Research Proposal

Undertaking an independent research project is mostly a matter of managing your time and energy. The proposal process is designed to get you thinking about what you need to do and when you need to do it in order to write your first transcript on November 1 and your first analytical paragraph(s) on November 8.

The proposal should be submitted in hard copy with each of the above items as a new line or paragraph with one line space added in between – if you are using paragraph styles, and you should, you can simply add 12 points after each paragraph; if you are using your computer as a typewriter, just add a return. (You do not need to repeat the name of each of the entities: just give the information.)


Title of project: this is simply a placeholder, but it should reflect your thinking at the moment. It could be simple: “How Young Men in Eunice Talk about Farming When They Are Not on the Farm.” Very prosaic, but it still gives your reader a reasonably focused thumbnail sketch.

Abstract: This should not be like the formal abstracts we have encountered at the beginning of some of the essays we have read. This is more a place to sketch out what you are interested in documenting/studying and why it might be interesting from the point of view of folk narrative studies. This should be no less than 100 words.

Action: The next thing you need to do is draft a plan which states clearly who you are going to document, when you are going to do it, and what equipment you need to do it. There is no word count for this, but if your reader does not have a clear idea of what you are going to do and when and how, then you have not done your job.