Major Research Paper

The Major Research Paper is modeled on a scholarly journal article of approximately 50-60 pages (excluding bibliography). Students may, with the permission of the Program, explore non-traditional modes of presentation in their Paper, such as scholarly editions or digital technology or performance. The Major Research Paper is expected to be completed in one year (three semesters). Under special circumstances a student may be permitted to take one more semester (September to December) to complete the Major Research Paper. Provided is an example of a final major research paper.

Sample Major Research Paper Topics

  • The Development of an Iconoclastic Journalistic Persona: Robertson Davies and the Diaries of Samuel Marchbanks
  • Publishing for Emerging Adults
  • Ontario University Library Book Acquisitions Policies in an Electronic Age


Initial Proposal

The student and supervisor should meet as soon as possible to discuss the student’s project. Over the course of first term they should work towards developing an initial proposal of about one page plus a draft bibliography for submission to the prospective second reader. These should both be completed by early in second term.

Final Proposal

In early April, the student will make a public presentation of the final Major Research Paper proposal at the Research and Professional Development Seminar. If the proposal is satisfactory the student will submit two copies of the Major Research Paper, one to the supervisor and one to the second reader, who will assign it a number grade by the end of August.

Second Reader

The second reader will be appointed from faculty within the Program.


The Major Research Paper will be assigned a number grade based on the average grade assigned by the supervisor and second reader.