Proposal Writing

The details will be discussed in our group meetings. However, here is an outline of a proposal. Every proposal has to have these elements: * Cover page: Download from the Department Web site. * Title: It is likely that you will collaborate with other people on similar projects. However, you have to make sure that your title is different from everybody else and very specific to what you are doing. * Abstract: This is a half page to one page summary of the whole document. * Table of Contents: Make sure this is formatted nicely. * Three Sections. What goes exactly in depends on the history of the project. o Introduction: What is the project about? What are we trying to do? This should be understandable to any 1st year graduate student in CS. No deep technical terms without explanation. o Previous Work: IF this is an ongoing project, then you describe what people before you did. ELSE IF this is a new project, you need to do research on the Web what other people did in this area. o YOUR Work: This is a promise of what you will do. It is like a contract. If you do what you write, I promise you will graduate. This has to be your own writing. (I will help you.) The following has to be included: + A time schedule: This is a 14 week schedule of what you are planning to do each week. Be specific. If you think somebody else could use your schedule, then it is most definitely not enough. + List of Deliverables: A deliverable is a working, self-contained program with enough documentation that some complete stranger can run it. It has to have a name, a description of all inputs, and a description of the correct output. + If you are building an ontology, then this is also a deliverable, even though it is not a running program. If you are building a database, then this also a deliverable. * A list of references. This has to look professional! So, get a book and look how they are doing it. There are hundred years old style rules for references. o If you write a reference for your fellow student, there is a standard format for that too: Last Name, First Name, Title, MS Project Proposal, CS Department, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Spring/Fall 20XX. o If you are working closely together with somebody, make sure you have his/her PROPOSAL title, because you will need to cite it in your proposal. o Every reference in the list has to be mentioned in the BODY of the proposal. For example: In the body you write "Previous work on Information Integration was reported in [3]." * Minimum length, about 14-15 pages, from cover page to references. Many people write more.