What Is a Dissertation Prospectus and How Should I Craft One?

A dissertation prospectus is a piece of writing that describes what research will be done and what the academic paper will be about. It’s important not to confuse it with an abstract or an introductory chapter, because the first one is a brief summary of a completed document, and the second is the first step of a work. The prospectus is written before any of the parts. In order to create a good prospectus, you have to know some key points.

How to Create a Good Dissertation Prospectus

  1. Don’t make it huge.
  2. The document doesn’t have to be big. You will answer all the questions in the actual dissertation, so just tell the reader what your subject is and what you are going to do with it. Remember that the prospectus isn’t a mini version of your paper, so try not to make it too detailed or too general.

  3. Mind the content.
  4. There is no ultimate recipe for a successful prospectus, but you still have to include some important parts in it. Ask yourself what the main issue of your research is and what the further paper will be about. What kind of issue is it? It can be theoretical, historical, etc., and you have to mention that too. The easiest way to do this is framing your issue as a question. You will answer this question in your academic paper, which will make all your work connected and structured.

  5. Make it “different”.
  6. You have to convince the reader that your paper will be different from other works; that your approach to the problem is unique or that you add a new touch to one that already exists. Mention whether or not the issue has been touched upon before, and if it has, why you decided to take it up.

  7. Consult your dissertation committee.
  8. If you have any questions while writing the prospectus, don’t hesitate to ask for advice. The committee will save you time by helping you to solve any problems in the process of writing.

  9. Let a friend read your prospectus.
  10. It will be best if the friend doesn’t know a thing about the issue you are working on. Such a method will help you understand whether you are clear enough in your descriptions. Keep in mind that your paper may be read by someone who doesn’t know what the topic is about, so make sure to define any theoretical terms that may be difficult to understand.

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