Term Paper: Research Progress Report

By now, you should be making good progress in doing the research for your paper. This assignment will start you thinking about the structure of your paper. For this assignment, you will turn in a progress report about how your work on the paper is going. It should tell us what you have done up to the time when you print it.

Your progress report must answer the following questions:

  1. What will the title of your paper be?
  2. What questions to you plan to answer in the paper? How will you organize and develop your basic description of the topic in your paper?
  3. What references have you found so far, or used so far, in your research? Please list them in enough detail to enable us to evaluate their relevance to your topic. To do this, cite the title, author, journal or book, publisher, date, and (if appropriate) pages. If you use an interview as a reference, please name the person and describe why you chose that interview; what is the person's position, their organization, and their relationship to your topic, and when and where was the interview conducted.
    You must include at least 5 references in your research progress report. For this assignment, the exact form of the references is not important. If you want to see how they are to be cited in the final paper, see the handout Citations for the exact format for citations and the reference list.
    For your term paper, and this assignment, out of the 5 required references, you can use at most one interview and one Internet reference. The other three required references must be a minimum of 7 pages long each.
  4. Based on your work to date, what areas of your paper require further research?
  5. What specific problems do you foresee in writing the final version of your paper?

After you finish this progress report, you will have also done much of sections 2 and 3 of your final term paper (see the handout Term Paper: Final Report).

As always, if you have questions, please come and see the instructor or a TA, or send us email. We will do our best to get you off to a good start!

What to Turn In

Your research progress report must answer the above questions. It should be 2 pages long. Please follow the instructions in the handout All About Lab Exercises and the Term Paper for printing and submitting the progress report.


The progress report counts 20 points toward the 300 points for your term paper (30% of your grade for the course). The points will be distributed as follows:

Questions you plan to answer1
Organization, development of description of topic1
5 references2
3 references of at least 7 pages each3
Areas requiring more research1
Specific problems foreseen1
Email address1
Letter quality printing1
Use of proportional font1
General content and style6


The Learning Skills Center in 2205 Dutton Hall (telephone number 752-2013) offers writing assistance. You can make an appointment with a tutor, or just drop in. The Learning Skills Center also offers classes; you can get a schedule for the current quarter there. Please do not hesitate to use these services!

Here is a PDF version of this document.