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Thesis Proposal

[Due by 8:00 a.m. the First Monday of Fall Semester for Fall and Two Semester Theses or the Second Monday of Winter Semester for Winter Theses]

Content of a Final Thesis Proposal
It is imperative that you work with your advisor to develop your Thesis Proposal.

A strong proposal identifies the value of the project as an Environmental Studies thesis within your concentration, and provides a helpful “road map” for sustaining the student’s research and writing. What follows are a few specific instructions regarding content of your Thesis Proposal.  Please attend carefully to each of them.

The Thesis Proposal should include:

1. A clear statement of the problem proposed for study and the focus of inquiry or specific research question(s) to be addressed.

2. Discussion of relevant scholarly literatures. The proposal should demonstrate clearly that germane scholarship has been reviewed (by inclusion of brief discussions of the most useful accounts of the issue, major disagreements or outstanding questions in the literature, or how your questions fit into the existing literature).

3. Detailed discussion of the methodology, explaining the suitability of your methods to your research problem and articulating your understanding of the complexities of the methods to be employed. What approach will you use to examine your subject? Which methods of gathering information will help best to answer your research question or develop the analytical approach you select? This discussion should address the method’s appropriateness to research in the Environmental Studies Concentration you are studying.

4. Description of the materials to be used in the research (e.g., samples collected in the field, texts, documents, empirical data, interviews and interview subjects, etc.), as well as their location and/or availability. A time table (and budget, if applying for research funds) may be useful.

5. A preliminary outline and timetable. This is a working document that will help you and your advisor, and may be revised over the course of the semester.

It is helpful to submit a preliminary draft proposal (three to five pages describing your question, research plan or creative organization, and a preliminary bibliography) to your advisor for suggestions on improvement and preparation of the final document.

Transmit the final thesis proposal electronically to your advisor by uploading it to the Thesis Proposal Submission Form and submitting this completed form.  Due to the Registrar’s scheduling of the drop/add period, deadlines are firm.


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