How To Write A Prospectus For A Research Paper

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The outline should be as precise as possible, even if it is very likely to be modified in the course of writing the dissertation.

Finding, defining, and communicating a topic that is at once significant and of realistic scope are tasks that require discussion and cooperation between the dissertation writer and faculty members.

Lastly, it asks you to present some tentative conclusions and perhaps a thesis. It should enable you to approach your topic and present your material in an effective, organized way. This should include the number of weeks or months you expect each stage of your labors to cover.

Remember that it is tentative; you will revise it as you proceed. The last part of this prospectus is a more detailed WORKING ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY composed of two parts: sources which you have in your possession, and sources which you have not yet obtained but intend to use.

As indicated, the prospectus should provide a preliminary description of the proposed dissertation.

It should delineate what topic and area the dissertation will explore; discuss why this topic and area merit such exploration; and include a provisional chapter outline and as complete a bibliography as possible.

Make sure you define the theoretical categories you are introducing, and try to avoid technical jargon unless it is necessary to the intricacies of your argument.

Prospectuses and dissertations tend to either lose themselves in detail, or to be too general.

A dissertation prospectus is a paradoxical piece of writing.

It is not an abstract (which is to say, a summary of a completed dissertation) or an introductory chapter of a dissertation, but rather an attempt to describe what is planned before it has actually been done.


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