Share This

  1. *Customize this email by writing something in the Comments field.

All Fields
« Select a new subject area

Start Here

Select a topic and subtopic

    1. Thesis topic selection
    2. Proposals
    3. Committee selection
    4. Writing
    5. Defending
    6. Submitting
    7. Publishing
    8. Advisor relationships
    1. Literature review
    2. Organization of Research
    3. Presentation of Research
    4. Lab bench work
    5. Research Integrity
    6. Research Collaboration
    7. Comprehensives & Qualifiers
    1. Resume/CV
    2. Professional networking
    3. Getting new job postings
    4. Interviewing tips
    5. Academic
    6. Non-Academic
    7. Post-doctoral fellowships
    1. Techniques
    2. Code of conduct
    3. Campus instructional office
    4. Syllabus and grading
    5. Student complaints
    6. Learning styles
    1. Grant proposals
    2. Financial Aid/Student Loans
    3. Getting help from University Research Office
    4. Working with funding agencies
    1. Copyright issues
    2. Peer-review
    3. Conferences
    4. Building your CV
    5. Journals
    6. Open access publishing
    7. Books
    1. Time/Stress management
    2. Family Issues
    3. Campus life
    4. Physical and psychological wellness

Sponsored by ProQuest®

GradShare is a free service of ProQuest, a research solutions company.

Learn More

Expert Advice: All Topics

Track this Expert AdviceInfo< Back

Comprehensives Exams: Written as Review Papers

by Christine Jensen Sundstrom, PhD - Coordinator, Graduate Writing Support Program, University of Kansas

Determining Your Department?s Expectations

  • Are reviews for comprehensive exams evaluated much more stringently than those for class papers?
  • What level of professionalism is expected on comprehensive exams?
  • Does you department have samples of successful comprehensives? If not, will a colleague who was successful let you read his/hers so you get a sense of the standards/
  • What are the expected pieces of the review?
  • How strong should your voice and argument be?
  • Are you expected to evaluate the prior research?

Knowing Your Committee and Department

  • What is your department?s track record for passing and failing students on comprehensives?
  • Consult with your advisor, the graduate faculty advisor (if you believe s/he can be open), and with other graduate students to find out the track record of your committee members: how picky are they, what do they care about, and what do they tend to stress in comprehensive exam defenses?
  • Consult your advisor and other graduate students about whether committee members get along. If you ask the committee members, ask each one whether they can comfortably work with the other committee members.
  • Clarify the roles of the larger committee. Will all read your review before the exam to give you feedback or will only your advisor read it and recommend whether you are ready to defend?
  • Clarify the process. How long will committee members need the paper before the defense?

(Adapted from Writing for Graduate School, Christine Jensen Sundstrom, manuscript in preparation, Copyright 2008 .)

Christine Jensen Sundstrom, PhD

About the author

Dr. Sundstrom has 33 years of experience teaching language, technical writing, ESL, and graduate writing and presenting in a higher education setting. She has done editing in fields ranging from humanities to sciences.

  Related Items from GradShare

Comments: 0

Add Your Comment

Publish this comment incognito as FirstAuthor Info

Comments must adhere to our Terms of Use

Please select a Subject

Welcome to GradShare. Please select your field.

  1. Remember me  

  2. Forgot password?

Register to use GradShare!

I agree to GradShare's Terms and Conditions

Thank you for registering! Now you can participate in discussions and get updates on new questions in your subject area. Please start by picking your department from the options on the right. This will help us recommend useful tools provided by your university.

Verify your account

Make sure to check your university email account for our registration letter. You must verify your account in order to complete your registration. If you don't use your university email regularly, you can set up a preferred email address under the "My Profile" section.

You've joined the one community where graduate students help each other succeed, so ask your questions and don't forget to answer questions for others. Welcome to GradShare!