1. Decide upon a research question:
- Think of a civilization (Before 1500 C.E.) which has had an effect, in some way, upon the modern world. Now, do some preliminary research by finding out how much information is available. Sources you might use for this purpose include your history texts, history Web sites, Internet search engines, and online encyclopedias.
- After you have some idea of the quality and quantity of research materials available, and the significant issues within that topic area, create a research question that will guide your search for information on your culture or civilization. Think of a question that is narrow enough to answer in the length allotted for your research paper.
2. Write a prospectus paragraph (typically about a 1/2 page):
The prospectus is the plan for your research project that you submit before actually writing the essay or completing the research. It should contain the following elements:
- State the research topic and your research question: “In my research I want to examine the Mayan culture. How has the Mayan Culture influenced modern cultures?”
- Delineate the main areas of your proposed research: “In order to answer this question, I will look at the building techniques of the Ancient Mayans by reading archeological journals to pinpoint some specific techniques they used, and see how knowledge of those techniques might have influenced modern archetectural design.”