How to Write a Prospectus Project
A prospectus is a written proposal that outlines a project or experiment. It is used in various industries to propose ideas, such as scientific research and legal matters. A prospectus outlines the intended research, methods for conducting this research, main features of the project and solutions to potential problems the work may encounter. A prospectus is not just beneficial to inform others of the projects and experiments, but it also helps the researcher stay focused and on track.
Write a concise title for the prospectus. The title should be no more than a sentence, but should sum up what the project is about. If the project is for medical research, ensure this is explicit.
Read through the specific guidelines offered by scholarly institution. Each institution or research center may have different requirements and formats when it comes to the overall presentation of research. There are also differences in terms of section requirements, as medical research may require more sections regarding methods than a legal prospectus.
Make an outline of the different sections that will be part of the prospectus. There should be at least be a general introduction, a description of the research, procedures that will be utilized, a justification of why this research is relevant and a reference list to cited works and bibliographies. Add other sections as required. For example, if research requires funding ensure a section explains how funding will be obtained.
Write the introduction. The introduction should give a brief history of the topic and offer an explanation of what the research is in relation to historical developments. Avoid any technical terms of jargon that are well-known within the field. Write simply and precisely, but define any terms that may cause confusion, as readers may not be familiar with specific terminology within the field of choice.
Write the research description. This part should be an extensive version of what was mentioned in the introduction. The research description should only include information regarding the research project, not historical significance or facts. There should be a purpose, an outline of potential problems and a hypothesis, which is a guess on what the potential outcome will be.
Write the procedure section by proposing a method for the research. Include descriptions of the chosen methodologies and specific techniques for getting results. While there may not be much to write for a legal prospectus, a medical or scientific prospectus should include a description of the overall experiment. To ensure all of the angles are covered, include answers to when, where and how.
Write the justification for the study by explaining why this study is relevant. This could be its originality, its extension to previous work done in the field, what advantages the field or industry will have by the results of this project and other relevant factors. This section should be written assertively and confidently.
Write any additional sections that may be applicable, such as funding. If funding is an issue, describe any costs that play a factor in the research. Make sure to outline what these additional costs may be and how this funding will be supplied. Include payments to participants or employees.
Add a reference section that includes a works cited and a bibliography page. This page will outline any sources that may have been used for the prospectus and preliminary research, as well as a list of research, books, websites and experiments that will be read and examined as part of the project. Not only does this section give readers a list of additional or relevant readings, but shows that the writer has begun research, which shows commitment and engagement.
Edit the prospectus when it is done. Change inappropriate words, slang, field terms and grammar issues. Ensure that each sentence is written concisely and gives a direct tone. It is important that prospectus does not make any assumptions as to the outcome of the project or experiment. For example, do not write to prove a relationship between X and Y, but rather write to show that a relationship exists between X and Y. Proving it should be saved for the actual research and experiment. Have an editor look over it if necessary.
Things You'll Need
- Guidelines from institution
Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.