Subject Description

2.ThA focuses on the communication problems encountered in researching and writing a thesis. The class is designed to be 1/3 thesis writers anonymous, 1/3 writing and speaking skills, and 1/3 project organization skills. The writing and speaking assignments culminate in a thesis proposal and an oral presentation.

Text and Other Instructional Materials

No textbook is required; all materials are handed out in class.

Teaching Approach

2.ThA is based on the following premises:

  • Writing a thesis is a process that requires continual, focused effort.
  • Writing, presentation, and research reinforce each other and all contribute to excellence in the final product.
  • Writing and presentations improve with practice; feedback produces better writing and presentations. As a corollary, "practice" at thesis writing is difficult to obtain because an individual only writes a few theses, thus the increased need to learn from the experience of others.


Class attendance and participation lead directly to success in 2.ThA; be sure to attend the classes. Students who miss more than one of the required class sessions will require an excused absence from the dean's office to pass. (Class meets but 7 times.)

Grading is digital. Come to class; write a proposal in a series of drafts; prepare and deliver a series of oral presentations; live long and prosper.

Term Schedule and Assignments

This class meets six times as shown below. Deliverables culminate in a written thesis proposal and an oral presentation based on the proposal. The proposal and an appropriately signed cover sheet must be turned in to the 2.ThA instructor. Finally, students are expected to fill out a pair of end-of-term evaluations, one MIT form and one 2.ThA-specific form.

2.ThA Deliverables Timeline (PDF)



Proposal Specific Writing Issues

Introduction to Information Sources


Progress Reports

Follow up on Information Sources

Information Sources "Hands-on" Exercise



Proposal Workshop

Graphics Show and Tell

About Oral Presentations


Shorter, Less Formal Presentations

Review of Presentations

Possible Additional Topic(s)

5 Workshop II

Longer, More Formal Presentations

Subject Evaluation Forms