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EOL 598 is designed to help students synthesize and further develop the knowledge and skills they need to complete a graduate-level thesis, including a master’s thesis and doctoral thesis[1].  Students engage in research and writing on the thesis/dissertation manuscript, including preparing a manuscript that is directed at meeting the requirements for a doctoral preliminary exam. Throughout this course, students are required to work closely with their advisor (who is often named as the committee chair); thesis director, if distinct from the advisor and may also be named the committee chair; and committee members. A thorough draft of the problem statement (chapter 1), review of literature (typically chapter 2) and methods (typically chapter 3) is the goal of most students in the class. Student performance in the course will be assessed by Prof. Bragg in collaboration with the student and his/her advisor. To make adequate progress, students need to set clear goals and meet regularly with their advisor/chair and/or thesis director to ensure that the manuscript is progressing in a timely and appropriate manner.


Specifically, students gain a better understanding of how to accomplish the following actions:

  • select the thesis problem;
  • identify and work productively with an advisor/thesis director and faculty committee;
  • organize and write the master’s or doctoral thesis proposal;
  • organize and manage master’s or doctoral-level research proposal;
  • meet departmental, college, and university requirements;
  • form and contribute to a writing group; and
  • prepare for the preliminary oral exam.

[1] This course uses the general terminology of “thesis” to refer to master’s thesis or doctoral thesis.  In this sense all original student generated and led research is considered a thesis.