Tips and Advice
Follow these steps:
Talk to your mentor/professor and/or Honors Program Director about your presentation idea and get their feedback.
Make sure your Honors Director knows that you are interested in being a presenter.
Read the Sample Proposal Abstracts to give you an idea of what you need to do.
Prepare a proposal abstract of 100-150 words. You must list up to 5 of your most cited sources at the end of the proposal. See below for helpful hints on writing your abstract.
In the first person, write the 40-50 word description of your methodology and any special resources to which you had access. The committee wants to know exactly what you did in your research project. Use active verbs and quantify when possible. If your work came our of a internship or research program, or if you had access to special equipment or archives mention this.
Write a compelling one sentence proposal description. This will be used in the Symposium Program if you are selected to present.
Give your presentation an interesting and descriptive title.
Show all of the above to your professor/mentor several weeks before the deadline to leave time for rewriting. Note that your Honors Director may set deadlines just for your program.
Rewrite and show your professor/mentor your revised materials.
Proofread meticulously! The proposal represents you and gives the proposal reading committee a sense of who you are, so you don’t want it to be riddled with errors or awkward and hard to read. Ask for help with the final edit from your professor/mentor and/or your honors director.
Your college may offer a workshop or other forms of assistance with writing up your proposal as well as practice sessions prior to the Symposium. Stay in close touch with your Honors Director so you know what is being offered.
Submit your proposal online no later than February 14, 2015.The submission website will go live at the end of January 2015.
The Proposal Abstract
The proposal abstract should do the following in 100-150 words:
Briefly describe the general content and driving question of your presentation with sufficient background information for the committee.
Present your results while explaining their significance.
The Methodology & Special Resources Section
For this section prepare a 40-50 word description in the first person which does the following:
Explains with specifics exactly what you did in your project. How did you go about answering your question?
Details any special resources or internships or programs you had access to in conducting your research.
Important points to remember
The proposal reading committee must be able to understand what your project is about. State the problem, issue or area on which you are focusing and give sufficient background information so an educated group of laypeople can understand it.
If you had a hypothesis state it clearly along with your final conclusion. If your research is still ongoing at the time of submission, describe what results you expect to find based on your current work.
If your proposal involves presentation of artwork or a performance describe how you will go about illustrating the driving theme/idea in your performance and what the value will be for the audience (educational, aesthetic, creative/innovative expression, original concepts, etc.)
This is a competitive process and the quality of your proposal will determine whether you are chosen to present. Be sure to look at sample proposals before you submit.
In writing up your proposal, be clear and focused but, at the same time, preserve your own voice so the project comes across as uniquely your own.
Whenever possible, quantify your methodology. How many people did you interview? How many water samples did you take over how many weeks?
Use MLA or APA format to show documentation. You must list up to 5 sources at the conclusion of your abstract. There are a number of online resources able to assist you in this process.