To be accepted into the Honors Program, a student must submit an honors proposal for approval by the advisor, the department chairperson or program head, and the Honors Council. See for information about writing an Honors proposal. For students graduating in the spring, the proposals are due September 20.
One of the most important purposes of the research proposal is to allow you to define an original central question and outline how you will go about answering it. Summaries or descriptive accounts of evidence are not sufficient for a research project. Answering your central question, establishing a strong standpoint and assessing the validity of your central argument will be the driving force of your research.
The proposal needs to create the impression that failure is unlikely.
Either an outline or a table of contents will work for almost all theses. However, your instructor may have a specific choice, so consider asking his or her input. Outlines are generally easier than a table of contents, but for either choice, you will want to write the rest of the proposal before providing the outline or table of contents, so you know exactly what to include. Below is an example of what that outline should look like.
When I was in graduate school I spent a lot of time going to workshops on how to write a thesis proposal. None helped me jumpstart the thesis proposal writing process. Usually after a workshop I felt more overwhelmed than I did before attending. Looking at sample thesis proposals in my discipline gave me some ideas, but did not motivate me to get started. It wasn't until I found a wonderful book called The Proposal Cookbook: A Step by Step Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Proposal Writing by J. Bruce Francis, that I felt confident to begin writing my thesis proposal. This book is out of print, so I have summarized some of its suggestions for you here.Though it is short compared to other academic papers you may write, it can still be quite lengthy. If it is not well written or well researched, or you don’t clearly make your point, it may be rejected. You would then need to submit a new thesis proposal. Research and writing the project cannot start until the proposal has been approved.The thesis proposal has a strict structure that must be followed. You will want to be sure your writing tone is businesslike and technical in nature when it comes to your thesis proposal, so as well. The various sections of the thesis proposal may include: