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Choosing a Thesis Topic That Matters to You (& the World): 1-Day Workshop

June 26, 2019 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Stanford University Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) | Wallenberg Hall (Bldg. 160), 4th Floor | 450 Serra Mall | Stanford, CA 94305

This one-day training is designed to help undergrad and grad students choose a thesis or dissertation topic that matters deeply to them and to the world.

Led by two award-winning researchers, it offers expert advice, practical exercises, and peer feedback on the process of figuring out how to create a research project aligned with your passions, principles, and proficiencies. The goal of this workshop is not to produce a polished final product, but to learn new methods of generating research ideas that inspire you (and others).

You might benefit from this training if you:

  • experience difficulty in choosing a research topic;
  • already have a clear topic of interest, but feel unsure how to turn it into a research project;
  • worry you’re asking the wrong questions about your research topic;
  • have plenty of "good ideas," but aren’t sure which one to commit to;
  • feel like your research topic was imposed by someone else; or
  • want to learn new ways to think about self-driven research

The event schedule will consist of a mix of:

  • Brief lectures on best practices for choosing topics and generating questions
  • Hands-on exercises to help you navigate the key decision-making moments in the early stages of research
  • Peer feedback sessions
  • Lunch (included, no fee)
  • Free-writing session

This workshop is being offered on two dates:

- Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm

- Thursday, June 27, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm

Location: Stanford University, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), Fourth Floor, Wallenberg Hall (Bldg. 160), 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA

Cost: Free (Advanced Registration Required; On-Site Registration NOT Available)

Eligibility: This training is limited to currently registered full-time undergraduate or graduate students from any college or university.

Registration Link:

Participation is limited to 12 students per session, and pre-registration via Eventbrite is required. Registration closes on June 20. Incomplete registrations will not be processed. Successful registrants will receive a confirmation.


Tom Mullaney, Professor of History, Stanford University

Christopher Rea, Professor of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Event Sponsor: 
History Department
Contact Email:
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