Proposal and Prospectus
The proposal is a five-seven page document (12 point font, double-spaced), plus bibliography (one page) to be submitted at the end of the second year. Typically, the proposal should include the following elements:
- Research preparation and contribution to the field
- Methodology and work plan
- Research aims and structure
It must be approved by the committee by the end of the second year.
The prospectus is a prescriptive blueprint of the research to be undertaken in the dissertation, to be submitted by the end of September of the third year. It must be written in English. No more than 10 double-spaced pages (plus exam lists and dissertation bibliography), it includes the following elements, usually in this order:
- TITLE — Emphasize key topics to be addressed.
- PREMISE — State in a paragraph the premise or hypothesis of the study.
- SCOPE – Explain the parameters of the study and the rationale for them (e.g., temporal, geographical, and topical).
- JUSTIFICATION — Argue the significance of the study in light of previous scholarship, including other dissertations.
- THEORETICAL APPROACH/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK/METHOD — Explain and justify the proposed methods of research and analysis.
- RESOURCES — Describe required resources, their location and accessibility; describe any resources already examined. Include any necessary logistical considerations, e.g., “the estate of Jorge Luis Borges has given me unlimited access to family papers (letter attached),” or “the Gulbenkian Foundation has promised funding to support field research in Cape Verde (letter attached).”
- CHAPTER OUTLINE — Indicate the units or steps in the argument or study, with some estimate of the scope and length for each.
- DISSERTATION BIBLIOGRAPHY — Provide a working bibliography of relevant sources already consulted and those that will need to be consulted. Do not prepare an unselective bibliography of the sort that is generated by computerized subject searches.