fall 2014 // MWF 11:15-12:05 // laura michael brown

proposal memo for archival analysis

In your proposal memo, please answer the following questions in either list or paragraph form:

1) What is your general topic of research? Why did you choose this topic? What are you most interested in or curious about?

2) If you have already made the decision, briefly describe the artifact(s) you will focus on in your paper. If you haven’t made the final decision, then briefly describe the artifact(s) that have caught your eye so far. Either way, identify what makes these artifacts interesting or valuable.

3) You will have some time to refine this choice, but go ahead and identify an audience (likely Penn State related) you could write for in this piece. Who needs to understand this history? Why that audience in particular? You can include several possibilities here if you are deciding between a few options.

4) How will you reach that audience? If you wanted to make sure that your audience got to see your piece of writing, how would you get it to them? Through a certain publication or online space? In a letter? If you are including more than one option for audience in this proposal, identify how you could reach each one.

5) What argument can you make about this topic and your artifact(s)? Are you persuading your audience of its importance? Making an argument about the way Penn State has changed over time? Using this piece of history to bring attention to a current issue?* Your argument will likely shift and change as you continue your research, but I would like to see that you have thought through some initial ideas.

*Remember that this work will build to a separate proposal paper–do not feel like you need to write a detailed proposal to address a current issue at this stage. Focus on carefully describing and analyzing historical artifacts and making an initial argument about those artifacts. In this piece, you might indicate that your historical work shines light on a current problem in a particular way and helps us to look at the issue from a different perspective, but you do not yet need to propose a plan for solving that problem–save that for the later paper!

Due in class on Monday, Sept. 29th. Typed and printed.

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