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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Banned Books - Rodems: The Proposal

Writing a Proposal


Due: Tuesday/Wednesday January 17,18 at the beginning of the class period to your Illinois.publish work page.

Your Audience. You are writing to a broad audience. I will read these proposals, your classmates will read these proposals, your parents will also read these proposals, and it’s also possible that strangers will read them. I will email your parents to let them know that we have started this project, to take a look at your proposal, and chat with you about the book you’ve chosen. Your parents will see these choices. Know your limits and know their limit.

Your Purpose. You are presenting a reasoned explanation for why you’ve selected this book. The proposal must include the following content:

  • General information about banned and challenged books

  • A description of who, where, when, and all the reasons why the book was challenged.

    • You must discuss the book’s controversial issues

    • If the book has been challenged/banned more than once, you need to include that information. You do not need to fully explain every challenge, but you should make clear that the book has been challenged more than once and all the reasons why the book has been challenged.

      • Ex: The book has been challenged four times since it’s publication. The most significant challenge was on….

  • Finally, and most importantly, you need to explain why you’ve chosen this book. You should write about 3-4 of these items:

    • Use the Novelist database: these database might include what other’s think about the book.

    • Use “The Freedom to Read Statement” to make a point

    • What do your parents/guardians/family value? How does that relate to what you’d like to read? 

    • What might you gain from reading this book?  

    • Is this book considered a classic? What does that mean for a book to be labeled a classic? How might that benefit you?  

    • What is the subject matter? How might the subject matter be relevant to your reason for selecting the novel? 

    • Other relevant ideas or points to explain why you’ve chosen this book despite some opposition to it.

Format. This proposal does not need to follow a 5-paragraph format, but the proposal should be still be organized into more than paragraph.

Length. This proposal should be 1.5-2 pages, double spaced (with a header).

Documentation. You have to support your choice with research and reason. You do that by including MLA in-text documentation of your researched material and ending with a correct MLA citation of any and all sources you cited in the proposal.