A thesis is a document that presents original substantive scholarship or research in your field. Some people compare the thesis to a “research paper,” although the thesis is longer than any research paper you would typically write for a graduate course. In the MARC program, the thesis will showcase your ability to make a meaningful contribution to the scholarly conversation in a particular area of rhetoric and composition. A conventional thesis is organized into chapters and is 60-75 pages in length, excluding the bibliography and any appendices.
The portfolio, written comprehensive exam, and oral defense option for completing your degree provides you the opportunity to showcase your work in the program; craft an argument about what this work says about you as a writer, your writing process, and your journey through the program; reflect carefully and critically on this work and journey; and use your knowledge in the program’s four core competencies (history of rhetoric, composition theory and pedagogy, and research methods) and your designated “area of specialization” to respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to complex issues or scenarios.