22.THT | Fall 2015 | Undergraduate

Undergraduate Thesis Tutorial


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session


22.09 Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection

Introduction to the Course

Welcome to 22.THT! This year, we are trying a rather different, more interactive type of seminar course. Instead of just leaving you to figure out what to do about your thesis prospectus and the thesis itself, we will guide you through various aspects of choosing, proposing, and executing your original thesis work. Therefore, this course will have more intermediate assignments compared to past years, in the hopes of lessening your workload near the end of the semester.

Major topics to be covered include:

  • Choosing a thesis topic
  • Planning out a reasonable amount of work for the spring semester
  • Setting concrete goals and milestones
  • More efficient tools for writing your thesis than Microsoft Word
  • Maintaining good communication with your thesis advisor
  • Finding and citing primary resources from literature

The learning goals for this course include:

  • How to choose a project topic, considering available time and resources
  • How to efficiently find and properly cite scientific resources
  • How to efficiently author a scientific document without doing any busy work
  • How to present your research in 30 seconds or less, in an impactful elevator pitch
  • Outlining a thesis in a detailed manner, to help guide both your research and writing
  • Improving the scientific content, richness, structure, and rhetoric of your writing
  • Developing your own personal, scientific writing style


Thesis Topic and Elevator Pitch 5
Central Hypothesis (3–5 Sentences) 5
Hypothesis Revision and Signoff 5
Rough Drafts of Thesis Prospectus and Outline 10
Communications Lab Review 10
Detailed Thesis Outline 10
Thesis Introduction and Background Sections 10
Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP) Review 5
Final Prospectus 40

All assignments are due at 11:59PM on the day listed in the calendar. Please plan to submit your assignments at least 15 minutes early, in case of computer troubles.

10% of the value of a given assignment will be deducted for each calendar day late. Assignments will not be accepted after the last day of classes.


1 Introduction, Example Prospectus, Resources Available to You  
2 Document Writing Tools: LaTeX / LyX, References, Collaborative Writing  
3 Elevator Pitch Workshop: Describe Your Work in 30 Seconds or Less  
4 Developing a Central Hypothesis for Your Thesis Due: Thesis Topic and Elevator Pitch
5 Outlining Your Prospectus and Thesis, Finding Background Materials Due: Central Hypothesis
6 Communication with Your Advisor, Reference Tracking Systems Due: Hypothesis Revision and Signoff
7 The NSE Communication Lab and the WRAP Due: Rough Drafts of Thesis Prospectus and Outline
8 Outlining Your Senior Thesis  
9 Framing Your Thesis Introduction Due: Communication Lab Reviews
10 Framing Your Thesis Background Section Due: Detailed Thesis Outline
11 Writing an Impactful Abstract Due: Thesis Introduction and Background Sections
12 In-class One-on-One Meetings Due: WRAP Review
13 Sign Prospectus in Class, Relax! Due: Final Thesis Prospectus

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Instructor Insights