Detailed instructions on developing a successful MAP application
In consultation with your faculty mentor, prepare a detailed formal proposal describing the topic and project that seeks to persuade your reader that your project is worth supporting. Of course, no scholar can ever predict the exact outcome of scholarly and creative work, so your final project may not match your proposal exactly; however, writing a strong proposal increases the likelihood that you will produce a successful product. Due to the inherent “advanced” nature of the MAP, make sure that the proposal shows how you are grappling at a deep level with what’s been done before in the discipline and how your project responds to that previous work. Your MAP application should demonstrate your ability to conduct such an advanced study. Overall, this proposal should argue, using evidence, that this project is important, academically rigorous, and likely to result in a product that makes a new contribution to the field of study.
Specific points to consider in preparing your application:
- A Mentored Advanced Project is an approved course of faculty-directed scholarly or creative work that culminates significant preparatory work. It integrates the knowledge and skills gained by your course of studies, and aims to produce results that merit dissemination to the wider scholarly community. Using this definition, argue that your proposed project is both advanced and integrative given the background and skills you bring to it.
- State your problem or hypothesis and clearly place it within the field of previous and ongoing work of others. This description should reflect a thorough review of the literature on your topic, to make sure you know what other scholars are doing and what conclusions they are coming to.
- Formulate and describe your approach to the project—the steps you will take to answer the questions/address the hypothesis you have already presented. Clearly and thoroughly articulate your methodology and why you will use this particular approach for your analysis, formation of a creative product, and/or data collection. Include references to particular influences and previous work that informs this process.
- Identify what your research will contribute to the body of knowledge in the disciplinary area in which you are working. What will those who review your final product learn about the larger field of scholarship within which your project falls?
- Pay attention to the requirements of academic honesty:
- Remember that this proposal is a scholarly piece of writing; as such it should represent your most careful formal writing. As with any scholarly piece of writing, you must attribute ideas and words to their sources clearly and consistently, using whatever citation system is accepted in your discipline.
- If you are proposing work that will be done in collaboration with others, whether faculty members or students, clarify what language and ideas belong to others and what are yours. Even if the project as a whole is collaborative, you must argue individually in your own words why the project represents advanced and integrative work for you.