You might get lucky and come into the PhD with the question you end up chasing.
Finding, defining, and communicating a topic that is at once significant and of realistic scope are tasks that require discussion and cooperation between the dissertation writer and faculty members. Prospectuses and dissertations tend to either lose themselves in detail, or to be too general.
Do not overlook unpublished doctoral or master's research. I made a list of all of the questions and sub-topics I still found fascinating. This section is very important especially when you are presenting your work to get grants or funds to complete your work hence it is your opportunity to build quite an impressive reputation.
Since it is meant to be submitted soon after completion of the candidacy examination, it need not be a huge document.
Your qualifications and interests- this is a small but rather important section of your prospectus where you should give a summary of your knowledge, commitment and drive towards the chosen topic.
By January 13 candidates will submit a page written prospectus to the graduate coordinator that forms the basis of the presentation. The themes or chronological order of events that you have chosen to work within your prospectus should be what you will follow to ensure that there is a systematic order of events hence a smooth flow of ideas and in turn, easier reading and comprehension of your document.
Has this topic been treated before? I used research papers and course assignments during my first two years of the PhD to try out versions of my dissertation question on a small scale. Do not be afraid of pouring out your heart and mind as there is room for formatting to erase anything that is irrelevant and out of context.