The Research Paper Proposal is a crucial part of the course as it sets up your final paper. It really is the first step towards developing a strong thesis for your paper. This assignment will get you to focus on the sources you will need to substantiate the argument you make in your paper. It will help you begin to conduct your own examination of one specific aspect of hockey and hockey culture in Canada and how that aspect has reflected broader trends in the Canadian society.
Ultimately, youâ€™re going to make an argument in your paper and youâ€™re going to need to support it with sound evidence. To do so, you will need at least a couple of primary sources (remember to check out the links provided below to make sure you know the difference between primary and secondary sources). You will also need a few sound, peer-reviewed academic secondary sources (e.g., journals, articles, book chapters in multi-authored books, etc. ) to help you make your argument. You will likely come across and possibly use a few non-academic sources in your paper too, but you shouldnâ€™t rely on these very much. Peer-reviewed academic sources are really going to help shape your opinion. You will also find that you may not use all of the sources that you list in your proposal on your paper. Likewise, you will almost certainly add sources to your bibliography by the time you begin writing your paper.
Outside of finding the sources, perhaps the most important step at this stage of the game is developing a thesis. What exactly do you think you will be arguing? It is okay if you donâ€™t have it down exactly (in fact, you will likely tweak your thesis as you go), but you will need to take a stab at the central argument in your proposal. A narrower focus often makes for a stronger and more compelling argument than a broader one. Try to avoid the really broad themes (e.g., the entire history of the womenâ€™s game). This sort of approach is usually always too much to deal with in such a short paper. Instead, try to sharpen your focus by concentrating on a certain period in time, a particular era. You may choose to compare two or three different eras, but be mindful of what we historians call periodization : in other words, make sure the reader knows when you are discussing.
Finally, remember this is a history course. As such, you will need to take an historical approach. In other words, you need to concentrate on assessing that what has happened in t
Before You Begin
Before you attempt this assignment, you are encouraged to review the following information to help you write a research proposal:
Patrick Rael’s Guide for Reading, Writing and Researching for History
Choosing the Topic
Before you proceed with the research proposal, you need to choose the theme for your final research paper from a list of themes/topics. Review a list of suggested themes and topics for your essay, as well as a few references to help you get started ( Note: you will need more than the references listed here for your proposal and paper; these are just to help point you in the right direction!). You may also choose to do another theme that is not listed . If you choose this route, however, you must clear your proposed theme with the instructor or with the teaching assistants before you submit your proposal.