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After passing the preliminary examination and obtaining approval of his/her dissertation proposal by the dissertation committee, doctoral candidates are encouraged to proceed with this research with speed and efficiency.As the research progresses, if unexpected discoveries about the nature of the sources or other unforeseen developments occur, the student and thesis director should confer in case redefinition of the topic seems necessary.However, once he or she has agreed in writing to direct a thesis, the directorship may not be relinquished unless both the student and the Department are informed of the reasons in writing.
The capstone, and most critical, project of the Ph D program is the doctoral dissertation.
The series of courses within the department dealing with professional development concludes with the dissertation prospectus seminar, which students take in the sixth semester, if they have passed their examinations.
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.
Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas.
The dissertation prospectus seminar provides a shared structure for the process of identifying viable dissertation projects, selecting a dissertation committee, articulating his/her project in the form of a prospectus, and, where appropriate, developing grant proposals based on the prospectus.
The dissertation committee, the selection of which is a requirement of the course, consists of a director and two additional members.
During the research and writing of the thesis, it is the student's responsibility regularly to provide the thesis director with evidence of satisfactory progress towards completion.
Such evidence will normally be provided in informal consultations between student and thesis director; if the student is absent from the campus, it should be provided by letter at least once each semester.
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