Department of English

UNCW Graduate school students Elisabeth (l) and Erin O'Quinn pose underneath the columns at Fisher Student Center.  PHOTO BY:  JEFF JANOWSKI/UNCW
Photo above: UNCW Graduate school students Erin (l) and Elisabeth O'Quinn pose underneath the columns at Fisher Student Center.
Photo by Jeff Janowski/UNCW

Format for Graduate Thesis

Thesis Proposal

The thesis should be proposed as soon as possible after passing the comprehensive examination; it may be proposed sooner, if the topic is definite and the thesis advisory committee believes doing so is appropriate. Each semester the Graduate Coordinator will announce deadlines for submitting proposals for theses that are to be completed the following semester.

The proposal should be developed in consultation with the chair and thesis advisory committee; the thesis advisory committee will signify its approval of the proposal in its final form by each committee member signing a cover sheet and giving a copy of the approved proposal and signed cover sheet to the Graduate Coordinator, who will place it in the student's master folder.


The format of the proposal is as follows:

  1. Proposals are generally three to five pages long and include a statement of the research question; a description of the theoretical approach and/or methodologies employed; and some indication of the anticipated structure/organization of the finished thesis. The proposal should also stipulate the form that the project will take. Finally, the proposal should explain to readers clearly and succinctly what the student hopes to demonstrate through writing the thesis.
  2. A working bibliography of appropriate length that includes relevant secondary as well as primary sources.

Please consult the Graduate Handbook for more information about writing the thesis.