At least those countless hours in the library will be spent with pleasure. No one can tell you what to write about. Your advisor can help you specify the topic, but it is up to you what to write about. Look for a topic that creates a trajectory for further research. You may not pursue it later, but having an opportunity to do so is a significant advantage. If you decide to pursue a further degree, you will already be familiar with the topic well.
Find a professor who will become your thesis advisor. Bring some thesis ideas up and see what your instructor suggests. Think beyond the graduation date. Whether you are going to start a career or continue your studies, your thesis should help you in achieving your goals. What may your employer look for in your paper? What do you need to be successful in your job or further research? Strive for originality but stay within your studies context.
Try to make your title unique to grasp attention and intrigue from the get-go. Before picking a topic, do some research to understand the field deeper. Make sure your title fits the requirements. Open your university guidelines for the thesis work and find this out before anything else. Ask your thesis advisor as well to give you honest feedback.
Clock image. It provides you with essential experience in writing, researching, and brainstorming ideas. It can later help you in your academic or professional life. If you have to use foreign sources, you can also increase your foreign language skills. African American history in the United States : disfranchisement and segregation in The construction of race in American culture and history.
In American culture and history, it plays a critical role. In the thesis, you will have a chance to research the mechanisms through which the race was constructed. Movies, literary representations, articles, what else? World War 2 through personal letters and diaries. This thesis can be personal and will not leave people indifferent. Examination of diaries, notes, and personal accounts can be fascinating.
Maybe you even have some in your own family? Worth checking it out. Gender equality in American education. New York City and its historical geography. NYC is one of the captivating American cities. Writing a thesis about its historical geography is not an easy task.
Gladly, you have tons of information available to you. Rocket Science as one of the most significant innovations of the 20th century. What did contribute to developing a national identity of post-soviet Latvia? First of all, its independence and belonging to the European Union.
In this thesis, talk about colonization and colonial identity. Consider the policies Latvian government implemented to build a Latvian character. What is it? What are the essential characteristics of it? The French Renaissance Court and its structural hierarchy. This topic is interesting yet complex. Its complexity comes not from the name but the nature of the French Renaissance Court.
You need to have a clear idea of how the royal court is built and is operating. Find relevant historians of that time, and, hopefully, you can speak some French. Immigrational Politics of the United Kingdom. The problem of multiculturism at the beginning of In this thesis, start by exploring the notion of Orientalism.
Edward Said will be a good point of departure and one of the most fundamental works to cite and read. You can agree with his argument or disagree with it. Nevertheless, find the relevant evidence for your point of view. Medicine in Ancient Rome with a focus on surgeries through paintings.
This thesis topic is rich. Numerous Ancient Roman paintings depict surgeries and medical treatments. Find the most interesting ones and talk about innovations in medicine. What was the point of recording medical procedures in art? Truly a topic that can captivate anyone. In this thesis, examine his artworks together with the personal letters. Look at the words he used, as well as the images he painted.
Some art therapists claim that the artist had bipolar disorder. Examine those views. However, be careful not to give any medical diagnosis yourself. Plato on Punishment and Vice: the notion of punishment in The Republic. You cannot get a degree without reading the most fundamental text of the Western Academy, The Republic.
In this thesis, you should simply focus on the ideas of punishment and vice. Plato wrote a lot regarding the morals and the laws. Try to discern what exactly he meant. Extract his views regarding capital punishment and punitive justice. Surrealism in Art as the quintessence between realism and hyper-realism. The history of theater in the American South and the main characteristics of the Southern Drama.
This thesis includes a lot of aspects starting from playwriting in Charleston to drama in New Orleans. Then there are War Drama, Black Drama, etc. Try to find a good balance to fit all of the main characteristics of the Southern Drama and theater. New Deal and its impacts on events leading to the Great Depression. Mistakes of the Soviet side in WW2. WWII was the deadliest military conflict of the 20th century.
In this thesis, talk about the biggest mistakes the Red Army made during the war. Some of those can include signing to the Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler. Plus, there were anti-tank dogs and the Molovot-Ribbentrop Pact. Gertrude Bell is a crucial figure in Islamic studies. She contributed a lot to the formation of Iraq. In this thesis, explore her unique contribution and approach to building a modern state of the country. She was highly trusted by British politicians and by Arab leaders.
Investigating the impact of WWI on trade blocks. A case study of the European Union. Women in WWII: sexual objectification of women through magazines and advertisement. Women played an integral part in WWII. In this thesis, explore the role of sexual imagery in the advertising industry during the war.
