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thesis

     

    By writing and defending their thesis, students must demonstrate that they are capable of producing a longer piece of academic writing and arguing for their own views against an expert in the field. The Thesis is defended at the Final Examination.

    In the MA in American Studies programme DAS and its Head, in the MA in ELT programme the Module Leader is responsible for the professional aspects of the graduation process and the acceptance of the thesis title. The information below relates to theses written in the MA in English programme.

    In the MA in English programme DES, DELG, DEAL, and DELP (i.e., their respective Heads) are responsible for the professional aspects of the graduation process and the acceptance of the thesis title.The chart below also contains the final exam topic numbers belonging to each thesis field. The Head responsible for the thesis will assign one of these topics at the submission of the thesis title, and the Candidate will draw a question from this topic at the Final Examination (general deadlines regarding the submission of thesis title, forms for submitting the thesis title).

    According to the decision of the Institute Council (IC Act, 14 Oct 2003), the person responsible for the graduation procedure at SEAS is the Head of the Department a student's Supervisor belongs to.

    Choice of Thesis Topic

    MA students may select the topic of their degree thesis from any of the subject areas taught under the conditions set by the respective Department (some departments may recommend thesis titles for consideration). Students are, however, encouraged and highly advised to remain within their selected specialization track:

    • English Applied Linguistics (Angol alkalmazott nyelvészet)
    • English Theoretical Linguistics (Angol elméleti nyelvészet)
    • English Literature (Angol irodalom)
    • British Cultural Studies (Angol/Brit kultúra és társadalom)
    • Postcolonial Studies (Posztkoloniális irodalmak és kultúrák)

     

    Students are discouraged from writing a thesis on the same topic as that of their previous degree thesis. What qualifies as the same topic is at the discretion of the Head in consultation with the Supervisor. If the student has previously received a (BA/BEd) degree as an English major, they must hand over a copy of that thesis and the referee's report to the Supervisor when discussing the thesis title. These will be returned to the student after the defence of the thesis.

    To facilitate topic selection, departments publish their suggestions for thesis topics on their notice boards and/or their websites, or students may consult individually with their tutors (HKR 77. § (1)). (Hint: the SEAS Academic Database contains the expertise of SEAS tutors, which is also detectable from the specialization courses they offer.)

    Supervisor

    The Supervisor is the tutor responsible for providing professional help for the students in writing their degree thesis. Supervisors are selected individually by the students from among the tutors (with any rank or position) of the University. (Tutors with part-time positions do, but teaching assistants (gyakornok) do not qualify for Supervisor.) Students are allowed to propose an external Supervisor – an expert not employed by ELTE – but in such cases they must request the consent of the Head, in advance. (The decision of the Head will depend on whether it is possible to find a referee for the proposed thesis within the Institute.) SEAS has made it obligatory for thesis writers to select a Supervisor. Departments may require that thesis writers meet their Supervisor on a certain number of occasions.

    The Supervisor aids the work of the thesis writer: they recommend relevant literature and courses, comment on the various drafts of the thesis, suggest changes if necessary, etc. At the same time, they have the right to define the rules of cooperation, e.g., ask for regular consultation, participation at particular courses, the completion of various parts of the thesis by given deadlines, the reading of specific studies, books, etc. Should students fail to observe these conditions, the Supervisor has the right to deny giving a mark for the Tutorial Seminar and/or withdraw from the duties of supervision. The exact tasks of the Supervisor may be determined more specifically by the Departments.

    If the Supervisor – because of some impediment – cannot continue their advisory work, students may choose a deputy supervisor (with the consent of the Head), whose rights and responsibilities are the same as those of the original Supervisor.

    The Supervisor has the right to influence the marking of the thesis and to be present and rise to speak at the Final Examination of her student, but not to set questions to the candidate or participate in the assessment of the Final Examination.

    Tutorial Seminar

    In the MA in English programme work with the Supervisor is formalized: thesis writers obligatorily take two Tutorial Seminars in consecutive semesters (ANGD-C2, followed by ANGD-C3, in case of international students: ANGD-C2E, followed by ANGD-C3E). The actual codes of the tutorials depend on the Department in charge, e.g. ANGD-C2/delg/sa, in case of international students: ANGD-C2E/delg/sa). Note that C3 has C2 as its strong prerequisite, so you cannot take both in the same semester.

    If you want to graduate in a spring semester, take C2 in the autumn semester and then C3 in the spring semester. If you want to graduate in an autumn semester, take C2 in a spring semester and C3 in the autumn semester. Read on.

