Category Archives: Thesis

Finishing the Thesis: Do’s and Don’t’s

keep-calm-and-thesis-on-1Eighth Week is upon us, which means theses are due very soon. As you approach the Friday deadline, here are a few tips to keep you on track during one of the most hectic times of the MAPH year. Also, be sure to come by the office to let us know how things are shaping up!


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Works in Progress Conference 2015


Jason Nebergall presents his research on Ernie Kovacs’ “The Silent Show”.

On February 27th, eight current MAPH students presented their thesis research at our annual Works in Progress Conference. With topics ranging from philosophy to English to linguistic to cultural studies, the presenters shared fascinating projects that are well on their way to becoming impressive MA theses. Click below the jump to read summaries of the conference papers and see photos from the event!


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Tempus Fugit: The Fine Art of Time Management


Lo! Behold the bleak, surrealist landscape of Winter Quarter.

Come winter in MAPH, most students find that they have much less structured time than they did in fall. Without Core twice a week and the set precept/social hour schedule on Fridays, the average MAPHer’s week looks very different from the fall.Winter inevitably means lots of unstructured time and lots to accomplish in ten weeks—which makes time management one of the biggest challenges this quarter.

For instance, I know a lot of you only have Tuesday/Thursday classes this quater—how do you make sure you’re structuring M/W/F (and the weekend) to stay on track and keep making progress with your thesis, course readings, and job hunts? Keep reading for some tips on managing your time and staying productive through the long winter months!

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Advocating for some Advice on Advisors

Winter quarter contains a lot of uncertainty.

Who do I want to be my advisor? How do I ask him or her? What is my thesis object (some of you may not know yet- hang in there!)?

What will I eat on Fridays, now that social hour is only once every few weeks?


I have so many questions!

How can I do reading for class as well as for my thesis? There are only 24 hours in a day, and I need 8 of them for sleeping!

And then there is the question on so many of our minds- What will the last season of Parks & Recreation be like? What happened in that three-year time jump? So many questions!

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Writing Q & A with Jeff McMahon

Below is a Q & A with our very own Writing Advisor, Jeff McMahon. Read below for advice on writing, particularly the final papers everyone is facing right now. Both Matt and I met with Jeff last year and benefited from his advice and the opportunity to talk through our own writing blockage.

Exactly a year ago, I went into Jeff’s office for help with a 20 page paper on 3 different objects and left about 30 minutes later, tired but optimistic, with 1 cohesive argument. Remember, too, that you can meet with Jeff to discuss papers, the thesis, and principles of argument throughout the year.

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The Thesis: Fall Edition

Dear MAPHers,

You may be solely focused on completing your finals right now. That is fine and, in that case, feel free to return to this post in the future.

However, if you are also starting to think about the thesis, read on!

Late November feels like a weird time, or at least it did for me last year. Mostly because we’re encouraged to think about the thesis, but without taking any action. Meaning, I was told to think about potential advisors, but not to approach them. Or to think about my object, but not to write about it yet. All of this felt somewhat confusing and frustrating… but it was all excellent advice. Continue reading

Yes, And

This is a guest post by the very awesome, much-beloved Evan Stoner, discussing his experience in MAPH, pursuing the Creative Writing Option. (I also recommend that you check out his related post on AWP here.)

Yes, And: Evan Stoner (’14) on Pursuing the Creative (Writing) Option

freeadvicecryingFor anyone considering MAPH’s creative option, even for a fleeting moment, this post is for you!

One of the great things about MAPH is that all of you have so many options, and I strongly encourage you to think about all of them. The creative option is unique, because even though my thesis ended up being a creative writing project, there are lots of other possibilities.

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MAPH Conferences (Spring 2014)

Your argument is promising - it just needs to be reorganized.

Your argument is promising – it just needs to be reorganized.

In Spring Quarter, MAPH is hosting a pair of conferences, both of which will provide you with (1) a new perspective on your thesis and invaluable feedback for your revision process; (2) practice presenting your work in distilled form and fielding questions, which is an important skill for up-and-coming academics, and also extremely useful in the job market. Read on for details!


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