Effective January 2020
Beginning January 2020, as our program transitions to 8-week terms, we will offer a restructured Thesis class. This new structure will ensure an effective 8-week experience for students while producing a final creative writing project that serves as a culmination of their work in our program. Students will receive feedback on portions of their thesis at several points throughout the term from the thesis class instructor (rather than receiving feedback only at midterm from a separate midterm thesis reader, as done currently in our 11-week thesis class structure). This new structure will provide more feedback and continuous support for students to complete a polished, publishable final project in 8 weeks. An overview of this new class structure is available below, and full Thesis Guidelines will be posted at the beginning of the SP I 20 term in January.
IMF 58999 Graduate Thesis - course description:
The Graduate Thesis class is required for the final three credit hours of the MFA in Writing program. Students receive instructor feedback and guidance during the quarter as they produce a 50-page final creative portfolio in their chosen genre (fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction).
Page count breakdown for final portfolio:
Cover page with student name, Thesis title, and completion date (1), table of contents (1), introduction (1), revisions documentation (1), process description for new pages (1), creative work (45) = 50
Students must write at least 15 entirely new, polished pages during the thesis quarter. The new 15 pages can be one piece, or several pieces, or a section of a longer work. Students must summarize their writing process for these new pages on their process description page.
Up to 30 pages can be revisions of work written previously. Students must summarize revisions on any previously written work on their revisions documentation page.
Students will no longer request a midterm reader. Instead, students will receive feedback at several points throughout the term from the Thesis class instructor. Two sections of the Thesis class will be offered each term with two different faculty members, so that students may choose the instructor that they feel best suits their writing genre. However, the instructors who will teach the new 8-week Thesis class—Tony D'Souza, Kali VanBaale, Eve Jones, and Nicole McInnes—are well-versed in multiple genres and writing styles, and these four instructors will provide thoughtful, useful feedback on all student thesis projects. The new Thesis class structure will allow for more feedback and continuous support for students to complete a polished, publishable final project in 8 weeks.
The 8-week Thesis class is designed for students to complete a polished project during this time frame; an extension class will not be offered. Students should choose a final creative project that can reasonably be completed in 8 weeks.
Final projects cannot exceed 50 pages in length (45 creative pages and 5 documentation pages). The Thesis can be a contained work or a portion of a longer work. Students in the Thesis class should focus on the quality of the pages they produce, revising and polishing their writing to ensure it is publishable work when submitted at the end of the term.
Overall Class Structure:
WK 1: Proposal for final portfolio of creative work; create two groups
WK 2: Group 1 submit first 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 2 independent writing
WK 3: Group 2 submit first 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 1 independent writing
WK 4: Group 1 submit second 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 2 independent writing
WK 5: Group 2 submit second 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 1 independent writing
WK 6: Group 1 submit third 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 2 independent writing; all students work on documentation pages
WK 7: Group 2 submit third 15 pages of creative work for instructor feedback; group 2 independent writing; all students work on documentation pages
WK 8: Final portfolio due for instructor approval/course grade; program assessment survey