    Submission of Thesis Title

    The MA thesis title submission form (Mesterképzésben (MA) részt vevő hallgatók diplomamunkájának címbejelentője) is downloadable from here and has to be first signed by the Supervisor. Then – on the same form – the title and the Supervisor (if not a member of SEAS) are to be approved by the Head, who also sets the topics for the oral Final Examination by indicating the topic number on the form. The submission of the thesis title must be preceded by substantial preliminary studies of the chosen field. The prerequisite for the submission of the title is the submission of an approximately 1½–2-page (roughly 300–350-word) thesis proposal in English; this should contain the aim and rationale of the research, the methods to be applied, and a list of relevant preliminary readings consisting of at least 4 books or 8 journal articles.

    In the absence of the above the Supervisor and the Head cannot sign the form.

    There must be a period of at least 6 months between the submission of the title and the Final Examination. The deadline for the submission of titles is set by the Study and Exams Code (Hallgatói Követelményrendszer, henceforth: HKR), and circulated by the TH.

    To meet this deadline Departments may require that you submit the proposal and the form one or two weeks earlier to allow time for the Head to consider the proposal, and to allow the student time to rewrite it if it gets rejected. Please inquire at the relevant Department.

    Students are to make three copies of the completed and signed thesis title submission form: they are to submit the original and two copies at the TH and keep one for their own record (read on about general deadlines regarding the submission of thesis title).

    Summary

    Follow these steps for a successful administrative procedure

    • find a tutor (preferably in the 2nd, or the very beginning of the 3rd, semester)
    • complete title submission form and take it to your tutor for a signature, then to the head of department for a second signature (you will also be assigned a topic, from which you will draw a question at the final examination)
    • take title submission form to the Registrar (by mid March/October; actual deadlines vary, allow time for enquiries)
    • ask for your first tutorial seminar (ANGD-C2) to be advertised (write to Dr Attila Starcevic) no later than beginning of February/September (this ideally happens in the third semester)
    • in a subsequent semester ask for your second tutorial seminar (ANGD-C3) to be advertised in a similar fashion (same deadlines apply). This ideally happens in the 4th semester.
    • fill in form to register for final examination and take it to the Registrar by mid March/October (ideally in the 4th semester; actual deadlines vary, allow time for enquiries)
    • submit your thesis by the deadline set by the Registrar and upload it into seas (ideally in the 4th semester)
    • defend your thesis at the final examination (ideally in the 4th semester)

    read about graduation

    Changing or Modifying Titles

    Changing and modifying titles is regulated by the HKR (77.§ (8)).

    General Requirements of SEAS

    In the thesis the author must demonstrate sufficient maturity for an MA degree. Thesis writers should therefore be prepared to receive thorough criticism and a realistic assessment of their MA theses. They are requested to accept the fact that at this level strict criticism or even refusal are concomitants of serious academic work.

    Degree Theses are expected to demonstrate that their authors are capable of synthesizing acquired knowledge, making the first steps necessary for scholarly work, and applying the methodological, technical and stylistic tools required in English language academic argumentation.

    Citation and Plagiarism

    Theses are expected to review the recent (and, if necessary, the not so recent) literature on the topic, cite abundantly from it (including other successful theses written on the topic) either agreeing or disagreeing with the sources. It is important, however, to put all citations from others between quotation marks, and indicate immediately afterwards the page(s) where they originate from.

    By writing their name on the thesis, students officially state that it is their own work. Should the thesis – at any place – contain someone else's ideas without acknowledgement or words without quotation marks and precise references, the student will be charged for plagiarism, the thesis will automatically be failed (i.e., receive grade 1), and SEAS will initiate disciplinary action (HKR 76.§ (6)). Read about University policy regarding plagiarism.

    Certificate of Research

    Each submitted thesis must contain the following declaration inserted before the title page (valid for the MA in English programme only, or use the one given on the Faculty site):

    CERTIFICATE OF RESEARCH
    
    By my signature below, I certify that my ELTE MA thesis, entitled
    ...................................................................
    is entirely the result of my own work, and that no degree has previously
    been conferred upon me for this work. In my thesis I have cited all the
    sources (printed, electronic or oral) I have used faithfully and have
    always indicated their origin. The electronic version of my thesis (in
    PDF format) is a true representation (identical copy) of this printed
    version.
       If this pledge is found to be false, I realize that I will be subject
    to penalties up to and including the forfeiture of the degree earned by
    my thesis.
    
    Date: ..........................
    
    Signed: ........................
    

    Length, Language

    The thesis must be typed or printed, single or double sided. The required length is minimally 80000n including spaces, i.e. approximately 40 pages. The certificate of research, title page, abstract, table of contents, notes, references and appendices are not included in this length. The language of the thesis is English. The technical apparatus should be consistent and should conform to the English or American norms, and to the conventions of the particular subject. The latter are to be discussed with the Supervisor. (For further details also consult the specific requirements of the Departments.)

    Structure

    The study should start with a short abstract, summarizing the most important ideas and results of the work. This should be followed by a detailed table of contents. The body of the text is, ideally, divided into chapters and subchapters. Thus the typical structure is as follows: Certificate of Research, Title Page, Abstract, Contents, Text (with chapters and subchapters), Conclusions, Notes (if applicable), References (the list of works referred to), Appendices/Illustrations (if applicable). (For further details also consult the specific requirements of the Departments.)

