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In general, the prospectus should be approximately 15-20 pages in length and address the following areas: • description of topic and expected contribution to the field • discussion of theoretical issues germane to the dissertation • review of primary sources • review of secondary scholarship • proposed research methodology • proposed outline of sections of the dissertation • bibliography of primary and secondary sources The student will provide the prospectus to the Supervisor within one to three months of completing the comprehensive examination.
The dissertation prospectus committee is normally made up of the Supervisor and two other professors (who are full or associate members of SGS, but not necessarily EAS).
This committee is often the same as the student’s comprehensive examination committee, but does not have to be.
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.
Since it is meant to be submitted soon after completion of the candidacy examination, it need not be a huge document.
As I tell doctoral mentees and clients: Pretend that your doctoral journey is like being in the Land of Oz, and you to get to the Emerald Castle to earn your degree.
However, all you’ve been told is to follow the Yellow Brick Road, but to be assured that it will lead you there.
However, you’ve never been down that road and don’t know of all the dangers that await to hold you back.
As a dissertation mentor/coach, this is what I do – both as faculty for major universities and for Dissertation101 clients.
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.
The outline should be as precise as possible, even if it is very likely to be modified in the course of writing the dissertation. EDU, 2019) Whether completed before or after topic development, the prospectus (or premise) is an essential start to (a) ensure that you are on the right path, and (b) to obtain school approval to proceed with the Proposal.