The word "prospectus" is often used to describe a proposal for an academic project, such as a thesis or a dissertation. In the prospectus, the author of the proposed work generally seeks to accomplish a number of goals, including the following:
- Indicating very clearly the precise purpose, goal, focus, and main argument of the proposed piece of writing.
- Indicating what work, if any, has previously been done on the topic.
- Indicating how the writer's own work will differ from and/or build upon previous work.
- Compiling a comprehensive bibliography of relevant sources.
- Indicating the kinds of answers one hopes to offer to the problems with which the project will deal.
- Confronting any possible challenges or objections to the topic itself or to the proposed method of dealing with the topic.
Numerous discussions and models of a possible prospectus are available (see links below).