Comps Proposals: Expectations and Criteria for Evaluation

Submit a typed proposal outlining the topic you have chosen for your comps paper, the critical questions you will explore, the sources available to you and the approach you intend to take to your topic. You must meet with at least two faculty members as you make your final selection of a topic, and as you begin to write the proposal.

In evaluating your proposal, the Department will be concerned especially to determine:

  • Whether you have adequate background and coursework in the area you are proposing as your topic,
  • Whether you have a clear sense of direction, which means that you have defined a set of fairly specific questions that you intend to explore,
  • Whether you can point to the wider significance of this project, the ways it will contribute to some scholarly conversation about religion in general or the specific aspect of religion that is the focal point of your paper, and
  • Whether you have explored the sources, both primary and secondary, enough to have a solid grasp of the existing literature relevant to this research project.

This proposal phase of your comps research is extremely important. Research and write your proposal carefully.  Any proposal that fails to meet any of the criteria listed above will be returned and will need to be revised and resubmitted.

Required reading: Chapter 3 of The Craft of Research (the PDF available at Religion Comps Moodle Site). The book is a required text for the senior seminar, but this particular section will be especially useful to you as you prepare your comps proposals. Read it carefully before you begin to think about your topic. (It is also on this webpage as a clickable pdf for your convenience).

Deadline: Your proposal is due in the fourth week of Fall term. Check Religion Comps Moodle site for the exact due date, and submit your proposal electronically (Word document) to this site.