Criticism of the war on drugs during the Ronald Reagan administration. For specific aspects of form and style, students are advised to use Kate L. Special physical problems regarding preparation of dissertations should be taken up with the Assistant Dean for Student Programs.
Graduate students also have the option of submitting their dissertation electronically , to facilitate access to their work through online databases. Students must be registered at Duke during the semester in which they defend their dissertations and therefore must take their final dissertation examination while classes are in session. It is best to schedule a final examination the so-called "thesis defense" early in the fall or spring semester. Examinations during the summer terms are almost impossible to arrange and should be avoided, if possible.
Examinations between semesters are permitted only in exceptional cases. The supervisory committee for the dissertation usually consists of four faculty, though a committee of five faculty is strongly recommended. The committee must always have at least two regular History faculty, including the primary advisor, and a majority of its members must be Duke University faculty members.
The committee is chaired by the primary advisor, the person most involved in advising a student's research. If necessary, the committee may vary somewhat from the one that oversees preliminary certification, but changes must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies DGS and the Graduate School at least 30 days before the examination. Continuing members of the committee will have a copy of the dissertation prospectus from the oral phase of the preliminary examination.
New members should be given a copy as soon as they join the committee. All committee members should be given subsequent revisions of the prospectus and kept informed about the progress of research and writing. The exact use a student makes of the members of this committee will depend on the committee members' availability and the student's needs. Each professor and student works out this relationship in a different way. Within the discipline of History, funding needs and opportunities vary widely.
While foreign research is more expensive than most U. Students who plan extended overseas research should familiarize themselves with specific opportunities. Advisors and committee members can help with this, as can more advanced graduate students and professors in other disciplines. A bulletin board in the Graduate Lounge displays funding opportunities, but students should also check with the Office of Research Support.
There are diverse foundation and government programs available but many of them are obscure. The dissertation prospectus can sometimes function as the core for a grant application. In searching out prospects, a student should consider all the different categories into which their research might fit in terms of chronology e.
Renaissance Studies , geography e. Asian Studies , subject e. Slavery Studies , or methodology e. Medical History , as well as categories into which they themselves might fit that could qualify them for a fellowship e. The Duke Graduate School has an annual program of awards and doctoral candidates in History.
However, the resources are limited and the competition is very keen. The number and size of these awards vary slightly from year to year. The most recent information can be found at the Graduate School's Financial Assistance webpage. Other awards are made within the University and opportunities based in other departments where history graduate students are eligible may exist.
The History Department administers the Anne F. Scott History Research Travel Award, which is given to several recipients each spring to cover research expenses, such as travel. Applications are open to Duke Undergraduates and graduate students engaged in research relating to women's history. Notice of the competition is circulated by the History Department. Each year, the History Department also offers a special teaching stipend to an advanced graduate student to allow them to teach an undergraduate class as Instructor of Record in the field of military history, that is, the historical study of the military, war, and society.
The stipend covers the salary for a student serving as Instructor of Record. The Graduate School's selection procedures and schedule change slightly each year, but the following general rules apply to fellowships administered through the Graduate School:. From time to time other awards are made within the University and it is important to keep an eye out for opportunities based in other departments where history graduate students are eligible.
A bulletin board in the lounge and e-mails to the graduate student listserv announce some options that come to the attention of the DGS, but informal grapevines and networks help too. Prior to or at the start of the semester in which a student intends to defend their completed dissertation, they must file an "Intention to Receive Degree" form with the Graduate School.
This should be done at least one month before the dissertation is to be defended and no later than January 25 preceding commencement in May deadline is June 15 for a September degree and October 15 for a December degree. Students must file the form in the specific semester they plan to receive their degree. Forms are not transferrable so if plans change and a student is unable to finish, they will need to complete the same form again for the semester they plan to receive their degree in.
The Graduate School provides instructions for preparing to graduate. The DGS office is required to submit a formal defense announcement to the Graduate School Office at least a full week before the scheduled examination. This notice includes the student's name, dissertation title, and the names of the committee members, as well as the time, place, and date of the exam as agreed upon by the student, the primary advisor, and the committee.
After the exam form has been received by the Graduate School and the completed dissertation form has been approved by the Assistant Dean, the Graduate School will issue a " Final Milestone Examination Certificate " Graduate students are responsible for picking up their certificate from the Graduate School and then bringing the certificate to their defense.
After the exam, the student is responsible for returning the original paperwork, with the appropriate committee signatures, to the Graduate School and providing a copy to the DGS office. Most dissertation advisors will want to see chapters as they are drafted and a student should have at least one other committee member read parts of the early drafts as well.
