Proposal Tips & Samples

Each submitted proposal should have the following information

  • Title and 1-sentence description
  • Academic Discipline whose methodology you utilized
  • 150-word abstract which summarizes the driving question & results.
  • 50-word methodology which details the process used in the research project.
  • Up to 5 resources in the citation format of your discipline (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago).
  • Associated paper or essay (Optional, though strongly encouraged).

CLICK HERE for Sample Proposals


Title & 1-Sentence Description

This information will be listed in the Symposium Program should your proposal be selected so attendees know what to anticipate from your talk. We recommend an interesting descriptive title and an informative description no more than 25-words long.

Academic Discipline

We consider your research with care and assign an expert to review every proposal closely. Because research methods differ from discipline to discipline, it is important that we assign the proper discipline expert to determine whether the steps you took followed best academic practices.  CLICK HERE for a more detailed discussion with examples, including how to handle interdisciplinary projects.  

150-Word Abstract

The proposal abstract is a summary of the research you intend to present.  It can be either a research paper/project or a presentation/performance of student-created art, music, creative writing, drama or dance based upon on academic research. In up to 150 words – not more – summarize what you researched (or propose to research if you haven’t completed your project yet).  Most students write multiple drafts in close collaboration with their mentor and/or Honors Director over a period of several weeks. Successful abstracts typically contain

  • Relevant background information
  • Your research question
  • Your results
  • What’s interesting, important or significant about your project.

50-word Methodology

What specific actions did you do when conducting your research? What was the process you followed? Answers to these questions will go in your methodology section of your abstract. Use the first person and active verbs when writing this section. For example ““In my college’s biology lab I performed an agar diffusion assay” or “I constructed my ethnography after interviewing five Nigerian immigrants.”

CLICK HERE for more detailed information and examples of effective methodologies.

5 Academic Resources

Use either Modern Language Association (MLA) , the American Psychological Association (APA) or Chicago-style formatted references to list up to 5 resources you used to inform your research. Be sure these are up to date and relevant to your project.

Paper, Lab Report or Essay (Optional)

If your project has already been completed and summarized in a paper, lab report or essay, we strongly recommend uploading it along with your abstract information.