Prospectus Assignment Task
Directions: The prospectus assignment is designed to be an extension of the work that you have already done toward defining your research project and will serve as the foundation of our conversation during conferences. It is a 2-3 page paper that is broken down into subsections, each of which offers a brief overview of an area of the project.
The introduction section should define your research topic. Craft a single, well-developed paragraph that names the topic, and explains how that topic holds significance for an audience of your peers (i.e. our class). If you are writing a literary research essay, explain how you came to this topic. If you are focusing on a topic outside of literature, explain how your topic relates to the course’s focus on medieval/Renaissance drama.
II. Background/Literature Review
The background section should offer some information about the topic you have chosen, which should include a historical overview of the topic, including definition of key terms that are foundational for understanding the project. You will certainly need basic reference research in order to accomplish this section, which may include encyclopedic works that will not appear in the paper or the annotated bibliography.
III. Framing Your Research Question and/or Working Thesis
For this section it is most important that you can identify the key academic or scholarly debates that your project will address. In other words, you should try to explain what is at stake and how there are different positions on your topic. You should also try to define where you fit in the debate. Which side do you come down on? Again here, basic research should help to clarify what current debates or conflicts have arisen in your chosen topic, and you may even be ready to look at some of the scholarly articles on your topic.
For your methodology section, you should identify your, well, method. (You should have a method to your madness, like Hamlet.) You may list and describe any of the methodologies explored in class, or if you do not identify with one of those, or are stepping outside literary analysis, such a concern should be addressed during conferences.
V. Works Consulted
This section should be on a separate page and does not count toward the 2-3pp. requirement. It should include full bibliographic entries for each of the sources that you have checked out so far. Remember, this is not the same thing as a Works Cited, which only includes sources that you actually cite. A Works Consulted page gives the reader a sense of how much research you have done so far. Just make sure that the entries are in correct MLA 8th Edition Style (see MLA manual from recommended textbook and/or other internet sources). You may include internet sources (e.g. Google-d “stuff,” Wikipedia, scholarly articles, texts from class, and books).
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