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Writing the Honors Thesis A Quick Guide to Long-term Success.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing the Honors Thesis A Quick Guide to Long-term Success."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing the Honors Thesis A Quick Guide to Long-term Success

2 Why Write an Honors Thesis? Develops proficient research and rhetorical skills Makes an original contribution to your chosen field Can lead to publication Culminates undergraduate educational experience Enhances academic and professional credentials Gives advantage in applications to graduate school Maintains continuing Honors student privileges Robert K. Thomas Scholarship Summer Honors at Cambridge Letters of recommendation for graduate school

3 How the Honors Thesis Process Works Attend thesis orientation meeting Formulate ideas in general interest area of major Meet with Department Honors Coordinator Select a Thesis Advisor Narrow and focus the thesis topic Write and submit thesis proposal Research extensively your topic Draft and revise thesis Submit final draft Defend the thesis Submit final formatted copies for binding

4 Helpful Resources Department Honors Coordinator Helps you explore various topics Assists in the selection of thesis advisor Reviews and signs the Thesis Proposal Form May participate in the thesis defense Advisor Teaches full-time in thesis discipline Supervises development of thesis proposal Directs the research and writing of thesis Participates in the thesis defense Referee Researches full-time in field relevant to thesis topic Participates in the thesis defense Honors Representative Serves as a member of Honors Faculty Council or as an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Chairs thesis defense

5 Thesis Proposal Designed to persuade readers that Idea ought to be accepted Investigative methodology will achieve the desired results You have the skills necessary to do the work Submitted at least one year prior to your anticipated graduation date

6 Thesis Proposal Outline Thesis Proposal Submission Form Working title Statement of intent Provide concise statement of main idea, goals, or anticipated results Background and significance Explain the context of thesis and identify and give a brief background or history of the central issues, problems, or concerns to which you are responding Methodology/Procedures Outline in highly specific terms how you will use the valid methods of inquiry common to the disciple to produce the thesis including methodology, real and valid tasks, itemized steps, and specific procedures Proof that you have obtained the necessary IRB (human subject) and IACUC (animal subject) approval Preliminary outline or prospectus of the finished thesis Explain how your thesis will be organized, into what main chapters or sections it will be divided, the anticipated rhetorical design of the content, and an outline of projected content. The structure will depend on the type of thesis you do (i.e., project-based, capstone-based, scientific research, literary analysis, etc.)

7 Thesis Proposal Outline Documentation of preliminary research Do library research to learn what others have already said about the question, issue, problem, concern, or topic your project will address. You must show familiarity with relevant major indexes, bibliographies, or other finding aids Annotated bibliography or preliminary review of literature Qualifications of the investigator What coursework, projects, performances, skills and experiences do you have that make you qualified to research and write authoritatively on the subject? Qualifications of the faculty advisor What qualifications does your faculty advisor have that are relevant to this topic of study? What relevant work have you had with this professor in the past? Projected schedule Expenses/Budget Apply for outside funding if needed Closure Reference Section Appendices

8 Researching and Drafting Researching Complete the research the semester before you write the thesis Work closely with your thesis advisor Keep a careful log and notes about research efforts and information collected Drafting Show your draft in stages to your advisor as you complete each part The advisor should see a complete first draft about two months before you plan to have your defense Plan time for many revisions

9 Submitting and Defending Submitting Submit the final draft of the thesis and honors portfolio to the Honors Advisement Center. Give copies of your final draft to your advisor and referee. Follow the formatting requirements The Honors Program will give a copy of your final draft and honors portfolio to the chair of your thesis defense Defending Honors Advisement Center will contact you with the name of the Honors Program representative who will chair your defense Plan and coordinate a time and place for the thesis defense and notify the Honors Advisement Center within 10 days of the submission of the final draft and portfolio The defense usually lasts at least an hour and covers the content of the thesis, relevant course work, research and research methods, the bibliography, and your portfolio

10 Honors Theses and Capstone Projects Purpose Why and how did you choose this project? Background and significance Explain the historical, social, cultural, political, and/or personal context that make this project significant and how they compare Methods and procedures Outline steps used to complete the project Presentation of project Include documentation to show the development of the project and a narrative describing and analyzing the components of the project Overall analysis of project results What did or didn’t go well? What would you have done differently? What now? Bibliography Any major-specific requirements and guidelines

11 Deadlines Honors Program Deadlines December graduation April graduation June graduation August graduation Final thesis and portfolio submitted October 1February 1May 1June 1 Thesis defense completed November 1March 1June 1July 1 Four polished, ready-to be bound copies submitted November 15March 15June 15July 15

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