An academic research prospectus is expected to contain these elements:
- A title.
- A rationale for the choice of topic, showing why it is important or useful within the concerns of the discipline in which you are writing. For our case, write one paragraph about why your proposal is valuable to our class, its discussions, reading list, etc. Please note: This should probably be the last item you write, though it appears first.
- An outline of your intended approach or methodology, including your critical inquiry (what is the research question you are exploring?), analyses, and choice of citations. This is the lengthiest and most involved part of your prospectus. Treat this as a fleshed-out outline, or a mini draft, with complete thoughts and complete sentences. â€œI will complicate my claim that…with these quotations: etc.â€ Here is where you would also demonstrate some of the analytical work you will perform in the essay proper. Donâ€™t merely supply quotes as evidence. Analyze at least two of the quotes you provide (donâ€™t explain them), and articulate how you see them contextualizing a conversation between your primary texts.
- An annotated bibliography: Here you need to articulate how your project will work with existing scholarship. For this prospectus, you must annotate at least three secondary sources, though two of the secondary sources can be texts weâ€™ve read in class. At least one of the secondary sources must be discovered through your own independent research, and it must be a scholarly article/text (use the QC libraryâ€™s online resources), which means it must be peer reviewed. You will briefly paraphrase each of the three sources, then discuss in two or three sentences how these sources relate to your project or why they are useful to your exploration.
For this assignment, you will write on two or more of the elegies we’ve read this semester. I’ve posted a list of potential topics in the Weekly Schedule (Week 15). You may adopt one of these topics or create your own topic. Keep in mind: a topic is not a research question. You would need to turn your topic into a research question.
Your annotated bibliography should have at least three secondary sources, one of which may be a theoretical text we’ve already read and discussed (Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia, for example). At least one of your secondary sources should come from your own independent research. Your prospectus should run between 3 to 4 pages. You must use MLA formatting. Post your prospectus as a pdf. or word document.