Developing the Proposal

Students should start considering possible capstone topics by the beginning of their third semester (or after having completed 24 hours of graduate courses). You are responsible for proposing a topic to the MSTC faculty in the fall semester. ENG 675 instructor will send out a Call for Proposal to students around early October and those who plan to defend their capstone projects should respond and inform the instructor of their intention to enroll in the course. The first draft of your proposal is due on October 31. Faculty will respond to your proposals by November 14, and your final revisions should be submitted before November 25. Doing this allows you to take some time in the winter break to work on your project before starting ENG 675 in the spring.

Your two-page project proposal is your initial contract between you and the MS faculty regarding your work in this capstone course. The proposal will define and delimit your project so that both you and the faculty agree at the outset what your obligations for the semester are. The proposal is a standard, important, and necessary step in the development of your project: it should ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset, keep you from hopelessly floundering mid-semester, and minimize surprises at the end of the semester.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the MS faculty, and you will revise until the faculty members approve of your project and your plan for completing it. Faculty will evaluate the proposals according to the value or usefulness of the project, its relevance to your work in the MS program, its feasibility given the resources available and the semester schedule, and the logical coherence of the proposal itself. Submit your revised and approved proposal to the ENG 675 instructor in order to be registered for ENG 675. You will be assigned an advisor to help you with your project near the end of the fall semester.   

Note: If ENG 675 is your only requirement in your final semester if you've already completed all other degree requirements, and you rely on federal loans to help cover the cost of tuition, you may be eligible for a full-time/part-time waiver. However, this only applies to students who have been enrolled full-time until the 675 semester. Please contact Dr. Penrose for more information.

Researching and Writing

Meet with your capstone advisor in the first week of the semester (or sooner) to plan your work. The two of you will need to develop a timeline for completing your project, including deadlines for the submission of draft(s) and revisions. Please note that faculty usually need a week or two to comment on a substantial draft or revision and to work it into their schedule, so be sure to allow plenty of turnaround time as you map out the various stages of your research and writing. Many advisors will expect to see a full draft 4-6 weeks in advance of the final deadline to allow time for revision and additional research if needed. You will defend your capstone project in late March and April in ENG 675. The final product, approved by your advisor, must be submitted by the last day of class or whatever deadline given by your ENG 675 instructor to get a course grade.