Great read! I particularly appreciated the non-fiction graphic novel conundrum.
On the other hand (sorry – this is going to be a bit long), as a long time comic fan I have to respectfully disagree with what ultmately you settle upon for the definition of graphic novels: “A graphic novel is a complete work of fiction in the comics form which, if printed, is long enough to be bound as a trade volume, so with a glued or sewn spine.” You yourself identify that nowadays “graphic novel” is really more of a marketing term. A collection of previously released, single issues of comic books bundled into a larger grouping is a “trade paperback,” really. To qualify as an actual graphic novel, the work in question needs to have aways been always intended as a single, standalone piece of work. The Watchmen for instance has been consumed in its trade paperback format so exclusively that most of its readers are unaware it initially existed as a limited, monthly comic book series. I’d even object when people described it as a graphic novel.
It does seem like the “comics” description you outline could have considerable utility in this area.
Thanks for a great article!
13. Include a title on your proposal. I'm amazed at how often the title is left for the end of the student's writing and then somehow forgotten when the proposal is prepared for the committee. A good proposal has a good title and it is the first thing to help the reader begin to understand the nature of your work. Use it wisely! Work on your title early in the process and revisit it often. It's easy for a reader to identify those proposals where the title has been focused upon by the student. Preparing a good title means: