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 double spaced pages in length, and 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 Start thinking about what is comparative in your work and how you understand comparison (COLT 85 will help you articulate this with academic sources);
  • Write a one-page proposal in consultation with faculty advisor by June 1 to include:
    • Topic
    • Faculty Advisor
    • Brief bibliography of summer research readings.

Summer Term

First week of July, as a rising Senior:

  • submit a narrative description of the topic you intend to pursue to your two advisors and the chair. If you change your mind and decide to write a thesis late in the summer, make sure you do this by August 25th at the very latest.
  • Start drafting your formal proposal (guidelines below).

Senior Year

Fall Term

Second week of classes, senior year-(AY 2023-24 deadline: September 20th 9 AM): submit a formal thesis proposal, signed by two advisors, submitted to Liz Cassell for the steering committee approval.

Content of the proposal:

I: Name, tentative title, explanation of the title;

II: 2-4 pages double-spaced pages, including the following:

  • a very brief introduction of the texts/artifacts that you plan to analyze;
  • a clear description and explanation of what is comparative about your approach and why this comparison matters;
  • an explanation of what questions you intend to ask and what approach you intend to use to answer them. If you are already clear about your methodological orientation, say so;
  • an indication of the direction that background reading on the topic might take (including  theoretical writings, historical background on a given period, criticism of a given author's works);
  • a brief statement of what you hope to find out in the course of this work, as well as how it matters in the bigger scheme of discussions in present-day scholarship, criticism, and/or society.

 III: a bibliography of primary and secondary works.

Please get feedback of the draft from your advisors and the chair before submitting. Also get feedback from peers and cohort, if you can.

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

Winter term:

  • Enroll in COLT 85;
  • Research, read, write in consultation with faculty advisor and meet for regular consultations. COLT 85 will provide a writing schedule and peer review. 

Spring Term

  • Enroll in COLT 87 to complete your thesis;
  • Finish writing, format thesis using MLA guidelines and submit it to your advisors by the third Monday in May;
  • Public oral presentation : TBA in the 4th week in May;
  • Upload your final thesis to digital commons, (instructions will be sent via email) due date June 1st