Reverse detail from Kakelbont MS 1, a fifteenth-century French Psalter. This image is in the public domain. Daniel Paul O'Donnell

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3601: Prospectus

Posted: Sep 07, 2013 18:09;
Last Modified: Sep 07, 2013 18:09

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The prospectus is a researched proposal for a research project. It explains the proposed focus of the paper (i.e. the works or topics that will be covered), the bibliographical context (i.e. important research works that touch on this topic and will useful in writing the paper), the broad outline of the argument that is going to be made and the evidence that is going to be used.

Think of it as a somewhat detailed explanation as to what you are going to write about and why you find it interesting.

The Prospectus does not need to be long. 2-4 pages is usually appropriate, though there is no set length.

The prospectus will receive a letter grade, though it is a formative exercise. In grading it, I will be looking for evidence that you have done some thinking and research on the topic and that you know the core primary and some of the main secondary sources that will be useful in your topic. The very best prospectus show evidence of serious thought and reading about the topic in question. Weaker ones show less careful thought, reading, or preparations.

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