Robotics within Health Care

Research Proposal Assignment Sheet


Our next assignment deals with a brief but important form of academic writing: the proposal.

In upper level classes, you may write proposals for long projects and essays. You will also use proposals in formulating business plans and almost any group project that involves producing documents or other deliverables. Proposals are also embedded in the writing process itself in the Invention stage of discovering an idea. Finally, a proposal is often the first step in taking action to get something done or secured in many industries, grant or government offices as well as a variety of other areas of work. Proposals, and proposal writing, count a great deal. Our Proposal assignment will take a general approach and provide you with the basics to build on in your later courses.

Hopefully the research topic and resulting essay you propose here will turn into the subject of your required Annotated Bibliography and Research Paper. If it does not, no fear. Proposal writing is always good to practice.

The Assignment

Propose a research paper topic (8-pages/8 sources) relating to some aspect of robots and healthcare that interests you. This is an expansive topic (robots) you will need to narrow to make manageable for a Research Paper. If you writing process is like mine, I start out very ambitious and like to think about “the big picture” and how a topic can touch many things. When I start writing, though, I find so much information that I may feel lost and the topic is too broad. This is very common; thus, I suggest thinking about a specific topic and then working that topic into shape.

For example, let’s say I am interested in healthcare for seniors (folks over 65 years of age) and mental health. A topic I could propose may center around how robots may be able to help care for senior citizens who have memory problems or dementia. Or I could focus on how robots could help care for seniors at home in terms of reminding them to take medicines or have companionship. The idea of the assignment here is to find some blend of the topics “healthcare” and “robots” and see where it brings you.

Healthcare is a giant industry, and it is only getting bigger. There are so many parts of the health care system: caring for patients, research on diseases, therapy, preventative medicine, administration or record keeping, financial or cost issues for healthcare, and don’t forget long and short term care for a variety of patients. Healthcare may affect your life with a condition you may have, a relative you know needing or having care, or perhaps a workplace for one you know or care about. Primary care visits, ER visits, hospital stays, school nurses, telehealth or doctor “visits” online, and the list goes on!

We will learn about robots and how far they have come in our course readings. Robots, already, have entered our world in lots of ways: just think for a minute how robots have changed (or not) the following: warfare, medical care, retail purchases, food preparation and serving, games, education, space travel, entertainment and so on. Robots come in many shapes and sizes, so learning about the various kinds of “robots” will be key in helping you narrow your topic.

I want you to choose a topic that has your curious as the research and writing will be more meaningful and hopefully fun as you get deeper into your topic. You do not have to be an expert in the area you choose to research..

I do not want you writing about a topic you have written about before in any course. I want to give you maximum freedom to let your mind roam here. Your Proposal will hopefully lead you to a topic for your Research Paper that will require you to use secondary sources. You may want to read the Research Paper Assignment Sheet a few times and tailor your Research Proposal to that, but you do not have to. Also, you do not have to consult or incorporate secondary sources in the Research Proposal, but you are welcome to do so.

Assignment Specifics

Your Proposal should be between 2-3 pages long and lay out a specific plan you have for developing an 8-page paper using at least 8 sources (Research Paper).

Your Proposal will have three distinct parts: Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion. Please use these subheadings in your Proposal. You may use first or third person in the Proposal. I suggest you use first person and stay with this perspective the entire time.

Your Introduction should layout the topic area and your interest and what motivated or sparked your interest.

The Discussion (or body) section should discuss what you think you may find out or what areas you are eager to learn about in your writing and research. Let your critical and creative thinking work here and discuss what, specifically, attracts you to this topic. You can discuss questions you have abou the topic here and also speculate on what you think you may find out. You may also talk about how this topic may or may not fit into your academic major or personal interests.

The Conclusion section should list your method of pursuing your topic, step by step. What will you do first, and why? Will you begin writing or researching or a little of both? Be concrete here. Do not leave the reader guessing. What sorts of writing process will you follow? How many drafts will you probably make? When and where will you do research? (Be as specific as saying, “I will write 2 pages of freewriting to think of ideas to research along with a 10 item list.”) Remember now, you are proposing to do an 8 page/8 source essay about this topic, so propose a realistic approach and method. 

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