Research Paper Prospectus: You are required to create a research paper prospectus on a topic of your choosing. This is a semester-long assignment and the earlier you start the better your paper will be. Many of the smaller writing assignments, including your bibliographies, thesis exercises, outlines, and draft paragraphs, will be designed to help you complete this assignment. Those assignments and their due dates are available on your course canvas site.
Guidelines for the Assignment
For secondary sources include:
1) Full citation
2) One sentence explaining of the main argument of the book/article
3) 1-2 sentences explaining how you expect to use the reading (relevant topics, themes, ides).
Guidelines for primary sources include:
1) Full citation
2) 2-3 sentences about why you think the source will be useful
Topic: Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic mission to Paris during the American Revolution.
Adams, John. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, volumes 1–4, L. H. Butterfield, Editor. Cambridge, Mass, 1961.
The differences between Franklin and Adams will be helpful to contrast. I also think Adams will offer another not so perfect perspective of Franklin while in France. His papers include letters, diary, and writings.
Franklin, Benjamin. 1984. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Buccaneer Books.
Franklin’s autobiography will help me to see how Franklin perceived himself and his life in politics. This will also be informative to the formation of his early life and its effect on his later life in France.
The purpose of a research prospectus is to describe and plan a paper you will later be writing.
A good prospectus should:
Think of your prospectus as a work-in-progress.
1.As you gather secondary literature on your topic, either thinking broadly or narrowly, you should focus on how your study fits into the historiographical literature.
2.As you begin to analyze the primary sources you are able to retrieve, you may discover that you need additional sources, which you should add to the your annotated bibliography entries.
3. And, as you look over the evidence in both your primary and secondary sources, you may discover that your thesis ideas/points may have changed, and that you need to revise, or rethink altogether, your thesis question.