Arai: Woman Writing Travel Diary (1845-46), by Totokuni III

  Writing Assignments

For the spring term, there are four writing assignments: a detailed outline, a draft of one chapter, a draft of the entire thesis, and the final thesis.  The outlines, draft chapters and draft theses should be emailed to the whole seminar (including PM). They will be read and discussed by small groups as well as in conference. The final theses should be emailed to the whole seminar AND delivered to PM as hard copies--on Friday, April 29, for Anita Botello Santoyo and Jackie Collens, and on Monday, May 2, for other memebers of the seminar. Final drafts will be discussed in our last conferences, on May 10 or 12.

Click below for guidelines and due dates for all assignments. Please rememeber that the outline, draft chapter and draft thesis should each be accompanied by a cover sheet that identifies the issues you especially wish to discuss with your small group.


Draft Chapter

Draft Thesis

Final Draft



Outline - due January 21 (Group 1) and January 28 (Group 2)

This may be your most challenging assignment of the year-even more challenging than the final draft. The detailed outline should organize your thesis paragraph by paragraph. Note the main argument each paragraph will make and the evidence it will present in support of that argument. Use the outlining process to work through conceptual issues and organizational problems and to identify gaps in your research. Don't stint on this part of the project. If you do the job right, outlining your thesis may require almost as much time as writing it, and your outline may be almost as long as your final draft.

At some junctures, you will doubtless find that you're not ready to outline because of insufficient research. That's okay. Determine what research remains to be done and get to work on it as soon as you can.  

Be sure to document the outline. Note the source(s) of evidence that each paragraph will present. Footnotes are not a requirement at this stage, though you'd be smart to construct them. It is a requirement that you append a bibliography that covers all of your sources, published or archival. For guidelines on the construction of bibliographic entries, consult Mary Lynn Rampolla.

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Chapter - due February 18 (Group 1) and February 25 (Group 2)

This may be a fairly rough draft. In fact, you'd be wise to submit work that's not yet finished to your satisfaction. Even so, the chapter should be proofread, copyedited, and fully documented. Regarding citations, follow the rules laid out in Mary Lynn Rampolla's Pocket Guide to Writing in History. Undocumented or incompletely documented work is unacceptable at this stage. 

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Draft of the Entire Thesis - due March 24 (Group 1) and March 31 (Group 2)

In this case, too, be sure to proofread, copyedit, and document completely and correctly. This draft should include the table of contents, introduction and conclusion, appendices, notes, a full bibliography-and all other parts of the thesis except for the acknowledgments.

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Final Draft - hard copy due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29 (Anita Botello Santoyo and Jackie Collens) and Monday, May 2 (Hank Broege, Ceighley Cribb, Camila Martínez, Mercedes Townsend)

Your other faculty reader(s)--thesis adviser and/or second reader--should receive this draft well before you hand it in to PM. DO NOT COUNT ON THESE READERS OR PM TO PROOFREAD OR OR COPYEDIT YOUR FINAL DRAFT; THAT'S YOUR JOB.  IF YOU NEED HELP WITH SUCH TASKS, SEEK OUT ONE OF THE COLLEGE'S WRITING ASSISTANTS.

The final draft that you submit to PM on April 29 or May 2 must be just that--a completed thesis that is as polished as you can make it in every respect, from argumentation to documentation to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. PM must receive a HARD COPY.

BEFORE IT LANDS ON PM's DESK, your other faculty reader(s) thesis adviser must approve this final draft in writing, either by signing the hard copy or by emailing PM. If a reader's approval is provisional--based on your agreement to revise the manuscript--make the revisions before you give the final draft to PM.

PM's role at this point is not to proofread or revise the manuscript but simply to assess its readiness for submission to Graduate Studies. She's confident that theses previously approved by other faculty readers will, in fact, meet the standard.

The deadline for submitting the thesis to Graduate Studies is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, 2016. Failure to meet the deadline may delay your receipt of the master's degree. Regarding procedures for submitting the thesis to Graduate Studies, see the guidelines distributed by Alba Coronel. If you would like to see samples of final drafts produced by your predecessors, you can find them in the campus library and in the Women's History Lounge.

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