MA Seminars I and II

MA Seminars are composed of a two-semester sequence that concentrates in the Fall on different research methodologies and disciplinary approaches as well as on the choice of research topic for the essay. The Spring semester is dedicated to developing the argument and completing the research project.

The essay is an original piece of research, interpretation, and analysis that draws on interdisciplinary course work, a variety of analytic strategies, and primary source materials.

The first seminar provides the groundwork that will allow students to successfully complete their essay and formulate a well-defined topic. The course will combine substantive and methodological readings with a workshop component designed to familiarize students with major topics in global thought, expand their disciplinary horizon, help them formulate a research question, identify sources and create analytic hypotheses for further in depth study. In the workshop sessions, the students will produce the research question, bibliography, thesis paragraph, outline, and draft of a proposal for their MA essays, which they will write in the second semester.

The second seminar is devoted to developing and completing the MA essay with class presentations, discussion of drafts, and close consultation not only with the instructors of the seminar but also with the student’s thesis adviser in his or her field. Grading for this course is based on the essay alone.