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The Honors Thesis
The senior thesis is the culmination of the University Honors Program experience. The thesis emphasizes critical thinking, high-quality research, top-flight writing, and independent, creative work. The goal is to produce a work of publishable or exhibitable quality.
Work on the thesis should be academically and personally rewarding. The thesis may relate to your major, but this is not a requirement. A good way to get started it to glance through the thesis archive in the Honors seminar room on the second floor of the Snell House.
A thesis may take many forms. It may be traditional, as an in-depth critical analysis of imaginative literature, or the discussion and results of a student-designed experiment in the natural or social sciences. You may produce a critical analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation of an existing body of knowledge. A thesis might entail composing, designing, and staging a theater piece, writing a book of poetry, mounting a photography exhibit, preparing a collection of short stories, or crafting a graphic novel. When the thesis is a creative work, a substantive essay is required as well in which you will reflect upon the substance as well as the creative process involved in your project.
In preparing your Honors thesis, you will register for two semesters of IDH 4970 (Honors Thesis). This is not a “class” as such, and does not have regular meeting days/times. You should plan to attend the thesis meeting that is offered at the beginning of each semester. You will also stay in contact with the Honors Program director periodically during the course of the semester.
There is no requirement as to the length or magnitude of the thesis. Quality is of greater concern. It is important that the product reflects six semester hours of work and is approved by your thesis committee and the Honors Program. It should reflect a significant time commitment, be of high quality, and demonstrate personal intellectual growth. A research project should adhere consistently and correctly to a documentation style appropriate for the field of study following, for example, such style manuals as those of the MLA, APA, or the University of Chicago. You must include a bibliography or a works cited page for any type of research project - not just for a traditional research paper, but also such projects such as a unit of lesson plans, handbook, publicity campaign, feasibility study, or any other project which incorporates material drawn from outside sources.
Attention: Thesis Directors
For helpful information about directing an Honors Thesis, please click here (.pdf).
Available Thesis Forms:
Prospectus Approval Form (.pdf)
Thesis Approval Form (.pdf)
For more information about the Honors Thesis, please see the Honors Thesis Information (.pdf) packet.