Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sample Research Paper Proposal


I'm teaching a course on Academic English, and we're currently working on research paper proposals, which need to include a number of things: working title, overview of the topic, statement of purpose, hypothesis, methodology, anticipated problems, and a preliminary bibliography. I needed a simple one for my students, but couldn't find one, so I made a 'fake' proposal and used a new, genuine product in the cosmetics market: Fakeup!
Fakeup: The Marketing of Artificiality
Any new cosmetics product enters a very competitive market in which it must not only prove itself better than other products but also promote itself better. This paper will show how a new cosmetic product called attention to itself through a risky strategy of branding. The specific product is Benefit's Fakeup, a name chosen at the risk of emphasizing the product's artificiality that in fact branded the product so noticeably in the cosmetics market that the product succeeded precisely because of this unusual name. This paper will draw upon accessible records of Benefit Cosmetics concerning its marketing strategy, email interviews with Benefit's public relations representatives, examples from Benefit's advertising campaign, the reviews of cosmetics columnists, the response of consumers, and any academics studies already done. As with any research about consumer products, the difficulty will lie in limiting the sources, but a sharpened thesis will help in selecting both original and secondary sources.

[The Bibliography is below, first in APA format, then in MLA format.]
Benefit Cosmetics. (2012). Fakeup hydrating crease-control concealer. Benefit San Francisco. Retrieved from
Benefit cosmetics fake up. (March 9, 2013). Daily Vanity.
Fake it 'til you make it. (February 26, 2013). The Zoe Report. Retrieved from
Merskin, D. (May 2007). Truly toffee and raisin hell: A textual analysis of lipstick names. Sex Roles, 56(9-10), 591-600. Retrieved from
Schallon, L. (January 29, 2013). Behind the scenes at Benefit Cosmetics' Fake Up launch party. Style Bistro. Retrieved from
Works Cited
Benefit Cosmetics. "Fakeup Hydrating Crease-Control Concealer." Benefit San Francisco. Web. 2012.
"Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up." Daily Vanity. Web. 9 March 2013.
"Fake It 'Til You Make It." The Zoe Report. Web. 26 February 2013.
Merskin, Debra. "Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names." Sex Roles 56.9-10 (May 2007): 591-600. Web.
Schallon, Lindsay. "Behind the Scenes at Benefit Cosmetics' Fake Up Launch party." Style Bistro. Web. 29 January 2013.
Unfortunately, I can't format it properly on Blogger, but this gives you an idea of what I made up for class yesterday . . .



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