Thesis Timeline


Students work throughout the process with their advisors and the Chair. After completing the Senior Seminar (COLT 85), students enroll in COLT 87. A written thesis is usually 60-80 pages; students also give an oral presentation based on their project.

Thesis Timeline

Junior Year

  • Identify a topic of interest
  • Identify and contact two potential faculty advisors
  • Write a one-page proposal in consultation with faculty advisor by June 1 to include:
    • Topic
    • Faculty Advisor
    • Brief bibliography of summer research readings


First week of July, as a rising Senior: submit a description of the topic you intend to pursue to your two advisors and the chair.

Senior Year

Fall Term

second week of classes Fall term, senior year-(2021 deadline: September 20th 5 PM)  

Formal thesis proposal signed by two advisors submitted to Liz Cassell for the steering committee approval.

Content of the proposal:

Name, tentative title, explanation of the title,

3-4 pages double-spaced which include the following:

  • a clear description and explanation specifically the comparative nature of your analysis
  • indicate the texts you shall analyze and explain why the comparison is important.  In other words, state as clearly as you can, why you are comparing given texts to one another.
  • explain in some detail about what questions you intend to ask and what approach you intend to use to address them. If you are clear about your methodological orientation, say so here.
  • include a sense of the reading you need to do to address your topic (e.g background reading in given theories, as well as historical background on a given period, criticism on a given author, his/her other works) state some tentative conclusions, or things you hope to find or to get out of the work.
  • A bibliography of primary and secondary works is essential
  • Please get feedback of the draft from your advisors and the chair before submitting. Also get feedback from fellow students.

**NOTE: Students who miss the deadline may not be able to write the thesis.

  • Research, read, write in consultation with faculty advisor
  • Enroll in COLT 85
  • Research, read, write in consultation with faculty advisor

Spring Term

  • Enroll in COLT 87 to complete your thesis
  • Finish writing, format thesis using MLA guidelines and submit thesis to your advisor by the third Monday in May.
  • Public oral presentation : date TBD
  • Upload your final thesis to digital commons: instructions will be sent via email: due date June 1st