Research Paper:Proposal Assignment Instructions

Research Paper:Proposal Assignment Instructions


As you prepare to write a major research paper, you should keep in mind the following:

  • This coursecovers the history of Christianity since 1500 (the Reformation to the present). You may choose any topic of study from within this era. So, for example, you may not choose a topic from the early church or the New Testament period.
  • The topic mustbe historical in nature but may have a historical theological component as well. So, for example, “baptism” is not a valid topic. But, “John Calvin’s view of infant baptism” is a valid topic.
  • Review the course materials for topic ideas. Take a few minutes and think about what topics in Church history might be of interest to you. It may be denominational history, a biography, or an examination of how the Protestant Church has responded to a particular issue or theological debate. A list of possible topics is not given because you may look through the textbook to see manifold ideas.
  • You may write a biography of an individual but it should be a critical biography. A critical biography reviews the published biographies of an individual and compares their interpretations of the individual’s life and contributions.

Textbook Readings

  • The Radical Maarriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk  by Michelle DeRusha: Chapters
  • Church History Volume Two  By John D. Woodbridge &Frank A. James


Your proposalmustcontain the following components:

  1. A brief introduction to the proposed topic. Typically this is 1 paragraph.
  2. The need for the study: Explain why this research is important.Include the reason(s) the topic may warrant the study, e.g., the significance and/or implication of the topic in relation to history, contemporary situation, or academic controversy.
  3. A working thesis statement: State the tentative, proposed thesis of the research paper in 1sentence.
  4. The procedure of the study: What sources are you going to look at? This will include a working bibliographical paragraph of the major works you have found on this topic. The working bibliography must include a list of at least 10 scholarly sources.

In posting your proposal to the (optional) coursediscussion, I encourage you to respond to your classmates’ proposals with substantive feedback, much like you would do in a classroom setting following a research proposal presentation. This will only make the final products better.


Please note the following format guidelines for your proposal:

  1. The proposal mustbe 600–750 words.
  2. The following section headings mustbe included in the body of the proposal:

The Need for the Study


  1. The proposalmustbe in currentTurabian format.



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