Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status
This is a mandatory course for students in the second year of the 2-year MA program that is organized around the presentation and discussion of the first substantive, empirical draft chapter to be prepared for the MA thesis by every participant by mid-October. The objective of this seminar is to help preparing MA theses and think through related issues of theory, research strategy, methodology, and write-up. Course participants present and discuss the newly written fieldwork/analysis chapters that they have to submit as part of their half thesis-length drafts, required by the departmental thesis writing policies.
The in-class discussions are to focus on the choice and formulation of the research question and the methodology; their justification in terms of relevance, timeliness, and tractability; the clarity of theory; the translation of the research question into a manageable research agenda via hypotheses or other means; the suitability of concept formation and measurement; the identification of appropriate research methods; the appropriateness of supporting arguments throughout the draft; the structure, quality and readability of figures, tables and text; and the clarity and implication of the findings. The classes provide exercises in critically engaging with other scholars’ work and spotting how they could be improved, and improve participants’ skills in matching research questions with data and methods, and findings with interpretation and further theorizing.