CONTEXT-BASED PROPOSAL10 %
750 words + 200 w. meta-reflection
Times New Roman; 12; double spaced
Purpose: This quarter you are charged to conduct research connected to the topic of your
choice. This short assignment is a research proposal that intends to convince others that you
have a worthwhile research project and that you understand the research required to
complete it. How I, as a reader, know that it is THE topic for you – by background. Once this
proposal is complete, you will define and explore the topic’s exigence, purpose, and desired
1. Topic: Task Paralysis
● Description: By understanding the neural correlates of task paralysis, effective interventions can
be found to address it. Based on the Research Question worksheet, my key terms are
productivity and cognitive. My research question then is what cognitive factors affect a person’s
productivity? This fits into a larger developmental context as a person’s mental well-being is very
closely related to their physical well-being. This topic came into being after seeing the effect the
COVID pandemic had on both younger and older generations. Many of our lives were at an
abrupt standstill, and we fell off of our daily routines. As COVID started to become manageable,
re-adjusting to these routines was very difficult for some people because the tasks of daily life
were difficult to begin. Task paralysis compares and contrasts with procrastination. They both
involve delaying the start of a task and bear negative consequences. However, task paralysis is an
inability to start or complete a task due to feelings of insecurity or anxiety while procrastination
is postponing a task due to a lack of motivation or distraction by another task.
1. Identifying the problem: My research aims to understand the neural mechanisms underlying task
2. Examining current solutions: I will evaluate existing interventions that have been used to address
task paralysis, both positive and negative strategies.
3. Developing new solutions: I want to explore ways to develop new interventions that address the
underlying neural mechanisms of task paralysis.
2. Put all the information together to draft a context-based proposal draft, using the structure below:
– Introduction (200 words): clarify the issue that you decided to research this quarter. Explore what you already
know about it and need to learn. Give a short rationale for its exigence (need) and some background on the topic
(one article of your choice from the web – an essay or a movie/documentary). At the end of your introduction,
state the refined research question (from the worksheet you will complete by Jan 15).
– Literature Review (450 words):
§ (200 w) briefly summarize the article from the NYT that relates to the research topic (see under b) with its main
idea and two major details and conclusion
§ (250 w) respond to it with the questions in mind:
· why did you choose it?
· what surprised or disturbed you in it? Give the reader some sense of how you will approach this existing
conversation and your understanding of the context you are joining.
· Ask if the reading changes the way you think of the topic. Why and how?
– Research Plan (100 w): Lay out your plan about further steps: what is still unknown about the issue?
What are you planning to investigate based on the stated research question? How many sources are you
planning to include? Overall, what are you eager to learn more about the topic (list at least three
– Works Cited: Cite your sources and include a works-cited page in MLA.
3. Final draft
– the final context-based proposal draft of no less than 750 words. If your work is less – it will gain only 50 % of
– the 250-word meta-reflection about the writing process of this research stage, keeping in mind the following
(to be used in the course reflection):
· (100 w) Writing Process: How would you characterize your writing process for this project (pace, writing
process, any new writing practices)? What qualities of a “good” proposal did you learn about?
· Evaluation: based off the rubric, how would you grade your paper:
a. (50 w) Stylistically: how was your writing style different compared to a regular college paper or
other traditional academic assignments? What words did you include to fit the assignment (ex. proposal,
b. (50 w) Rhetorically: how did you manage to explain why your topic was interesting (audience
choice, purpose, exigence)?
c. (50 w) Writing: did you experience any organizational challenges (how to structure your proposal,
finding reasons to structure it one way? Was a peer-review done differently? If so, why?
Rubric: your meta-commentary will be considered when grading
8 – 10 % – overall, the draft demonstrates your full understanding of the assignment and meets or
exceeds all the requirements and procedures mentioned above. Its style is effective. Stylistically and
rhetorically, its strengths outweigh any weaknesses. It includes the meta-reflection. It may have only one
major MLA issue.
5 – 7 % – overall, the draft demonstrates your understanding of the assignment to a certain extent and
meets the requirements and procedures mentioned above. It also almost meets the criteria of a
“good-quality” paper (see the syllabus 6 – 7), and its style is sufficient for the most part. Stylistically and
rhetorically, its strengths outweigh any weaknesses, including a few MLA issues.
< 5 % – the draft deviates from the procedures and has insignificant qualities to be defined “of good
quality” (see the syllabus 6 – 7).
Developing a Research Question
1. My topic of interest: The cause and effects of task paralysis.
Task paralysis is also known as analysis paralysis. It is a phenomenon where individuals become
overwhelmed by the task at hand and are unable to proceed with its completion. The cause of task
paralysis can be attributed to a number of factors, including fear of failure, perfectionism, and lack of
motivation. The effects of task paralysis can be detrimental to an individual's productivity and mental
well-being. It can lead to procrastination, stress, and a sense of inadequacy. It can also negatively impact
relationships, both personal and professional, as well as overall life satisfaction. These stressors can
cause detrimental mental health issues, feelings of insecurity, and even anger/behavioral issues. To
combat task paralysis, individuals can try setting specific and achievable goals. Rather than trying to
overachieve and complete a homework assignment due in two weeks, one should focus on things that
have a sooner due date. It is also important to try breaking tasks down into smaller, manageable steps.
Trying to cram a 10-page paper in one sitting can be stressful for anyone. Instead, one can allocate 30
minutes to an hour a day to work on this essay for a week. Another important and healthy habit a person
should practice when dealing with task paralysis is developing positive self-talk. Sometimes, motivation
starts from within. In order to muster up the strength to start any task, a person has to encourage
themselves and have a positive mindset.
3. Further Research Needed. Based on your exploration of this topic so far, what do you need to learn
more about? What are you curious about? Write down two aspects of your topic that need further
a. The neural mechanisms underlying task paralysis: I want to explore the physiological processes that
lead to task paralysis, and potentially lead to the development of more effective interventions.
b. The impact of task paralysis on different populations: I want to explore how task paralysis may impact
individuals from different cultural backgrounds or those with specific mental health conditions.
4. Preliminary Research Question. What are three possible research questions you could explore?
a. What are the neural correlates of task paralysis and how do they relate to cognitive and behavioral
b. How does task paralysis differ in individuals with different cultural backgrounds and how can this be
used to inform the development of culturally-sensitive interventions?
c. What are the effects of different interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy,
mindfulness-based interventions, or medication, on task paralysis in individuals with major depressive
Finding an Article with Academic Search Complete
Author(s): Piers Steel.
Title: "Procrastination Psychology".Professional Safety.
Date/Vol/Issz: Apr2018, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p56-56. 1/3p.
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