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MFA Photography & Integrated Media

A guide to research and thesis writing for Lesley Art + Design students in the MFA Photography & Integrated Media program.

Writing an MFA Thesis

Choosing a Topic

Once you have a topic, like "feminism in art" or "k-12 drawing classes" then you can start to move into a more specific research question. See what's available for research, but also consider the 4 Ps!

Can you narrow to a specific:

  • People
  • Problem
  • Perspective
  • Place

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a great way to organize your thoughts visually.  There are digital tools you can use (check out this list of 5) but it's usually more effective to create one on paper by hand.  They can be used for:

Studying: Map a textbook chapter or lecture notes to better understand, remember, and make connections

Writing Papers: Map out your thoughts to generate a topic or thesis question, outline your supporting research, and find connections to help you with transitions

Presentations: Present information visually, so that the audience can see how your ideas are organized and connected

See mind mapping in action:

Types of Sources

Concept Modelling

Concept modeling is a methodology used to break down information to make connections to broader themes, issues, and ideas. Concept maps usually take shape in the form of graphic representations or maps and allow you to externalize your thinking processes and connect abstract ideas into a visual structure, like mind-mapping.