Graduate Program

Dissertation Writing Seminar

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Wednesday – 4:30 p.m.
MU 305

Dissertation Writing Seminar

John Kucich

This writing workshop is open to all advanced graduate students working on a dissertation, including those who have just completed a prospectus and those writing final chapters. The course will revolve primarily around your own work-in-progress; it will offer constructive feedback on your writing, as well as a chance to think about the overall structure of your dissertation and the place of a particular chapter within it. We will discuss your drafts from a number of perspectives: we’ll talk about sustaining and pacing arguments, but we’ll also consider stylistic choices as well as the overall arc of the dissertation. Please come to the first class with an informal but concise paragraph describing the basic inquiry and the textual range of your dissertation (no more than 200 words). Please also have ready a pdf file of the introduction to a “first book” you especially admire—i.e., not a mature critic’s mid-career work, but a book clearly based on a dissertation. We will not spend much time reading critical texts, since the workshop will be primarily focused on your own work, but we will devote the second class period to a discussion of some selected models for the dissertation as a whole, which will be chosen from these “first book” introductions.