The Honors Thesis:
What is It?
- The capstone of the Honors experience;
- An opportunity to pull together your undergraduate education and research into one final project that reflects your own creativity and contribution to the topic of your undergraduate study;
- Commonly resembles a scaled-down version of a Masters thesis in your discipline;
- However, it's not just a research paper. The thesis grows out of your engagement with your topic throughout your undergraduate career.
Why Do a Thesis?
It's an opportunity to:
- Explore an academic area in which you are passionate;
- Make a creative contribution in your field;
- Prepare for performing and reporting research in a Graduate program;
- Fine tune skills used to present research in writing.
What's Required: The Honors Thesis Basics
For a complete overview of the Honors thesis, including detailed requirements and expectations, please download the Honors Thesis Guidebook and read it thoroughly. The very basics of the thesis are outlined in the links below to give you a head start. Click here to download the Honors Thesis Guidebook.
- General Expectations
- What Does the Thesis Look Like?
- How Do I Submit My Thesis?
- Getting Things Done: The Thesis & Graduation Time-Line & Paperwork
How to Choose a Topic
You will spend a lot of time and energy on your thesis, so it's important that you choose a topic that will keep you engaged intellectually, as well as one that you think is fun-or at least interesting.
The following are some helpful hints about finding and choosing a topic (these hints come from Colorado State University):
- One of the best ways to select a thesis topic is to select your advisor first and work with this person on an area related to his/her own research interests.
- You can start a "topics file" where you keep track of potential areas of interest. Occasionally review your file to see if there are recurrent themes to your interests.
- For class paper assignments, choose topics that are potential thesis ideas and use them to explore the ideas further.
- Ask yourself the following questions: What courses have most engaged me? What am I most curious about? What do I enjoy? What academic interests am I most passionate about?
- Visit with faculty and discuss ideas with them. They have a great deal of experience and knowledge that may help you discover a topic.
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