Students choosing the thesis option for completion of their degree are required to assemble a thesis committee, enroll in and complete 6 hours of thesis work (ENG 5399A and ENG 5399B) spread over two long semesters, write and receive approval on a thesis proposal, write and receive approval on a thesis, and pass an 1-1 ½ hour oral defense covering the thesis and core coursework in the program.
Students are eligible to register for ENG 5399A after they have completed 18 hours of coursework. For full-time students (students taking 9 hours each long semester), this would occur during the third semester in the program, or the start of the 2nd year. Students may sign up for ENG 5399A only after they have asked faculty members to serve on their committee. Students should plan to complete ENG 5399A and ENG 5399B during long semesters; not all faculty are able or willing to work with students during the summer months.
Thesis committee members must be classified as “graduate faculty” and at least two of the committee members, the chair and one reader, must be faculty in the MARC program. (For a list of graduate faculty, please consult the graduate catalog
The thesis gives students the opportunity to conduct research on a substantive question, issue, or problem in the students’ own area of interest in the field. The oral defense and comprehensive exam allows students to demonstrate further knowledge about the content and process of their thesis study, as well as their core courses in the program. A thesis is an especially suitable culminating project for students planning to pursue the PhD in Rhetoric and Composition.
Students should assemble a thesis committee upon completion of 18 hours. The chair of the committee and one committee member must be faculty in the MARC program. Please familiarize yourself with the following recommended timeline and sequence of activities for ENG 5399A and ENG 5399B. Understand that your thesis committee will provide you with detailed instructions for successfully completing Thesis A and B that the committee’s instructions may differ slightly from these general recommendations.
1. Register for ENG 5399A only after you have secured a thesis chair. You must let Karen Bryson know who has agreed to chair your thesis committee so that she may open the appropriate section under that faculty member’s name.
Consider attending one of the Graduate College’s workshops
on writing a thesis, understanding Institutional Review Board procedures, understanding copyright, and conducting research.
Secure Institutional Review Board
(IRB) approval if necessary and prior to submitting the thesis proposal to the Graduate College.
5. Write and submit your thesis proposal for thesis committee and Graduate College approval during the first month of ENG 5399A
6. Draft and revise chapters of the thesis (in consultation with the committee) during ENG ENG 5399A.
7. Revise chapters of the thesis (in consultation with the committee) ENG 5399B
Important: Do not wait until ENG 5399B to begin writing chapters of the thesis. All theses require revisions; you will not have enough time to write and revise during ENG 5399B
- Know and meet Graduate College Deadlines for submitting a draft of the thesis to the committee, scheduling the oral thesis defense and comprehensive exam, completing further revisions recommended by the committee during the defense and comprehensive exam, and submitting all final documents to the Graduate College and the library.