Persuasive Proposal Paper
Assignment #7: Writing the Conclusion, Gathering all the Sections, and Adding the Works Cited
Writing the Conclusion
You will be tempted when you get to this point to just write THE END!!!!! and be done with it, because it seems that you have repeated the issues and your arguments many times already in the proposal, but don’t just quit. Conclude your research proposal with a good, solid one-half to one-third-page paragraph that sums up your research and offers a final thought. The conclusion to a short work like a research proposal needs to include:
· A recap of your thesis and the key points of your argument. BUT, do not copy it verbatim from other sections. Instead, use fresh language (remember to use a Thesaurus and the synonyms function in Word).
· End with some (moderately) emotional impact. Three types of conclusions writers often use are:
(a) A “negative consequences” conclusion. In this type, make a clear statement of the ultimate consequences of not accepting your argument, but do not be apocalyptic.
(b) A “no viable alternative” conclusion is a bit more difficult to construct, because you must include a criterion against which alternatives to your claim must be measured.
(c) A “positive consequences” conclusion that emphasizes the fact that some potentially positive outcome will be missed if your position isn’t adopted. (most persuasive approach)
· Many topics will not lend themselves to a “consequences” conclusion. If yours does not, consider some strategies from creative non-fiction:
(a) Try to bring the reader and the narrative full circle by striking a note that was sounded at the beginning of your paper. This is a satisfying ending for a reader because the piece as a whole becomes symmetrical and resonant.
(b) Use a quotation with a sense of finality that requires no explanation.
· Everyone’s conclusion must end with a sentence that is satisfyingly FINAL. The perfect ending should take the reader slightly by surprise and yet somehow seems exactly right.
· Never conclude a piece with In conclusion . . ., In summary . . ., To sum up . . ., Finally . . ., Let me just say in conclusion . . . , One thought I want you to take away . . . or any variation thereupon.
· Don’t ask questions in the conclusion, not even a rhetorical question to challenge the reader. The reasons for this are that it undermines your work by suggesting that you haven’t thought enough about it and it is a worn-out narrative device.
This is an example of a good conclusion from a student writer:
Implementing a solid standard for technology access in public schools throughout Tennessee will ensure that all students are equipped to function in a world that is becoming more dependent on technology each day. Research has shown that learning technology has a significant effect on students’ test scores as well as their attitudes towards learning. This suggests that rural and poor communities primarily targeted by this standard would see a rise in student performance as well as student participation. No student should be disadvantaged because of the location of his or her community. All students in this state deserve the opportunity to access tools that will help thrust them further into modern industry and out of low-wage local jobs that many rural students are presently predestined for. (Ben Webb, “A Standard for Technological Access”)
This is another good concluding paragraph from a student paper:
The application of photo manipulation is growing and with new surfacing technologies that make it even easier, it more important than ever to set a boundary of ethics for what is right and what is wrong. It is becoming harder than ever for photojournalists to revise their practices and keep to a set of ethical boundaries. Without these rules and guidelines, what used to be fact and truth is becoming confused with art, cartoons, fantasy and fiction. Where photography was once used as evidence and truth, it is losing its credibility and turning the media into a growing pot of lies and scandal. Just because incredible technology exists that allows us to crop one persons head onto another’s body, that doesn’t give us the excuse to use it and publish it. As Bradley Wilson of the NPPA said, “our job as journalists is to depict reality, not to change it” (Rattini).
(Stacey Suarez, “Image Manipulation Ethics in Digital Media”)
Gathering all the sections together
In a new Word document that is formatted correctly (1” margins, double spaced, page #s) cut and paste all the sections you have already written. Use section headings (bolded), and put them in this order:
Complexities within the Issue
Propose and Argue
Works Cited (not bolded)
Adding the Works Cited
If you haven’t kept a running list of sources that you borrowed from someone else, go back to the beginning of your proposal and highlight every single thing that needs to be credited to someone else. (That is for your information, and not to appear on the final draft.) As a separate page, compose the Works Cited page with those sources. Alphabetize the sources according to the author; use your Writer’s Reference and double check to make sure the citation is correct. If you cut and paste the corrected citations from your annotated bibliography, do not include annotations.
· Make the changes I indicated on your daily assignments.
· If you have someone to proofread your paper, let him or her. If you have problems with grammar, punctuation or usage, by all means go to the CAA on Sherrod first floor and make an appointment to have your work read. Consider the suggestions that person makes and make changes.
· Read the entire paper out loud.
· Fix sentences that don’t make sense.
· Fix in-text and Works Cited citations.
· Check the entire paper for proper formatting.
· Print the document to turn in.
· Submit to D2L Dropbox called “Persuasive Proposal Paper”