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MFA Visual Art Research

A research guide created for students in the MFA program at Lesley University College of Art and Design.

Library Refresher

1) Go to the Group 1 page to watch the @LL Search tutorial as a reminder of what we did in Orientation in Group 1

Then, to better prepare for Group 4, you can:

2) Watch the videos below and browse some sample MFA theses

3) Create a mind map of your work (there's a video with an example)

4) E-mail me if you want to set up a Zoom to talk about research paths for your work: mharri27@lesley


If you want a refresher of the library orientation just click on Group 1 in the lefthand menu!


Thesis Writing: An Overview

Mind Mapping an MFA Thesis

Dissection of an MFA Thesis

Thesis Outlines

If you aren't sure how you want to organize your thesis, try reading other MFA theses to see how other people do it!  I've linked some below, but click on Find Dissertations & Theses under Resources in the menu on the left for ways to find and publish theses. 

Abstract vs. Practical

Notice how all the examples below compare in their organization (check out their table of contents!), even when dealing with a similar topic or medium!

Art & Trauma

Notice how the two theses below both center around art and trauma, but how they organize their thesis is different. 

Process-Based Art

If your art is very focused on your process, you may want to find a way to put more focus on that in your thesis. You can have a section of your thesis about your process but for some people their work is very process-based so they speak to process throughout the thesis.