What is the Proposal?
Note: You must have taken at least one course in the area in which you intend to write your project. This means that, for a literature thesis, you need to have a course in the historical period or genre that your project will address. For a creative writing project, you must have taken at least one workshop in the genre in which you plan to write the thesis project.
The proposal for your thesis project should be a 5-10 page description of the intended project, including a working bibliography in MLA format. While you will only be in the early stages of your research at this point, you are expected to use several sources in your proposal. The working bibliography should include these sources, as well as ten or more sources that you might look at in the next stage of your research.
You should submit drafts of your proposal to your director, who will circulate the proposal to the other committee members once he or she believes it is ready to be discussed at the proposal meeting. When sending the proposal to your director, you should save it by your last name, first initial, W609 proposal, and the date to identify the version: for example, “Doe Jane W609 Proposal July 10.”
Below, you can find generic descriptions of the proposal content for literature and creative writing theses. However, you should still consult with your chair about what he or she expects you to address in that document.
The Thesis Defense
The oral defense is an important component of W609: it is the chance for you to demonstrate what you have learned during the process of writing your thesis and to show that you can engage in academic discussion about the issues that it addresses. Your performance at the defense will play a role in your final grade for the project. The defense consists of two parts: a ten-minute presentation and a forty-five minute Question and Answer session. At the conclusion of this discussion, the committee will ask you to leave the room for a few minutes while they discuss the final grade for the project. They will then invite you back into the room and inform you of the grade.