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SOT 5010: Applied Research for Technology

Tips for SOT students working on their prospectus.

What is a prospectus?

A prospectus is simply a preliminary statement about the paper you are going to write.  In graduate education, it is normally very detailed and expected to follow a specific format.  The prospectus is preliminary to actually conducting the research and discussing your results.  A prospectus is often considered the first step in writing a graduate thesis or dissertation.  This approach is utilized to ensure that you have an understanding of your question, what you want to accomplish, and the resources you will utilize during the process.

The prospectus normally includes three chapters.  Refer to your syllabus for the required elements of each chapter.

  • Introduction 
  • Review of the literature
  • Methodology you will use to conduct the research

The purpose of a prospectus is for the researcher:

  • to think through the proposed research
  • to organize ideas about the topic
  • to articulate ideas in a formal and coherent fashion

Simply put, a prospectus is a road map for you to follow.

DISCOVER - One Approach to the Research Process

The DISCOVER process is a system you can follow anytime you are required to write on a topic.

D - define your topic or thesis statement

 I -  inquire (find some background information on your topic)

S - search for additional information on your topic

C - collect information (articles) on your topic

O - organize the information in a logical format (decide how to present your information)

V - verify the information (is the author an authority on the issue? is the website credible?)

E - express the information (write the paper)

R - reflect and revise (writing is a circular process; write a draft, then read, review, and revise)

UCM Thesis Manual

Make certain to review the pages on formatting your preliminary pages (pages 14-16).  And the examples of properly formatted pages beginning on page 17.