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A Recommended Schedule

The best theses involve consultation with your advisor before the semester starts in order to identify your research question.

The schedule below provides you a sample timetable for completing the thesis, but your specific goals and deadlines must be set in consultation with your advisor.  The department also strongly recommends scheduling weekly meetings with your advisor in order to guide you through the process.

  • Friday of the first week:  Bibliographic search.  Please turn in a topic and some ideas on how you hope to approach it together with a list of possible academic writings that pertain to the theoretical issues you want to examine and the topic you wish to discuss.  You should mark the 5-10 publications that have the most relevance to your project and include a short statement about four of those.  Please be on the lookout for publications that review the literature on your subject.
  • Friday of the second week:  Draft of a literature review and a statement of the question.  Also, a consideration about method.
  • Monday of the fourth week:   Draft of first chapter.  This includes an introduction of the question, a statement of its theoretical and/or practical significance, a literature review that places the question in the context of the literature, a statement on methods and sources, and a preview of the thesis as a whole.
  • Monday of the fifth week:   Second draft of first chapter.
  • Monday of the seventh week:  Draft of first empirical chapter.  This should include a statement of how writing this chapter makes you think how you might need to revise your intro, as well as a short summary of the rest of the thesis.
  • Monday of the ninth week:  A draft of the second empirical chapter. This should include a statement of how writing this chapter makes you think how you might need to revise your what you have already written and what you might write in the future.
  • Monday of the eleventh week: A draft of the third empirical chapter. This should include a statement of how writing this chapter makes you think how you might need to revise your what you have already written and what you might write in the future.
  • Monday of the last week of classes: A complete draft of the thesis. Use the remaining time to rethink and refocus your question and argument; to revise, expand and develop your evidence; and finally to edit and polish.
  • Friday of the last week of classes:  Thesis due at 4pm, no exceptions.

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