7 Basic Rules Of Writing A Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus


After you finish reading all the rules and guidelines for your dissertation, you may think that what you’re really doing is drafting a library. It just seems to be so many things that have to be part of it and a doctoral dissertation prospectus is one of them. It is all part of the process and successful completion will be that doctorate you worked so hard to get. Here are the basic steps for doing the prospectus properly.

  1. Don’t Wait On This. You should get to work on the paper as soon as you can. The reason is that you can expect to write a number of prospectus drafts, with a number of revisions. Waiting until the last minute is quite frankly a horrible idea.

  2. Assemble Your Committee. . Your advisor and whoever else is on the committee are going to be important. Depending on your department requirements, you may be allowed some voice in selection. If so, choose carefully.

  3. Talk To Your Advisor and Get It Approved. You can choose a topic but it has to be approved. Understand this is a research project and you may have funding from a fellowship or some other source. Your advisor and the dissertation committee is going to want to have input. You cannot ignore this. The committee may have to sign a prospectus approval form, so keep that in mind.

  4. Concentrate On Format. Your department may already have strict guidelines. If not, members of your committee may have expectations that have to be in the format of the prospectus.

  5. Expect Committee Review. Your committee is going to be taking a look at your prospectus draft, and is a good idea be in ongoing communication. That way, you can tailor to meet the requirements of the members.

  6. Follow The Rules Carefully. Academia is very strict about anything which results in the award of a doctorate. Always review the guidelines to make sure you have not made a mistake. You do not want to have the prospectus return to you as not being adequate.

  7. Keep A Sense of Humor and Be Patient. Every graduate student is going to go through this same process. You are not being singled out for harassment. Grace under pressure is the best way to handle the drafting of your prospectus. You are going to be dealing with this committee, and the rules of the department the next few months. Keep a cool head and take all criticism constructively. Believe it or not, your committee wants you to ultimately receive a doctorate.

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