Course Policies

The thesis seminar is conducted on a consultation basis. That means that we have no set times we have to meet, although it is good to keep in touch with me on a fairly regular basis, usually every two to three weeks. The consultations are informal and can be held in my office (building A/6, room 1) during office hours or by appointment, or in short after-class meetings.

The requirements for each semester of the seminar vary, based on whether you are just beginning your research or are preparing to submit the thesis in that semester. Listed below are the requirements for getting a signature in each semester of the course. These are, of course, just the minimum requirements for getting the signature; doing even more work and getting ahead of the game is always a good idea.

1st Semester

This is usually the fall semester for most students (BTANN513SZM or some variation of that). After signing the documentation for writing the thesis, I will expect 3 things from you by the end of the semester:

    a working thesis statement
    a list of at least 5 sources you'll be using (preferably all of academic quality)
    a working outline of the thesis

By "working" thesis statement or outline I mean your plan as you see it at this stage. It is possible to change it at this time--as you start doing research on your topic you may decide that a shift in focus is necessary. In this semester it is still early enough in the research and writing process to change gears. In fact, that is why we ask you to start writing a semester before you submit the thesis: to figure out more precisely if this is what you want to write about and to give you time to make a change.

Expect also to do some writing during the exam period in January. By the end of January you should have written at least a 5-page draft of one part of your thesis. Even more than that is useful--once the second semester starts up you'll have a lot of things to do just to finish up all the credits you need to graduate. Don't expect to write everything after the classes are over in mid-April; it'll be too late by then.

2nd Semester

The deadline for offically submitting the thesis is sometime in mid-to-late April. But that is the official date. I will expect you to show me the entire rough draft by mid-March so that I have enough time to read it and give you feedback. Delays are, of course, possible, but strongly discouraged after April 1. In fact, if you have shown me nothing at all by April 1, then there is no signature and you'll have to submit in the following semester.