Define academic writing and analyze one genre in academic writing: lab reports, proposals, peer reviewed journal articles, etc.
Attempt to match the genre to the definition of academic writing (which means you may have to first present a definition of academic writing). Think about the characteristics of academic writing to create your own definition. Analyze how the genre matches those characteristics of academic writing. Consider the goals of this particular genre and the characteristics that make this genre unique within the realm of academic writing.
Research and Analysis: Once you have decided on the topic, you will need to perform research. Use any method of research you deem necessary to support your thesis. You should not rely strictly on personal experience, so you might consider interviews (at least one), examining samples of work, and library resources. You must have at least one primary source (an example of the actual genre you are working on) and one secondary source (a how-to, critique, or analysis of the genre). In your own analysis you will explain the necessary aspects of the genre, perhaps explain to people the importance of it, and enter into a dialogue with your sources about it.