Course Nine

Course Nine

Proposal Semester

Attend your Proposal Meeting and submit your proposal before the mid-semester deadlines.

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Draft your proposal

In consultation with your supervisor, write a draft of your proposal that conforms to the master’s project proposal 2-3 page format.   Make sure it is built around an open-ended analytical central question that is focused and specific enough to be answerable in a project of this size, and that the method for answering this question is clear.  Send a good draft to dukegls@duke.edu at least 24 hours before your scheduled Proposal Meeting.  

Tips for Writing Your Proposal
  • Keep your Central Question as brief as possible -- no more than three sentences maximum.  The point is to capture the concept or issue that underlies your project in its most focused, basic form.
  • Make your Method as explicit as you can.  This will require that you already have a background in the issues that are important in your project.
  • Keep the proposal (not including the preliminary bibliography) between two and three double-spaced pages.
  • Separate primary from secondary sources in the preliminary bibliography.  (This requires that you know the difference!)

Attend the Proposal Writing Workshop

In order to hone your proposal further, sign up for the optional Proposal Workshop held each Fall and Spring.  Either send a draft of your proposal to the Assistant Director ahead of time, or bring a draft for copying once you are there.  At this workshop (typically held February & October), you can get advice from both peers and the GLS writing consultant to make sure your master’s project proposal is workable and makes sense to others.  

Schedule and Attend Your Proposal Meeting  (required)

Work with either the Director or the Assistant Director and your supervisor to schedule the Project Proposal Meeting. It is your responsi­bility to find out your supervisor’s avail­ability and to inform your super­visor about the time and place of the Proposal Meeting.   Please submit a draft of your proposal to dukegls@duke.edu 48 hours before the meeting. At this meeting, we will work out the final focus and shape of your proposed project. 

Proposal Meeting Deadlines
  • Summer project:  the 2nd Friday in March
  • Fall project:  the 2nd Friday in June
  • Spring project:  the 2nd Friday in October  

Submit your proposal  (required)

After the Proposal Meeting, you will be working with your supervisor and either the GLS director or the assistant director to draft a final version of your proposal. Once you have done so, save it as a PDF and submit according to the instructions here.  You should submit a proposal by the deadline at least one semester before the master’s project semester.  

Proposal Submission Deadlines
  • Summer project:  4th Friday in March
  • Fall project: 4th Friday in June
  • Spring project: 4th Friday in October  

Attain Project Approval (required)

Approval of a master’s project proposal by the GLS Director is required prior to the master’s project semester.  When your Project is approved, you will be given a PIN that will allow you to change your registration from Continuation to Master’s Project Colloquium (LS850).   Begin work on your project at any time after approval.