You are on page 1of 3

Thesis and Preliminary Proposal Assignment

General Instructions:
Completing this assignment is the first step in the research process for your first paper.
Please note that in order to be allowed to write the essay or do the presentation at all, you must
In other words, I will not mark any essay for which I have not first seen a proposal and
annotated bibliography, so these 2 assignments are very important assignments.

This assignment should include:

1. A topic
2. A research question, and a working thesis
3. A short list of at least 3 preliminary resources documented in MLA Work Cited style. At
least 1 of these resources must be a book. This is NOT your annotated bibliography, it is
simply a list of a few initial resources to build from.
You will be marked on your ability to formulate an appropriate topic and how well you can draw
a thoughtful research question and well-planned thesis out of your topic and the quality of your
initial exploratory research.
This assignment is worth 10% of your final grade.


Typed, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins

MLA style formatting: no cover page; your name, course code, my name,
and the date in the top left on page 1, running header with your last name
and page number in top right.

Thursday, November 5, 2015 by 4:00 pm. Use the Dropbox outside of room
if needed (Earlier submissions are welcome!)

Late policy: Late assignments will be penalized at a rate of 5%

each day, to a maximum of 5 days late late. Assignments will only be
accepted in hard copy; no emailed submissions will be accepted.

A note on plagiarism:
Taking someone elses words or ideas and presenting them as your own is a serious academic
offence and will not be tolerated. Any instance of plagiarism will result in a grade of zero on this
assignment, and may also lead to a notation being made on your transcript. Dont jeopardize your
entire academic future!
DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!!! I will be extremely punitive if I suspect that your work is not your
Part I: Research Proposal
You can choose whatever topic area that you like for your major research paper. Your topic can
be drawn from one of the broad subject areas derived from the course readings (these are listed
in the table on the next page).
You should choose a topic that you actually care about something you want to think, read and
write about. Keep in mind that your topic must be specific enough to focus a paper around.
First Nations, for example, is not yet an appropriate topic; it is a broad subject that many specific
topics fall under. Appropriate topics within this general subject could be as diverse as the
formation of Nunavut, the potlatch ban, and First Nations residential schools in Canada
among literally hundreds of others.
Research question and Working Thesis:
Before you can formulate a thesis, you need to do significant preliminary research to find out
whether there will be a wide enough range of academic sources to support the research youll
have to do for this paper. Academic databases such as EBSCO and JSTOR (accessible through
the Seneca library system) will be very helpful at this stage.
Once you have a sufficiently narrow topic and have done some preliminary research, you need to
narrow your topic into a research question, which is essentially a formulation of the main
question you have about your topic the question that will guide your research from here on.
You answer this question in a thesis that you can express clearly in one to three sentences.
This is your own position on the issue youre examining.
You will not be married forever to the thesis exactly as you formulate it here it can change a bit
as your ideas about your paper and topic develop so dont be afraid to take a tentative stance at
this early point.
Your thesis must be an arguable claim, with evidence proposed to support it. (It should have the
structure X because Y.)

Course Readings
Steven Johnson, Watching TV
Makes you Smarter
Stevens, Dana "Thinking
Outside the Idiot Box"
Goldwasser, Amy "What's the
Matter with Kids Today?"

Possible Subject Areas

The impact of violence on television and Canadian youth
Depictions of Women in television and film
Privacy and Social Media
The Internet and Literacy
The Government and the Internet
Technology and Education
Depictions of race and/or religion in the media
Depictions of gender roles in the media

Sklar, Holly "The Growing Gulf

Between the Rich and the Rest
of Us."
Olsson, Karen "Up Against WalMart"
Mallaby, Sebastian "Progressive
Wal-Mart. Really."
Obama, Barack "A More Perfect
Herbert, Bob "A Fire in the
Dowd, Alan W. "The Decline
and Fall of Declinism."
Zakaria, Fareed. "The Last

Social Mobility
The Governments Role in Fighting Poverty
Social justice and injustice
The impact of globalization
Politics, resource division and economic inequality
Race and wealth
Global recessions/financial crisis
The role of Americanization in the modern world
Race and National Identity
Religion and National Identity
History (imperialism, colonization, exploration)
The role of the United Nations
First World Nations and Third World Nations
Political Ideology