A Comprehensive Dissertation Prospectus Guide By Experts
The discussion on dissertation prospectus vs proposal can be very confusing. You are almost dealing with the same thing yet completing each document is an equally engaging task. Most departments and universities will require you to present a prospectus after you finish your candidacy examinations. But what exactly is expected of you?
What is a thesis prospectus?
It is different from your introduction or even the proposal, though it almost captures the same materials. The dissertation prospectus format is slightly different from the two other documents in several fronts.
- The introduction deals with a topic that has already been approved. This means that the student has already identified his idea of study, written a proposal, prepared dissertation proposal defense powerpoint presentation and is already drafting his thesis. A prospectus is the most basic idea about your paper. It helps you to crystalize the idea and convince the supervisor that you are not reinventing the wheel. This makes it the first document you produce regarding your paper.
- The prospectus is written in narrative format. The narrative is about the idea you want to pursue and how it relates to academic field. You can write different prospectus that do not make it to the committee or proposal stage or are thoroughly modified. Get a dissertation prospectus sample to perfectly capture the format.
- The prospectus must capture references that are related to your topic. It is these references that are used to justify the fact that you are not reviewing information that has already been reviewed. Request your supervisor of the department to provide a proofread dissertation prospectus example to understand how the references are made.
- The prospectus is similar to the proposal and introduction in the sense that both have citations and reference page. The dissertation prospectus outline is a bit simpler because you are not required to make a lot of references and your chapters are reduced. The supervisor is not looking for a lot of facts about the topic. However, you must make a strong case for the topic or the subject you will be discussing. If your prospectus is not compelling, you will be denied the chance to proceed to writing a proposal.
- The length of a prospectus will depend on the department and instructions from your supervisor. The dissertation prospectus guide does not give a definite number of pages or words. However, it is expected that you will produce around 15 double spaced pages for an ordinary prospectus. This translates to 3,500-4,000 words. The bibliography is expected to cover an extra 15 pages.
The prospectus is meant to justify why a topic should be studied and how it differs from other topics in the subject. Consult with your supervisor and the committee before writing the final prospectus. Unlike the introduction which can be written after the paper has been completed, you have to work on the prospectus as the first project in your PhD journey.