The Road to an Honors Thesis

The Road to an Honors Thesis

Check items as completed; fill in information as needed. (N.B. This is intended as a guide, NOT as a "script." )

  1. Attend a Thesis Orientation Seminar.
  2. Take a look at past theses available in Franklin House or in the McNairy Library and Learning Forum.
  3. Choose an area of interest.
  4. Make a "contract" with an advisor. Be sure your advisor will be available when you plan to complete your project.
  5. Check it out! Develop/choose a preliminary question/creative task/analytic problem.
  6. Ask yourself: do I have the skills/background knowledge needed to complete this project? Consult with your advisor about courses/experiences to acquire necessary skills/knowledge.
  7. Determine whether you will need financial support to complete the project you are interested in. Investigate grants possibilities (e.g. Neimyer-Hodgson Grants, Undergraduate Research Committee Grants).
  8. Register for HNRS 489, Independent Study. The form is available from the Honors College in Franklin House.  You cannot register for the thesis online. It is a special paper registration process.
  9. Attend a Proposal Development Seminar.
  10. "Read" all about it!! Make sure to keep a listing of sources "checked out".
  11. Reframe/revise your question/task/problem as needed based on preliminary investigation.
  12. Develop a written thesis proposal. This should include
    • Introduction/statement of interest
    • Statement of the problem/task/question, etc.
    • Background/context/review of literature (An annotated bibliography may be substituted here based on the preference of the thesis advisor.)
    • Method/procedure/process
  13. Select a thesis committee of three to four members.
  14. Set a proposal defense date with all committee members.
  15. Defend your thesis proposal to fulfill the requirements for HNRS 489.
  16. Begin in earnest with your inquiry/data gathering/creative activity.
  17. Register for HNRS 499, Thesis. This is also done with a special paper process and cannot be done online.  Pick up the form at the Honors College office.
  18. Express results in draft form. Share with committee members.
  19. Set defense date and location.
  20. Inform Honors College Office of your defense date and location.
  21. Incorporate committee feedback into defensible version of your thesis.
  22. Provide committee members with "clean copy" (appropriately formatted, proofread, fully referenced, etc.) at least ten (10) days prior to your defense date.
  23. Defend your thesis.
  24. Revise/improve as required by your committee.
  25. Obtain committee signatures following successful revision. You must develop your own signature page with the names of your committee members so you can get signatures.
  26. Deliver two clean, unbound copies (including Cover Page, Signature Sheet and Abstract) to Franklin House at least two weeks prior to your expected graduation date. One copy is bound and kept on file in Franklin House. The other copy is bound and available in the library.  Also submit a PDF with the signature page via email to the Honors College.
  27. Pick up appropriate cord(s) (Purple = University Honors, Green = Departmental Honors) when you pick up your graduation regalia.