College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Thesis Proposal Guidelines

Thesis Proposal Guidelines

Thesis Proposal Guide for the MA Program in Spanish

Last revised Summer 2022




  • Title
  • Hypothesis or Research Question

This should clearly state the nature of your proposed research. The most successful research questions are those which are clear and concise and which identify very succinctly exactly what you hope to analyze or prove.

  • Relevance of the Proposed Research to the Field (literature, culture, or language)

This section should give a background for your study that summarizes the relevant “literature” (articles, books, and so on) written on the topic, evidencing the degree to which you have acquired knowledge about the state of the question in the field you are researching. How does this thesis relate to your studies until now and how will it make an original contribution to the field?

  • Research Methods

This section should give the methods you will use to investigate your research question, which can include working from primary sources (literary works, letters, or archival documents, for example); first-hand fieldwork, such as interviews, audio and video-recordings, photographs, case studies, surveys or other types of research that you do yourself; or working from secondary sources, such as critical work on your topic, linguistic atlases, literary criticism, etc..

  • Outline and Timeline

Include an outline of your thesis and a timeline for thesis completion.

  • Bibliography

Be sure to include the most relevant sources related to your topic, as well as other sources you are planning to use described in your Research Methods section.


The internet is not a reliable source of scholarly information, except for e-journal downloads, published newspapers and magazines. Information from encyclopedias, for example, is not considered scholarship and should not be used or cited in this type of scholarly bibliography.

The style of the proposal should be the MLA Style Sheet; if the topic is linguistics, the LSA Style Sheet should be used. Consult with your thesis director.

The proposal itself should be approximately 2,000 words (5-6 double spaced pages).

The bibliography should be no longer than 2-3 pages, double-spaced. It should be started on a separate page from the rest of the proposal.

All pages must be numbered; type size should be 12 point.

The Office of Graduate Studies has specifications for the thesis itself. You should consult the Graduate School’s website prior to beginning your thesis.

The Proposal should be written and defended in Spanish in front of your Thesis Committee, before you start writing your Thesis, usually at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester you plan to graduate. This Proposal Defense will be equivalent to a Comprehensive Examination, only in the case that you later complete your thesis. When your Thesis is complete you will have a Thesis Defense in front of your Committee.


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