Paper Prospectus Format

1. Topic

A description of the general subject that you intend to investigate, and the general state of opinion regarding this topic. This is not a bibliographic essay or literature review (see #4 below): rather, it should describe the area of research in which you will work.

2. Research Question

In a couple of sentences -- no more -- your particular subject. These are the lines you will fall back on when I ask you, "what is your paper is all about?" The question must be just that -- a live question, not a rhetorical one, and one which must have at least two, and preferably more plausible answers to it.

3. Outline

An outline of each of the main segments of the paper; you may use bullets, or paragraphs may stand in the place of something more telegraphic. The purpose of this section is to show the logical components into which you have divided your subject. If you have done the job properly the links between these sections should require little explanation.

4.  Bibliography

A literature review, in the form of either a list of articles and books or a more discursive and heavily footnoted essay.

5. Research design

Describe (1) the sources you will examine; (2) the methodology you will use (if applicable); (3) your time table for completion of research and writing.