What is a prospectus?
A prospectus is a statement that one writes in order to describe the various elements of a project they hope to undertake. Prospectuses take many forms depending on the context in which they are written, and nearly every profession requires some sort of a prospectus. Someone working in business will have to write a prospectus (or a business plan) in order to attract investors or to obtain a loan to start one’s business.
Similarly, scientific researchers often write research prospectuses in order to obtain both public and private funding for their projects. In publishing, nonfiction writers often write prospectuses (or a book proposals) in order to get a publisher to buy their book projects. And in academics, a doctoral candidate must write a prospectus that is approved by a committee before she can even begin to write her dissertation. In all these cases, prospectuses are usually written in order to obtain financial or institutional support for one’s project, which makes them an absolutely crucial part of any professional’s work. Ultimately, a prospectus can mean the difference between being able to pursue your intended project or not.
What kind of prospectus will you be writing in this class?
You will be writing an academic prospectus, which summarizes not only the topic of your final research paper, but also states your working thesis, what the stakes of that argument are, and how you will go about proving your argument.
Why are you writing a prospectus in this class?
Learning how to write a strong prospectus is essential to succeeding in almost any profession. While different professions demand different types of project proposals that include different types of information organized according to different conventions, all of them are about the art of being about to articulate the purpose of your longer project in a concise and precise manner. It is likely that you might be asked to write prospectuses or paper proposals in your upper-level college courses, as well. So this is a chance to develop a skill you will most certainly be asked to use later on.
What your prospectus for HUMN 1101 needs to include:
Your prospectus is a brief summary, only about a paragraph in length, that discusses your overall topic, states your thesis, explains why you chose the topic, relates your topic to the study of humanities and everyday life, and outlines your approach. Your approach should specify your three main points that you will make in your paper. Your prospectus is designed to narrow your topic and help you organize your paper.
As you are conducting your research, create a bibliography of at least ten sources. One reference should be a book.
Your working bibliography due with your prospectus and your final bibliography that is part of your research paper will be in MLA format. Use the current guidelines as the requirements changed in 2016.
The prospectus and bibliography count as part of your research paper grade. Failure to submit this assignment will negatively impact your research paper grade, which is 20% of your final grade.