It might seem far away, but you have to start thinking about your thesis from the very beginning. Each student must submit a brief description of their research interests by October 1.
The thesis is based on original research (conducted largely during the Year in Japan), and makes substantial use of primary material/fieldwork in Japanese and professional literature. It is written in English, and is up to 13,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography), and reflecting the scholarly virtues of originality, focus and conciseness. Without the supervisor’s approval, no more than one third of the text shall consist of translation.
Marking Criteria of MA thesis.
Each student should submit a brief description of their research interests and preference for a thesis advisor to the Thesis Distribution Committee by October 1, 2012, using this form. All submission must be in hardcopy (mailbox of Dr. Ezawa, to the left of room 103 in the Arsenaal). From among the members of staff the committee will then assign the supervisor with whom the student will work on his/her thesis and research from semester one.
The MA thesis is intended to provide an opportunity for students to pursue a research project independently. Students are, therefore, entirely responsible for their own work. The role of the supervisor is to offer advice and guidance, not to direct (or do!) the research for you. Your supervisor will help you to identify a topic, to draw up a suitable preliminary bibliography and to plan the primary and secondary research you will need to do for the MA thesis. He/she will be available to advise you on approach, coverage, questions to be asked and the outline structure and research design.
More specifically, the supervisor is EXPECTED to:1) assist you in the definition and organisation of your project in the early stages of preparation; 2) offer you advice about sources; 3) advise you on the feasibility of what you plan to do; and 4) approve your Final Essay proposal.
The supervisor is UNDER NO OBLIGATION to find you a suitable topic for the Final Essay or proof read your final draft.
1. Submitting a brief description of research interests: October 1
2. Submitting Thesis Proposal and discussing it with the supervisor: late January
3. Submitting MA thesis proposal and practical research plan: early March
4. Submitting four Dissertation Progress Reports (see Year in Japan)
5. Submitting the final version of the thesis: June 15 (year two)
Leiden University Library Search Engine (U-Cat)
Library of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeastasian and Carraibean Studies (KITLV)
Catalogue of major Japanese Universities Nacsis Webcat
National Diet Library, Japan
National Archives of Japan
Finding Japanese journals and magazine articles
Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)
Practical advice on research in Japan published in Japan Focus.
see also BA Student Study Guide