English 203

Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2018 Abel, Elizabeth
W 3-6 225 Dwinelle

Book List

Recommended: Hayot, Eric: The Elements of Academic Style


This will be a hands-on writing workshop intended to facilitate and accelerate the transition from qualifying exams to prospectus conference, from prospectus conference to first dissertation chapter, and from the status of student to that of scholar. The workshop provides a collaborative critical community in which to try out successive versions of your dissertation project and to learn how your peers are constructing theirs. We will review a range of prospectuses from the past to demystify the genre and to gain a better understanding of its form and function. The goal is to insure that by the end of the semester, every member of the workshop will have submitted a prospectus to his or her committee.

Writing assignments are designed to structure points of entry into the prospectus: although some of the early assignments may be more immediately relevant to certain projects than to others, they all have the benefit of facilitating the passage from ideas to words on paper or screen according to a series of deadlines. Beginning with exercises to galvanize your thinking, the assignments will map increasingly onto the specific components of the prospectus as the semester proceeds. These assignments provide a skeletal structure rather than a comprehensive guide for your work. You should be reading and thinking about your project throughout the semester (ideally in conversation with your advisor) and may find that working on one assignment triggers productive thinking about another; don’t feel you need to wait for the deadline to start work on it. I will be available to discuss any facet of the writing process by email or to schedule individual meetings outside of regular office hours.

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