    Front Cover, Title Page

    What the front cover (hard cover) and the title page should look like is illustrated below.

    Front cover (hard cover)

    kulso_borito_MA.jpg

    Title page

    belso_borito_MA.jpg

     

    The thesis can also be submitted in double sided printing (both the hardbound and the ring-bound copy).

    Print the following on the hard cover:

    DIPLOMAMUNKA

    Print the following on the spine (omit the braces):

    DIPL.M. — {author's family name (and first name, if there is space} — {major's code} — {year}, e.g.:

    DIPL.M. — PENOVÁC JOLÁNANGD — 2012

     

    Do not enclose a CD/DVD with your thesis.

    Submission of the Thesis

    Theses must be submitted in two copies (one hardbound and one stitched or ring-bound) to the Faculty's TH. SEAS also requires the submission of an electronic copy in PDF format. Submission deadlines are specified by the Registrar every term. The deadline for electronic submission is identical to that of the Faculty.

    Should someone miss the thesis submission deadline, their Final Exam will be postponed by one term. Requests for the extension of the thesis submission deadline are to be submitted only in very exceptional cases, and should be addressed to the Faculty's Studies Committee (Kari Tanulmányi Bizottság).

    The hard copies of the thesis are forwarded to the Institute by the TH. The roles of the two copies are as follows:

    1. refereed copy (hardbound): the secretary of the Institute puts an Institute seal on it, registering it for the SEAS Library; after refereeing, the Department gives it back for inspection to the author, who can read the comments included in it on the premises, but is not allowed to take the copy out of the Department office.
    2. the back-up copy (stitched, or ring-bound) is kept at the Department before the start of the exams period to make sure that there are enough copies available at the Final Exam; after the exams the Department can either keep it or give it back to the Student.

    Students are advised to have a third copy made of the thesis to keep for themselves and bring it to their Final Examination.

    Referee

    The Referee is appointed by the Head after the submission of the thesis. Her name is not disclosed to either the Candidate or the Supervisor before her report is ready. The Head herself may also act as a Referee. If, however, she is the Supervisor, she has to nominate a deputy to take over the task of assigning the thesis to a Referee. At SEAS the Referee of an MA thesis cannot be the same person as the Supervisor (IC Act, Apr 1995). The Referee must be a specialist of the field with a PhD or “dr.univ.” degree.

    Evaluation, Grading

    The Referee gives the grade for the thesis. In deciding the final grade, the Supervisor has a say: the practice of this is determined by the Department. In case of major disagreement, the Head may assign the thesis to a third person, whose decision all the parties must accept.

    The Referee’s report may be written either in English or in Hungarian, but the grade must be written in Hungarian, placed in a separate line. The report may contain questions the Referee wishes to raise at the Final Examination. The Referee is to send one copy to the Supervisor and three copies, together with the thesis, are to be submitted to the Department secretary (one copy for the Candidate, one for the Department, and one for the TH). At this point the Candidate has the right to read the report. After the Candidate has received the Referee's report, the Supervisor may discuss the evaluation with the Candidate and give advice for preparation for the defence.

    Further Procedures

    The Department files the evaluations of the thesis and indicates unambiguously what the final grade is (if necessary, the Head is entitled to sign a written statement) and sends one copy back to the TH. Candidates can pick up all the evaluations of the thesis at the Department a week before the exam at the latest (HKR 79§ 5).

    The SEAS copy of the evaluation is to be attached to the first page of the Referee's copy of the thesis and handed over to the Library after the Final Examinations, where it is stored thereafter.

    Repeated Submission

    If the thesis is failed (i.e., receives grade 1), the Candidate has to submit a new thesis. This may be a corrected, redrafted version of the first one, or a completely new study, on a different topic. In such cases the title submission deadlines do not apply, the student my attempt the Final Examination in the next examination period (HKR 82.§ (1)). Since from a legal perspective the thesis forms part of the Final Examination the submission of the thesis for a given degree course may be attempted three times, i.e., reattempted twice (HKR 82.§). An accepted thesis may not be rewritten for a better grade.

    Acceptance of an OTDK Paper

    Heads may accept – without refereeing – OTDK (National Conference of Students' Scholarly Circles) papers that have won the first prize and may automatically grant them a grade 5 if they satisfy the criteria set for theses (HKR 79.§ (7)). The defence of the paper at the Final Examination, however, may not be waived for any Candidate.

    Departmental Requirements

    Some of the SEAS Departments contributing to the MA in English programme have prepared a detailed account of their MA in English thesis requirements, the suggested thesis writing procedure, and/or the criteria of assessment (DEAL, DELP, DES, DELG style sheet). Further information about these may be obtained from the respective Departments and the Supervisor.

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