Thesis Guidelines

Preparing to Write a Thesis or Project:

  1. Decide what type of thesis or project you will write

    Scholarly Thesis or Project:
    Students who intend to write a scholarly thesis in literature or literary theory, writing/rhetoric, and/or linguistics should explore possible topics with faculty members most knowledgeable about those topics and should do preliminary reading to gain some sense of the "scholarly terrain" relating to the topics. If students need help in identifying such faculty, they should consult the Graduate Coordinator. Usually students will choose faculty members with whom they have already taken courses.

    Teacher Research Study:
    Students who intend to investigate some aspect of their teaching should explore possible topic areas with faculty members most knowledgeable about the topic and should do preliminary reading to gain some sense of the scholarship and research on the topic. Before beginning the investigation, students should seek IRB (Human Subjects Research) approval.

  2. Choose a thesis or project committee

    When a student feels ready to discuss a tentative topic for a thesis or project, he/she should discuss that topic with a graduate faculty member with expertise in the area. The student, in consultation with this faculty members should identity two other graduate faculty members (at least one member of the entire committee being from English and one from Education) and one person from the schools to serve on the thesis committee.

    The purpose of the thesis or project committee is to guide the student; to serve as resource persons; to supervise the student's progress; to "test" the student's contentions, and a statement of them, for accuracy and comprehension; and to evaluate the final product and assign a grade for the six-hour thesis course, or three-hour project course. It is the responsibility of the chair of the thesis/project committee to record the grade for the thesis/project and to inform the Graduate Coordinator of the successful completion of the thesis/project.

  3. Submit a thesis proposal and register for class credit

    After having secured permission of the three faculty members, the student should submit to them and to the Graduate Coordinator a written proposal for the thesis or project, containing the proposed topic, an initial review of the related literature, the methodology for the study, a tentative schedule, and a preliminary bibliography. The Thesis Chair, should schedule a proposal review session with the entire committee and the student, informing the Graduate Coordinator of the time and place of the review session. Only after the Graduate Coordinator, the proposed committee, and the student have all agreed on the proposal and the proposal has been defended and scored using the College of Education’s Master’s Project Proposal Rubric will the Graduate Coordinator officially appoint the committee and approve the student's registration for thesis or project credit.

  4. Prepare the final manuscript

    Both the student and the committee are responsible for seeing that the "UNC Charlotte Guidelines for Theses," available in the Graduate School and in the English Department or MDSK, are followed. In addition to adhering to these guidelines, the student should also follow the MLA Handbook, second edition, or APA style, depending on the kind of study undertaken. Three copies of the unbound approved thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School not later than one week before the beginning of the final exam period for the semester or summer session at the end of which the degree is to be awarded. Specific dates should be verified with the Department or the Graduate School. The Graduate School checks to see if the thesis conforms to the guidelines and will not accept the thesis if these guidelines have not been followed. The Graduate School is willing to conduct a preliminary check of the thesis before the student prepares the three copies.


If you have any additional questions or require further information,
please contact:
Dr. JuliAnna Ávila
Concentration Coordinator