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Thesis Seminar North American Studies


Admission requirements

This course is intended for MA students in North American Studies.


Students will be guided through the process of writing their MA thesis through group discussions in a thesis seminar and regular individual meetings with their thesis supervisor.
In the first semester we will meet four times in a seminar setting to discuss digital research databases such as the MLA bibliography, America: History and Life, and the Lexis-Nexis Congressional Database and the Slavery and Abolition Database. The main focus will be on research methods, academic writing skills, possible thesis topics, narrowing down topics, draft thesis proposals and thesis planning and supervision.
In the second semester, there will be regular seminar meetings to discuss thesis proposals, productive thesis statements, draft introductions and individual chapters, which students are asked to submit electronically on Blackboard via Discussion Board for in-class discussion and peer-feedback.
Once students have chosen a thesis supervisor, regular individual meetings will also be scheduled to discuss progress and provide feedback on written chapters.

Course objectives

Students learn:

  • to practise research methods and skills, including use of digital databases to locate primary and secondary sources and correct use of citation styles (MLA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.);

  • how to write a thesis research proposal;

  • thesis planning and academic writing skills in English.


See timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Not applicable.

Assessment method

Students have to submit (draft) thesis proposals, thesis introductions, bibliographies, and thesis chapters for in-class discussion (Discussion Board Blackboard).


Blackboard will be used as resource and for submission of and feedback on thesis drafts.

Reading list

Not applicable.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Attendance is required for MA students in North American Studies. Class attendance and active participation will be taken into account in the assessment of the MA thesis


Mw. Dr. J.C. (Joke) Kardux (Coordinator)
Dhr. Dr. E.F. (Eduard) van de Bilt