In consultation with a faculty supervisor, the student draws up a written prospectus for the research. When the prospectus is acceptable to the director, he or she discusses it with the other members of the American Studies faculty who are members of the student’s dissertation committee. With their approval, the director convenes a meeting of the full dissertation committee at which the student presents the prospectus and discusses it with the committee. At the end of this meeting, the student is told whether to proceed with the research or to modify the prospectus in light of committee objections. Every effort is made, however, to make sure that the prospectus brought to the meeting of the full committee is sound and defensible.
You should begin your prospectus with an introductory statement about the nature of the project which answers these questions: What is your dissertation topic? What central question(s) are you addressing? What hypotheses (if any) are you testing?
The body of the prospectus goes into detail about the proposed research and answers three broad questions.
- Can the project be done?
- Is it worth doing?
- What is the relationship of the research to scholarship in American Studies?
Can the project be done? This is a question about sources, their nature, their accessibility, and how they will be used. The prospectus should address the following in sufficient detail for your committee to understand how you propose to proceed, using what sources:
- What are your sources? What kinds of evidence will you use? Are your sources accessible? Explain how your sources are adequate for completing the proposed research. Discuss any anticipated gaps in the sources or difficulties in using the sources.
- What is your framework of inquiry and analysis? What theories or assumptions or both will organize your research processs and your interpretation of your sources?
- How will you proceed? What methods will you use to examine, analyze, and “interrogate” your sources? What will your research process actually consist of? Where will it take place? What special tools or resources, if any, will you need to conduct your research?
- How will you organize your findings? Include a tentative chapter outline and a rationale for that outline.
Is it worth doing? What specific scholarly audience(s) are you addressing? What is the significance of the project: does it break new ground? Fill in a gap in the existing scholarly literature? Revise a previous interpretation? Or build and elaborate on previous interpretations? Include a brief review of the appropriate scholarly literature. Specify the particular scholarly contribution you hope to make to that literature.
What is the relationship of the proposed research to scholarship in American Studies? Your dissertation will be directed by a member of the American Studies faculty and categorized as a dissertation in American Studies in Dissertation Abstracts. It is important that you be able to place your work within a context of previous American Studies scholarship and to be able to say how your research meets the aims of the field.
Append a selected bibliography of primary sources and essential secondary references.
Append a proposed timetable for completing the research and writing the dissertation.
What Is The Difference Between A Dissertation Prospectus And A Proposal?
People commonly use the proposal/prospectus word interchangeably for thesis and academic projects. However, this is a wrong thing to do. Both these words are different from each other and have a different meaning because the requirements for a prospectus are different from that of a proposal. Read below to clarify your concepts between proposals and prospectus
The prospectus of a dissertation
The prospectus of a dissertation is something you write for your own department headed by your own professors. This means that you are not trying to win something or arguing over the importance of your paper. You do not have to ask the professors if this paper is acceptable for further research or not. In most cases, you simply are showing them the topic and area you have decided to move forward with. You definitely do not have to give them the background information about the subjects or arguments to show the history of the research. The format, requirements, length and style of this paper is similar to the requirements by your professors or university. This may change with various departments and institutes. Your prospectus does not have any chances of rejection because you are not even asking for an approval. The professors may suggest edits and revisions to improve the scope of your work
The proposal of dissertation
The proposal for your paper is different from the prospectus in a way because you submit it to an anonymous committee and you do not know the members of the committee that will judge your assignment. In this situation, you are entering a contest and need to make sure that you win and someone else loses. You must be able to have an approval from the committee members and the chances of the rejection are as much there as they are for approval. You do not have to explain the topic or scope of your research only but you should be able to convince your readers of your work. A student needs to adopt a persuasive tone in this style of paragraph and must be able to persuade the audience of the ideas he has. You need to show them that your ideas are valid and of critical importance. It is important for you to critically review and evaluate each sentence in your paper so that the committee members cannot question anything in your assignment
Once you have written your academic essay, do not rush to submit it to your professor. Spend much time searching for grammar and punctuation mistakes.
Rewriting and plagiarism
Plagiarism is a serious issue in the academic world. To avoid this from happening, make sure to rewrite and reword the parts you have copied from the Internet and cite it properly.
On the web
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Very good essay writing guide for college students.