Thesis Writing Specialist
Tutt Library 234
Mary Margaret Alvarado is the author of Hey Folly (Dos Madres), a book of poems. Her nonfiction and poetry have been published in VQR, The Boston Review, The Rumpus, The Hairpin, The Kenyon Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Iowa Review, The New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and a Provost's Post-Graduate Writing Fellow. Before joining Colorado College, she was a senior instructor in creative writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, an editorial assistant at Harper's Magazine, and the Romaine Coombe writer-in-residence at Cincinnati's Seven Hills School. She is the mother of three young girls, and the farmer of her yard. She goes by Mia.
Independent work doesn’t mean isolated work. Join a community of thesis writers today!
Mia Alvarado, Thesis Writing Specialist, offers support and guidance to complement your working relationship with your adviser and scaffold your independent work.
WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY
“[Senior Thesis: Research and Planning] is one of the most useful courses I have taken at Colorado College. I wish I could have taken it freshman year… Honestly, the techniques I'm learning are changing the way I relate to all my work, for the better.”
“I made about 1,000,000 times more progress than I would have if I had not done the Thesis Writing Boot Camp. I think this class in genius.”
“[Senior Thesis: Drafting and Revising] was instrumental to keeping me on track with my thesis work. It reinforced my understanding of the importance of scheduling in the short and long term. Additionally, the course provided a sense of community to the daunting task of a thesis, which is essentially an individual task.”
“[Thesis Prep for Juniors] got me to not only think more about the thesis process but to be proactive about it! Now I have a concrete thesis topic and a working relationship with my advisor.”
For many, the senior thesis is the most solitary of Colorado College writing projects. However, you’ll have the most rewarding experience if you do what professional scholars do: join a community of writers who can consult about the process, encourage you, and offer feedback on your ideas. Writing in community is an advanced practice that will serve you well in graduate school. Check out this year’s line-up of adjunct courses below:
- GS399: Senior Thesis: Research and Planning (Blocks 3 & 4, Tuesdays 2-4PM)
The rumors are true: the thesis writing process can be a deflating self- confidence-sucker of the first degree, but it doesn’t have to be so! Senior Thesis: Research and Planning will teach you how to tend to both yourself and your project, improving your focus, productivity, and sense of wellbeing. Over the course of blocks three and four, we will: 1) worry less, as writing is a recursive process that necessitates support, community, and plentiful snacks; 2) refine our research topics and undertake significant research; 3) draft a solid literature review and project timeline. Course seats are capped at 12; seniors preferred, please. The class runs as a two-block adjunct, accruing .25 units of credit. Participation is required over both blocks of the adjunct. Pass/Fail grade track.
- GS399: Thesis Writing Boot Camp (Half-block, (9:30-Noon)
What’s the hardest part about the senior thesis? Writing it. That’s why the Thesis Writing Boot Camp isn’t so much a half-block course as it is a personal commitment: show up, eat free food, write, drink coffee, write some more. Instead of obsessing over being behind, carve out time this half block to write your thesis among friends in a relaxed environment tailored to your individual progress. Together we’ll quash procrastination and make tracks on the page. The class runs as a two-week course and meets daily, accruing .5 units of credit. Pass/Fail grade track.
- GS399: Senior Thesis: Drafting and Revising (Blocks 5 & 6, Tuesdays 2-4PM)
Are you sitting on a mound of research, but staring at a blank screen? Maybe you need a game plan. Maybe you need motivation, or accountability, or community. Maybe you just need a kick in the butt. I’m here to help! Over the course of blocks five and six, we will worry less (as writing is a recursive process that necessitates support, community, and plentiful snacks), strategize more (preparing a project timeline) and write a ton (from first draft to working draft). Please note that this course is intended for students who have already completed significant research. Course seats are capped at 12; seniors preferred, please. The class runs as a two-block adjunct, accruing .25 units of credit. Participation is required over both blocks of the adjunct. Pass/Fail grade track.
- Thesis Prep for Juniors (Blocks 7 & 8, Tuesdays 2-4PM)
Thesis Prep for Juniors is a two-block adjunct that aims to boost your confidence as scholar in anticipation of your senior thesis year. You’ll brainstorm a research topic, solidify your source material, refine your research strategies, and correspond with a senior mentor in your field of study for advice and troubleshooting. As the capstone project of the course, you’ll canvass the explicit expectations of your home department in effort to eliminate any senior year surprises. Together we’ll quell the doom and gloom of The Senior Thesis so that you may worry less and write more. Course seats are capped at 12; juniors preferred, please. The class runs as a two-block adjunct, accruing .25 units of credit. Participation is required over both blocks of the adjunct. Pass/Fail grade track.
Mia Alvarado mentors thesis writers across the curriculum in interdisciplinary writing workshops. These skill-building sessions take place in or out of class, with groups large or small (one-one-one consultations are reserved for Writing Center Consultants). The menu of workshops includes:
- How to brainstorm a research statement
- How to refine your research statement into an elevator pitch
- How to map our your senior thesis year
- How to organize your research and take great notes
- How to design a healthy work regimen
- How to manage your research project
- How to prepare for meetings with your thesis advisor
- How to write quickly, build momentum, and forgo expectations
- How to negotiate criticism
- How to alleviate thesis panic
- How to get unstuck
- Thinking ahead: How to prepare for your thesis year as a junior
Swarm writing workshops offer thesis writers plenty of caffeine and a generous spread of food to fuel their busy brains. Take advantage of these three-hour-long opportunities to carve out a workspace, deflect isolation, nurture positive community, and rally against procrastination.