Writing a Thesis Proposal

To propose a thesis, you must have a 3.2 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in English courses.

The English Department requires that students work closely with an advisor in the Department as they prepare their proposals. In consultation with your advisor, you should:

  1. Settle on a workable thesis topic.
  2. Read and discuss at least one substantial text to be studied in your thesis.
  3. Develop and compose your senior thesis proposal, using the format that follows.

Format for Proposal Cover Page

Your proposal should have a cover page that includes:

  1. Your name.
  2. The month and year you plan to graduate.
  3. Your thesis advisor.
  4. A list of courses taken in the English Department (title, term, instructor).
  5. A list of any other relevant courses taken outside the English Department.

Writing the Thesis Proposal

Your proposal should:

  1. Introduce your topic in some detail and formulate a preliminary argument.
  2. Discuss the literary works and secondary materials you plan to consult to make your argument.
  3. Describe your preparation for dealing with this topic.
  4. Include a complete bibliography, in MLA format, of the materials you plan to read for your thesis.
  5. Include a weekly schedule of your plans for summer work.

Planning Summer Research

Your goal for the summer should be to read through and take notes on all of the materials you will examine in your thesis. You need to set a reachable goal for each week.

Your weekly schedule should involve substantial work, but it should also be realistic, taking into consideration any other obligations you will have during the summer.

Your summer research should prepare you to begin drafting your thesis at the beginning of fall semester (if not earlier!).

Next Steps

Your completed proposal should be given to the English Department Chair by 3 p.m. the day it is due (usually the Wednesday before Spring Break).

If the proposal is accepted by the English Department, you will register for Honors Research for the following semester.