Considering the amount of time a student will spend on the thesis or dissertation, the topic should be sufficiently complex and interesting to sustain concentrated effort over an extended period of months or years. The thesis or dissertation should make an original contribution to knowledge and scholarship on the topic. Students should become acquainted with the state of scholarship in their fields of specialization by keeping up with current published scholarship. The annual published surveys of scholarship in YWES, ALS, SEL, CCCC Journal, and other standard sources are useful for this purpose. Theses and dissertations often serve as source material for later publication as articles or books, so students should consider the possibility of future publication when selecting a topic.
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