Search the Graduate POS Manual
- 1.1 Graduate Program Resources
- 1.2 Academic Information
- 1.3 Program Advisors, Major Professors, & POS Committees
- 1.4 Degree Progress, Planning, and Time Limits
- 1.5 Minors and Co-majors
- 1.6 Course Policies
- 1.7 Registration
- 1.8 Graduate Assistantships
- 1.9 Graduate Student Travel and Support
- 1.10 Graduation
- 1.11 Graduate Faculty Members
- 2.1 About the MA programs
- 2.2 MA in English Degree Requirements
- 2.3 MA in Rhetoric, Composition, & Professional Communication Degree Requirements
- 2.4 MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics Degree Requirements
- 2.5 Minoring and Co-majoring in the MA Programs
- 2.6 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (MA)
- 2.7 Guidelines for Thesis and Creative Component (MA)
- 3.1 About the MFA program
- 3.2 MFA in Creative Writing & Environment Degree Requirements
- 3.3 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (MFA)
- 3.4 Minoring and Co-majoring in the MFA Program
- 3.5 Guidelines for Thesis (MFA)
- 4.1 About the Doctoral programs
- 4.2 PhD in Applied Linguistics and Technology (ALT)
- 4.3 PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC)
- 4.4 Minoring and Co-majoring in the PhD Programs
- 4.5 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (PhD)
- 4.6 Preliminary examination requirements and ABD Status
- 4.7 Guidelines for the Dissertation (PhD)
- 5.1 About the Concurrent Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs
- 5.2 Concurrent BA in Linguistics/MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics Degree Requirements and Curriculum Plans
- 5.3 Concurrent BS in Technical Communication/MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication Degree Requirements and Curriculum Plans
- 5.4 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (Concurrent MA)
- 5.5 Guidelines for Thesis and Creative Component (Concurrent MA)
The MFA degree program has a research element in addition to the required number of credit hours. These guidelines will help you complete your thesis.
3.5.1 General guidelines
All MFA students write theses that are composed of their own imaginative writing.
3.5.2 Thesis Proposal
The proposal for a book-length thesis must be approved by your major professor by the last month of your third semester in the program.
Thesis work produces one document—the thesis itself. In the case of MFA students, that thesis is considered a work of publishable quality.
3.5.4 Audience, distribution, and awards
The immediate audience for the thesis is the POS committee and other interested readers, but the MFA thesis project also anticipates an outside audience of readers—agents, publishers, and readers of literary works. It should also be noted that electronic copies of MFA theses are kept on file in the university library. MFA theses are eligible for Graduate College Research Excellence Awards.
The format of the thesis is that of a creative writing manuscript. A checklist of Graduate College general requirements for the thesis, along with other important information on thesis writing and submission, is available on the Graduate College Electronic Theses/Dissertations (ETDs) at ISU. An MFA creative writing thesis must approximate a published collection or novel.
3.5.6 Original Work
Your thesis should be comprised of original work you completed while receiving credit for Engl 699. A thesis may draw upon work previously completed in class, but the final product should be a significant expansion of that work. For example, your thesis may contain work you began or produced in graduate creative writing workshops, but it should reflect significant development of that earlier work.
Procedures for completing the MFA thesis
In completing the creative writing MFA thesis, you will need to do the following:
- review the proposal for a book-length thesis with your POS committee
- submit the thesis to your POS committee
- defend the thesis in an oral examination