English @ OU

Guidelines for Dissertation Prospectus: Rhetoric and Composition*

  1. Cover Sheet. Includes title of project, names of committee members, and relevant course work taken.
  2. Introduction. Tells your audience about the topic/problem under investigation. It might be described as argumentative in nature because you want to convince your readers that your problem is worth investigating. Thus, you want to show how it relates to and/or will connect to/advance other research. You frame your project in this section, including a clear statement of the scope of your project. This section includes your research question(s).
  3. Literature Review. Conceptualizes the significant scholarship surrounding your research project, defining your place in the ongoing discussion and/or the gap your research fills. This literature review further articulates your argument.
  4. Methodology. Discusses methodology to be used in your research project. This section must include an argument justifying the use of the particular method. In addition, this section must outline the details of your research. Finally, this section must include a timeline. Choose 4a OR 4b, depending on your project.
    1. Textual Projects
      1. Provides an annotated chapter outline.
      2. What theoretical lens will you use to select, read, interpret, and construct the representations of your texts?
    2. Empirical Projects
      1. Data Collection. Outlines your proposed procedure for collecting the data; this is a time line explaining the stages of your data collection. Your approach to data collection should be related back to your argument and contextualized within the scholarship of the field.
      2. Data Analysis. What analytical lens will you use to read, interpret, and construct the representations of your data?
  5. Works Cited and Working Bibliography. Use MLA style. The works cited pertains to the works you cite in your prospectus. The working bibliography is a substantial list of the books and articles you know you will be reading and researching for your dissertation.

* 20-30 pages in length excluding the works cited and working bibliography.