MM thesis timetable

Here is an early-stage checklist for your first steps in framing a Master's thesis proposal

(1) Draft a title and descriptive abstract. Should include a description of the topic, scope, types of evidence, sources of your analytical methodology, formal thesis statement, and anticipated conclusions. Of course this need not be in final form, but it will help focus discussion with your supervisor if you have a draft from which to work. Send draft to supervisor at least 1 day in advance of first meeting.

Next stage after you've talked through that draft abstract with your supervisor will be to begin building a bibliography. If you already have some of that material, then start a draft bibliography immediately. This, and the notes you take/have taken on your reading, will be the basis for the literature review.

After that, your supervisor will have you break down your existing materials into an outline using the template required by the Graduate School. This will become your mandatory Thesis Proposal, which must be defended to your Committee.

If you want to graduate in May of a given spring semester, you need a defense date before March 29 of the fall semester.

That means have the final, final draft to the committee by March 15. Final draft to your supervisor (for your final editorial comments) by March 8.

This often means that you should plan to use December, Xmas break, January, February for writing.

That means completed reading, note-taking, assembly of materials, complete annotated outline, by around Nov 15.

This means you should aim to defend your Thesis Proposal by Nov 1 *at the latest*.

Do not rush this process--it cannot be telescoped or (much) accelerated.