Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lori Anne Ferrell: Proposal Guidelines

A proposal? A proclamation? Here's some pilgrim for your progress

Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell, Professor of Early Modern History and Literature

Proposal Guidelines - Components of the Final Version of a Proposal

1) Statement of the problem
2) Methology and sources
3) Scope and limitations
4) Statement of thesis
5) Statement of significance of the problem

Appendices
a) Chapter outline
b) Bibliography
c) Review of relevant secondary literature *--in other words, a section that refers to work previously done in a summary fashion and a literature review that discusses the various literatures that impinge on the topic in a fuller way.

So this is what I look for most particularly at this stage:

--Coherence and clarity of proposal altogether (of course, this does not preclude your changing aspects of your approach as you write, but I need to see how well you are prepared to defend, explain, and go on to write this work)

--Clear mastery of secondary literature and draft of a literature review. I always ask my advisees to send around the proposal at this stage. The other committee members can chime in later, and choose to read randomly (unlike me, acting as chair), but they must approve of this bit of writing before I am comfortable with the project overall. We need their extended input to make sure that your lit review reflects sufficient research in the sources / archives to know if the proposed project is feasible. And if they like I can require revisions as necessary to make the project feasible.


********************************************************************
Lori Anne Ferrell
Professor of Early Modern History and Literature
School of Arts and Humanities, Claremont Graduate University

Your goal is getting your committee to sign off on the proposal


With apologies to Lori Anne for the completely historically inaccurate photos!

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