Step 9: Writing a Research Prospectus
Developing an initial prospectus will help faculty understand where you are in the research process and help you bring focus to your research throughout the experience. Typically 1-1½ pages single spaced, a research prospectus, also called a précis, summarizes the key points about your research plan including:
- Your research question
- The methods and data you plan to employ to answer your research question
- Your qualifications and preparation
- A brief evaluation of the existing scholarly literature on your proposed research question
- Names of contacts you have arranged to work with on this research project
- What you hope to achieve in the future with this research
- An initial reference list or bibliography of scholarly sources you plan to use to conduct your research
Developing a Research Prospectus
A prospectus is a plan or research design that includes the following points:
- Introduction: Attention Getting Statement - This field is IMPORTANT because… Get your reader's attention.
- Research Question: Exactly what you will research. Your take on the important field.)
- Methods & Data: How will you do it - What are your sources and methods?
- Qualifications & Preparation: What are your qualifications to do this research (language preparation, coursework, previous experience, etc.). What is available to you that you know about to help you prepare for the project?
- Evaluation: Critique 2 scholarly sources that address your field of research
- Contacts & Directors: With whom will you work on your research?
- Future Plans: What do you hope to achieve with this research.