MA Theses: guidelines for students

(Anglophone Literary and Cultural Studies)

1. Supervision of MA theses (diplomová práce)

MA students are advised to choose their supervisors during the summer semester of the academic year preceding that in which they intend to sit for their State Final (MA) examination. The choice must be made within the special programme (specializace) they have chosen, or at least with respect to the final examination they intend to sit for (English Language or British Literature, British, Irish, Commonwealth Studies or American Literature, American, Canadian Studies).

Students are advised to check the departmental website for staff areas of specialisation and contact the appropriate member of staff with a proposal.

Outstanding MA theses can be nominated for the Vilém Mathesius Award.

2. Preparation of a proposal

In order to facilitate productive discussion of your proposed topic, students should contact their potential supervisor with a draft proposal in the required format.

Students should prepare a proposal (500 words min.) discussing the subject, method and structure of the thesis, a short list of secondary literature (at least 10 titles), and an expected time of the submission of the thesis.

Proposals should provide answers to the following questions / address the following issues:

  1. Why do you think this is a topic you would like to research? Context for the project.
  2. What are your objectives? What is your core argument or thesis?
  3. What reading have you done so far? What materials are available? Can you foresee any problems or obstacles to your research?
  4. Methodology – how will you approach the topic, is there a theoretical approach that seems relevant.

A student may be refused by the supervisor:

  1. if her/his proposal/prospectus does not fulfil these requirements,
  2. if the proposal/prospectus is too ambitious, if the supervisor thinks it unlikely to be executed within the given time limit, or if the student does not prove to have access to sufficient library resources.

Any MAJOR changes in the proposal/prospectus must be made in writing and endorsed by the supervisor.

3. Deadline for assignment of the thesis (Zadání diplomové práce)

Following the approval of the thesis proposal by the supervisor, a thesis topic will be assigned to the student in the SIS information system. The student must subsequently upload the approved proposal in the system. The proposal will then be printed by the department, signed by the supervisor and department head, and handed over to the Dean of faculty for approval. The regulations stipulate that students must have their thesis proposal approved in the SIS one year prior to the defense of the thesis. Thesis proposals may be submitted at any time of the year. Step-by-step instructions concerning the submission of the thesis proposal may be downloaded through the link provided in the Download section of this page (thesis submission manual).

4. Structure and format of thesis

Guidelines for the presentation and format of MA theses are as follows:

  1. Extent of the thesis
    Minimum 70 pages in all – including:
    • minimum 60 standardized pages of text (1 standardized page = 30 lines per page, 60 characters per line / 1800 characters), excluding bibliography
    • an abstract in both Czech and English 
  2. Language
    The language of preference is English (the use of Czech is possible in cases where the selected topic requires it; the standard of language is part of the assessment)
  3. Structure
    Theses are composed of the following components:
    • Title page (see format requirements in subsection d. below)
    • Declaration page – this must be signed (see format requirements in subsection d. below)
    • Table of contents page
    • Chapter 1: Introduction of project, aims, argument, structure, methodology (this may include theoretical, or contextual, framework for project)
    • Chapters 2-4: Development of argument / analysis (the number of ‘body’ chapters is not fixed but within the perimeters of an MA dissertation usually not more than 3)
    • Chapter 5: Conclusion, reiteration of argument, discussion of results, suggestions for further research, etc...
    • Bibliography
    • Appendices (if required)
    • Abstract in Czech and English 
  4. Format
    Students may also consult the respective section of Dean´s Decree no. 21/2010; however, the layout of the thesis and the format of citations and bibliography must follow the rules outlined below.
    .
    Format of the title page:
    UNIVERZITA KARLOVA V PRAZE - FILOZOFICKÁ FAKULTA
    ÚSTAV ANGLOFONNÍCH LITERATUR A KULTUR
    (Title of Thesis) ........................
    DIPLOMOVÁ PRÁCE
    vedoucí diplomové práce(supervisor):
    Prof. PhDr. Martin Procházka, Dr.Sc.

    Praha, month 200..
    Zpracoval/a (author):
    John Smith
    studijní obor (subject/s):
    Anglistika a amerikanistika – historie
    Second page - declaration:
    Prohlašuji, že jsem tuto diplomovou práci vypracoval/a samostatně, že jsem řádně citoval/a všechny použité prameny a literaturu a že práce nebyla využita v rámci jiného vysokoškolského studia či k získání jiného nebo stejného titulu.
    V Praze dne .........
    (I declare that the following MA thesis is my own work for which I used only the sources and literature mentioned, and that this thesis has not been used in the course of other university studies or in order to acquire the same or another type of diploma.
    Prague, date .........)
    (On the pages following this there may be acknowledgements to the consultant, supervisor and permission: Souhlasím se zapůjčením bakalářské práce ke studijním účelům. I have no objections to the BA thesis being borrowed and used for study purposes.)
    NB This page must be signed by the student.
  5. References to literature in text
    Students are required to cite primary and secondary materials using MLA format footnotes. Exact details of materials used is expected, i.e. publication details and page numbers/ website addresses of sources. Please consult GUIDELINES for ACADEMIC ESSAYS (downloadable from departmental website) or materials from Academic Writing. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively and should begin from 1 in each chapter.
  6. Bibliographical data to be provided in the list of references
    Students are required to list all material cited in the thesis. MLA format for bibliographies must be followed. Please consult GUIDELINES for ACADEMIC ESSAYS or materials from Academic Writing.

5. Research and plagiarism

All sources (primary and secondary) MUST be cited in a transparent manner. Students MUST follow the MLA guidelines for both the format of footnotes and the format of the bibliography in the thesis.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Misuse of source will result in a failing grade.

6. Work with supervisor

  1. Students should agree upon a working schedule with their supervisor.
  2. Students must consult every individual chapter of their theses, and, if necessary, also the progress of material research, with their supervisors.
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to respect agreed deadlines for the submission of chapters or other work. Failure to respect the agreed working schedule may result in postponement of the final MA examination. Submitted work should always be carefully proofread and appropriately formatted with sources cited in MLA format.

7. Submission of final work

  1. MA theses must be submitted three weeks before their defence at the very latest. Supervisors may further specify a submission deadline to their students. The failure to submit the thesis on time may lead to the postponement of its defence.
  2. MA theses are submitted in 2 hard-bound copies and in an electronic form through the Information system. Step-by-step instructions concerning the submission of the thesis proposal may be downloaded through the link provided in the Download section of this page (thesis submission manual).
  3. Supervisors are responsible for admitting their students to the defence. If the submitted thesis is unfinished or if it has serious faults (including formal ones, such as the quality or style of bibliographical references, language standard of the text including spelling and misprints, or the absence of a Czech/English summary), supervisors must not recommend it for the defence or must order the student to correct the formal faults as soon as possible. 
  4. Submitted and defended theses are stored in UK Digital repository.

8. Selection of opponent

Supervisors are responsible for choosing and notifying opponents of their theses.