The process for commentary and feedback will differ with each dissertation and students should work with their advisors and committee, and when necessary the DGS, to be sure they receive the counsel they need. A copy of the finished dissertation — complete with table of contents, full citations, page numbers, bibliography, and the works — should be given to each member of the dissertation committee at least two weeks before the final examination.
It is important that students provide their thesis to the committee to allow members time to carefully go through it. Given their other obligations, the sooner committee members have access to the student's work, and the better shape it is in when they receive it, the more the student can expect in the way of productive feedback.
The dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School office at least 14 days before the scheduled final examination and no later than p.
Al-Arian, Abdullah A. Bowman, Matthew B. Campion, Corey J. Engelke, Peter O. Gummer, S. Robarts, Andrew R. Rotramel, Seth A. Mamedov, Mikail N. Morrison, Christopher A. Palmer, Aaron J. Sexton, Mary D. Wilkinson, Xenia V. Abul-Magd, Zeinab A. Byrnes, Melissa K. Granados, Luis F. Otovo, Okezi T. Wackerfuss, Andrew T. Wyrtzen, Jonathan D. Fedyashin, Anton A. Lambert, Margo M. Sbaiti, Nadya J. Vann, Martin E. Carter, Karen E. Gruber, Isaiah J. Keller, Tait S.
Snyder, Sarah B. Stoneman, Mark R. Foley, Sean E. Joseph, Sabrina E. Martin, Kevin W. Merrow, Alexander C. Negroponte, Diana V. Norman, York A. Roedell, Christopher A. Shearer, Valerie J. Vrtis, George H. Andreassi, Anthony D. Ari-Chachaki, Waskar T. Rouland, Michael R. Class, James N. Coventry, Michael T. Drummond, Elizabeth A. Goldyn, Bartholomew H. Hill, Brendan L. Ivey, Linda L. Linford, Rebecca R. Belmonte, Monica L. Put in chapter or section headings whenever you make a major new step in your argument of narrative.
It is a very good idea to include relevant pictures and diagrams. These should be captioned, and their relevance should be fully explained. If images are taken from a source, this should be included in the captions or list of illustrations. The extent to which it is appropriate to use direct quotations varies according to topic and approach.
Always make it clear why each quotation is pertinent to your argument. If you quote from non-English sources say if the translation is your own; if it isn't give the source. At least in the case of primary sources include the original in a note if it is your own translation, or if the precise details of wording are important. Check your quotations for accuracy. If there is archaic spelling make sure it isn't eliminated by a spell-check.
Don't use words without knowing what they mean. An essay or a dissertation has three components: the main text , the notes , and the bibliography. The main text is where you put in the substance of your argument, and is meant to be longer than the notes.
For quotes from elsewhere, up to about thirty words, use quotation marks " If you quote anything longer, it is better to indent the whole quotation without quotation marks. Notes may either be at the bottom of the page footnotes or at the end of the main text, but before the bibliography endnotes.
Use notes for references and other supplementary material which does not constitute the substance of your argument. Whenever you quote directly from other works, you must give the exact reference in your notes. A reference means the exact location in a book or article which you have read , so that others can find it also — it should include author, title of the book, place and date of publication, page number.
There are many different ways to refer to scholarly works: see below. If you cite a primary source from a secondary source and you yourself have not read or checked the primary source, you must acknowledge the secondary source from which the citation was taken. Whenever you paraphrase material from somebody else's work, you must acknowledge that fact.
There is no excuse for plagiarism. It is important to note that generous and full acknowledgement of the work of others does not undermine your originality. Your bibliography must contain all the books and articles you have referred to do not include works that you did not use. It lists works alphabetically by the last name of the author. Names of editors of volumes of collected articles and names of translators should also be included, whenever applicable. Alternatively, if you have many works to refer to, it may be easier to use an author-date system in notes, e.
This system has the advantage of making your foot- or endnotes shorter, and many choose it to save words the bibliography is not included in the word limit. It is the system commonly used in scientific publications. Many feel however that something is historically amiss when you find in a footnote something like 'Plato [b]' or 'Locke '.
In such cases it is a good idea to take a standard secondary source as your model e. Whatever system you decide to follow for your footnotes, what matters most is that the end-product is consistent. If you don't you may waste days trying to trace references when you are close to submission deadlines.
There are many professional guides to thesis writing which give you more information on the style and format of theses — for example the MLS handbook British and the Chicago Manual of Style American , both in the Whipple, and a booklet, H. But don't try to follow everything they say!
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