Salt Lake Bible College

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DO NOT submit Prospectus until you have cleared your Thesis Subject/Topic
via the Thesis Approval form and have read all of the following articles.
Form links are at the bottom of this page.

Several brief, general, explanations and a series of links are listed below.
  Review them all.  The samples and instructions given will show you the general needs and information to be included in your prospectus.
Sources:  The question of the definition of Primary and Secondary Sources in "Review of Related Literature," "Literature Review," "Relevant Data," and similar sections in the various prospectus formats listed below has surfaced.  For an explanation you can refer to: for descriptions and comparison of those two types of sources.  For a succinct comparison and explanation of what constitutes a Primary versus a Secondary source you can run a "find" on that page (press and hold Ctrl and then press the key for the letter f ) and input the phrase "Primary and Secondary Sources: What is the Difference" into the "find" box.  This will take you directly to the relevant section.  It is recommended, however, that you read the entire article for a better understanding of sources and how they are judged as Primary or Secondary.

Extracted from Washington University Guide to the Thesis Process:

Thesis Prospectus 

The thesis prospectus is a research design which lays out the intended course of work leading to the completed thesis. A typical prospectus consists of 5 -10 pages of text plus a bibliography and timetable. It should be developed in consultation with a prospective thesis committee chair or with a full committee. When approved by the thesis chair, the prospectus should be submitted to the Graduate Program Advisor.

The Prospectus should contain the following items: 
1. Prospectus Summary Page.
2. Description of Problem or Opportunity Addressed 
3. Listing and Explanation of the Major Questions to be Posed 
4. Identification of Relevant Data or Information Needs 
5. A plan for Information Collection 
6. Methodology or Analytical Approaches to be Used (What are their strengths/limits?) 
7. Draft Table of Contents
8. Potential Findings or Tentative Conclusions (if any available) 
9. Anticipated Problems (e.g. access to data, time constraints) 
10. A Bibliography of Papers, Books, Materials 
11. A Proposed Time Schedule for Completion


Extracted from Thesis Proposal Form, South Dakota State.

I.  Title

Provide the anticipated title of the thesis.  The title should be both specific and concise and should indicate the research you are undertaking.

                                                               II. The Argument

Identify the topic you will explore in your thesis and the position you will take on this topic, making sure to articulate a concise statement of your central argument.  Describe the primary texts you’ll be using and explain how you intend to use them in order to support this argument.  Be sure to provide any relevant literary or historical background on your topic.  Briefly discuss the conclusions you hope to draw from your research and explain how your thesis will contribute to the field of study represented by your topic.


                                                  III. Review of Related Literature

Describe the secondary critical work that has been done on your topic thus far, noting particular trends in the existing scholarship. Describe in detail some of the secondary sources that will be particularly relevant to your thesis and explain how your work will fit into the critical conversation you’ve outlined.


                                                                IV. Methodology

Describe the theoretical approach(es) that will inform your work, as well as how you intend to apply them.  Identify not only the theory or theories you’ll be using, but also particular theorists and theoretical texts.  Be sure to name, explain, and/or define any theoretical concepts or terms you intend to employ.


V. Chapter Titles and Summaries

Outline the chapters that you will include in your thesis, including chapter titles and brief summaries.


VI.  Bibliography

Provide a bibliography of the sources you intend to use in your thesis project.


Extracted from Masters Thesis Proposal Outline, University of Colorado:

Masters Thesis Proposal Outline

• What is the general topic area 
• Why this topic is relevant/important (how important to sociologists, to the broader community, etc.) 
• What is the specific scope of your research interest

• The literature review should be a well-organized overview of the research most closely related to your work. 
• This might likely include the dominant debates, theoretical approaches, methodological research designs that have been used to understand your topic 
• You are trying to demonstrate two things: 
    1. You are familiar with the research that has been done in this area and can explain to fellow sociologists who might not be familiar with this specific literature, what is out there
    2. You have found a gap or “lacunae” in the literature…something that has not been well researched (or not been researched utilizing a certain theoretical perspective or methodological design

A concise formulation of your specific research question. If you have taken Graduate Social Theory, think about the process we went through with the “Hypothetical research question” assignment. Review some of the feedback you received. 

• What is your methodological approach? 
• How will you get access? 
• How many cases will you include? 
• Describe how the cases be selected (random, etc.) 
• What will be the duration (time-frame) of your research? 
• How will you record your observations? 
• How will you code the data? 
    Will you start the research with already established research categories (deductive approach) or will you look for the categories (to code) to emerge from the data (inductive approach/grounded theory)?
• Other considerations specific to your approach 
• Will your analysis of the coding be qualitative, quantitative or both? 

• Bibliography -List only those authors included in your 7-8 page literature review.


Review the Prospectus Template in Microsoft Word or pdf.

If you need further instruction you can also review the following link: Click HERE

Submit your
Thesis Approval Form to obtain preliminary approval for your subject.
2. Accomplish preliminary research and submit your Prospectus.
    Prospectus only accepted through the form link PROSPECTUS SUBMISSION FORM so that we will have all of the required information.
3. Proceed with the composition of your thesis.

May God bless as you study,
Dr. Van