Skip to Main Content

GLBL 130: Introduction to Global Studies

Assignment Details

Select a topic of your choice related to global studies, the UN Global Issues Overview, and your interests. Prepare a research proposal justifying the need to study this topic or problem and explaining how it connects and contributes to existing research.  

Your research proposal should include these pieces:

  • statement problem and question
  • literature review
  • hypothesis
  • statement of significance 

As part of your preparation for your research proposal, you will also need to: 

  • prepare a bibliography of possible sources
  • create argument summaries for three (3) sources from your bibliography
  • present your research proposal to the class

See the assignment instructions shared by your professor for more details. 

Research Proposals

Research proposals serve to:

  • Present and justify the need to study a research problem. 
  • Examine the significance and importance of the problem and potential research. 
  • Build upon existing research.
  • Make the audience interested in the topic and possible outcomes of the new research.

Developing Your Topic

Think about the main ideas, concepts, and terms that convey your topic. What are some smaller, more specific ideas within your topic?

Limiting your scope means you will be able to provide the appropriate amount of detail within the space or page limits you have. 

Ways to focus your topic:

  • Think about how time, place, or different populations affect or are affected by your topic. 

  • Ask who, what, when, where, why, how?

  • Ask what about this topic is important? What are potential outcomes or solutions? What methods of intervention might help prevent the problem? What are potential ways people might benefit from a solution? What will change as a result of the problem being resolved? 

Talking about or brainstorming your topic with someone else might help you find the specific ideas you can focus on. 


Identifying Your Problem Statement and Research Questions

A research problem statement identifies: 

  • an area of concern 
  • a condition to be improved  
  • a difficulty or situation to be eliminated 
  • a troubling question or lack of knowledge that exists in literature, in theory, or in practice

Research questions guide your search for sources. They lead to specific information about your topic.  Think about what you know about your topic already, and then think about what you don’t know about your topic and what you will need to find out. The research questions you develop should be open-ended, they cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.  

Creating a Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of every source you used or cited in your research.

  • It includes all sources a researcher read, consulted, or considered including in their research.
  • If they aren't cited in the literature review or paper, these sources might be suggestions for further reading or are key to understanding the research problem.
  • A bibliography differs from works cited or reference lists, which only list the sources cited in your writing.  
  • Citations in a bibliography should be complete, exactly as they would appear in an MLA Works Cited list or APA References list.

Bibliographies can be used to:

  • help the writer keep track of articles read and where to find important information as they prepare their literature review
  • show the range of sources the writer consulted
  • lead readers to sources to use for their own research

Writing a Literature Review and Deciding What Sources to Include

There are a few approaches you can take for your literature review.

Group the research into themes or categories. 

Compare various arguments, theories, methodologies, and findings. What has been agreed on?

Contrast various arguments, themes, findings, and approaches. What are the areas of contradiction, disagreement, or controversy?

Critique approaches and arguments. Which are the most reliable or valid and why?

Connect to your own research. How does your work build on, depart from, make new connections, or add new perspectives?