizing results from articles. What has past research discovered about your topic? And what still needs to be studied about your topic (what is the gap)? IMPORTANT: End this section with at least one hypothesis using the format (required) that we learned in class. See the Writing Hypotheses Guide above.
Conclusion (Use Conclusion as a heading)
The end of your paper should have a conclusion. In 1-2 paragraphs you should summarize the paper and give a concluding statement of the gap that you suggested in the paper. Also, explain how investigating this communication topic might benefit the communication discipline. Argue why your research study is necessary. Cite articles.
The final section of your paper is your References (center this heading at the top). Here you will list all of the sources (and ONLY the sources) that you actually read and cited in your paper. You MUST follow strict APA style formatting for reference citations (and in-text citations). See the example paper and Chapter 4 of your textbook.
Minimum Requirements:
This paper should be typed, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pt font.
This is a 1000-1500 word paper (plus Title and References pages).
Include a title page (with your paper’s word count) and a References page
Cite a minimum of 3 quantitative communication journal articles as primary sources (“A” papers will cite more). You are allowed one secondary citation (citation within a citation) for this paper.
Submit your paper on Canvas as a PDF (better formatting).
Grading and Miscellaneous:
You will be evaluated on:
How closely you follow the format.
The clarity of your research topic and how well you argue for your “gap” in research.
Grammar, spelling, writing style, APA style, etc.
Give yourself enough time to edit your paper, have a session with our COMM tutor, and see me when you need help.
Write formally, not conversationally. This is a research paper, do not write like you talk.
Do NOT put your name on your title page or use your name for your file. I want to grade your paper anonymously. I will NOT know your name when I use the grading tool on Canvas. And don’t worry, Canvas knows who you are.
Good luck! My topic is going to be communication in family life and the gap in the research is that there are many different family dynamics.

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