ALT Prospectus and Dissertation Guidelines
Information on composing the ALT Dissertation Prospectus and applying other dissertation guidelines.
Detailed university requirements for the Ph.D. dissertation appear in several online university documents:
These online documents are the basis for the following review of university requirements.
Time limits and other restrictions
Students need to pass the preliminary oral examination at least six months prior to the dissertation defense (final oral examination). The dissertation defense is the final Ph.D. examination required by the university.
According to the Graduate College, a doctoral dissertation must
In addition to general university expectations, there are a number of departmental expectations for students enrolled in the English Department doctoral programs. These expectations involve the dissertation prospectus, POS procedures, the structure and emphasis of the dissertation itself, and the oral defense of the dissertation.
Before starting on the dissertation, students submit for POS committee approval a prospectus, complete with a cover "sign-off sheet." A prospectus typically will
Discussions with the POS committee may result in a variation of the above commonly held expectations.
Attached to the final prospectus is a cover sheet, which each POS committee member has signed to indicate that he/she has read the prospectus and agrees that the student is ready to proceed with research. The prospectus is regarded as a starting point; that is, the project as represented by the prospectus may, and probably will, change during the course of the student's research and writing.
Students are responsible for reaching an understanding with POS committee members concerning their respective roles. In discussing member roles, students will find it useful to review such issues as
When selecting an option for the dissertation, students and the POS Committee will need to reach a consensus regarding both the dissertation's emphasis and structure.
Although dissertations are quite varied, many ALT dissertations fall into one of the following two categories: quantitative or qualitative.
Given the expectations of the Graduate College, there are two typical arrangement options for structuring a dissertation: specified chapter option or articles within a framework. In working with their POS committees, students may develop variations on these options or discover additional options for structuring their work.
Whatever the dissertation structure, students will be asked to prepare an abstract of the dissertation. Abstracts of doctoral dissertations nationwide are available in the library. Actual dissertations may be available through interlibrary loan, depending on the policies of the lender. Even when a particular dissertation can be obtained, you may need to wait two to three weeks for delivery.