Do not be afraid of pouring out your heart and mind as there is room for formatting to erase anything that is irrelevant and out of context. Writing the prospectus can feel a little bit like performing surgery on your ideas. But as an obsessive planner, this was still a slightly alarming experience.
By January 13 candidates will submit a page written prospectus to the graduate coordinator that forms the basis of the presentation. All of this was really helpful when it came time to write up a long-form version of my dissertation proposal, so that I already had a clear structure and getting to go into greater detail felt like a luxury.
No matter how much you love your discipline or your research field, exams are hard and stressful. Agonizing over figuring out the right turn of phrase or example that conveyed all of this in such a concise format helped me to clarify what I planned to do.
I realized that my original dissertation question would work really well as a single chapter in this new project.
In exceptional circumstances, with a written rationale from the DGS and sponsor and the approval of GSAS, students may receive a final opportunity to defend their prospectus before September 30 of the fifth year. This section carries the weight and should be done with much thought and consideration of the topic and the questions you are looking forward to answering.
A chapter should be conceived as approximately double-spaced pages. It is important that the problem and hypothetical answers be stated from the outset, so that your research will not risk becoming random, and your exposition will not lapse into mere description.