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Departmental thesis requirements:
Department of English Studies

The first steps

The Department of English Studies passed a decision to help all students who wish to write their thesis about topics coming into the Department's competence. The aim of this is to improve the quality of your work and make the process of writing the thesis an opportunity, when you, a young scholar, can work together closely with an experienced colleague on an individual basis. So come to our department only if you can accept this condition.

You must decide the topic and the title of your thesis in consultation with a tutor of your choice who will be your Supervisor. It is of key importance that you be deeply interested in what you write about. Topics might range from analysing a literary work to discussing a modern social issue. Your choice of topic will have to be approved by the head of department.

You can work with the tutor of your choice but you have to be accepted by him/her and he/she must work at our department. In order to be considered, you have to write up a proposal of one page about your topic, in which you state what you want to write about and prove that you have done some initial research in the library about it with mentioning at least three works with authors and titles that you have studied.

You will have to prove with at least three signatures from your Supervisor that you had consultations with him/her about your thesis during the course of writing it. In the credit system this is formalized as two courses for non-supplementary and as one course for supplementary students.

If you are not a member in the major libraries in Budapest, you will not be able to do serious work, so do go and register now. Using just the department library is not enough. When you put together your bibliography you might realize that some works are not available in Hungary. In this case you might want to use interlibrary loan. This costs some money but is perhaps worth the effort. The librarians can help you with this.

Writing the thesis

You will discuss with your Supervisor how to do your research, how to structure your paper, etc., but you can also read Umberto Eco's book Hogyan írjunk szakdolgozatot? in addition, where you can find plenty of good suggestions about note-taking, organizing your material, etc. Each topic needs a different approach, and this is the time when you need your Supervisor's help most.

There are only a few formal requirements that we take very seriously:

  1. The thesis should contain a title page described in the style sheet, a table of contents and a bibliography of the works consulted.
  2. When writing up your thesis follow the suggestions of the MHRA Style Guide.
  3. The thesis should be not less than 50 pages long without notes and bibliography. It can be longer, but the quality does not depend on the quantity.
  4. You must reveal your sources, plagiarism is severely punished.
  5. The department will accept your thesis if your Supervisor signs the consultation record sheet that you can hand in. This is the fourth signature you must earn.
  6. You might change your Supervisor and your Supervisor may also drop you if either you or he/she find that you cannot work together. This must be done formally, applying to the head of department so that no student is left without help, but in this case you must find a second Supervisor.

Marking your thesis

The referee of your paper is not your Supervisor, but if he/she does not agree to the referee's mark and opinion, he/she can challenge it. Then either the two faculty members reach an agreement in an argument, or a second referee is appointed by the head, who then decides. If still no compromise can be reached the decision rests with the head of department.

Some of the criteria that contribute to the mark are: good choice of topic, extensive research, originality of treatment, unity and cohesion in the elaboration, logic in arguing, good structuring of the material, proper scholarly style, English language competence, layout.

Good luck!


last edited on Thu Mar 15 14:01:47 CET 2007, by peter.szigetvari@elte.hu