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Creative or Performance Based Projects

Students may choose a creative or performance-based work as their thesis project, which combines an original work (exhibition, performance, composition, etc.) with a written component. Many students in theater, film, art, music, creative writing, dance, communications, design or digital media, for example, choose this option. While such a project can form the basis of a thesis, it is not a thesis in and of itself and must be accompanied by a substantial written portion (15-20 pages) of analysis or background. The essential elements of a thesis listed above also apply to creative projects.

A Creative or Performance Based thesis typically includes:

  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction or Literature Review: this provides background and a framework for the project, placing the project or performance within a larger context for the field. It often includes research that informed or led to the project itself;
  • Methodology: describes the performance or project including the development, approaches, rationale, and the procedural steps to create or implement the project;
  • Project Presentation: this is the heart of the project itself and may include a creative writing piece (essays, short story, poetry), images, a score, script, recordings, or other digital links to film, podcasts, multi-media, etc.
  • Results, Discussion, or Analysis: here students present and discuss the results of the project, including successes, shortcomings, or potential research or action going forward.  The ability to view one’s own work critically and objectively is essential for all fields of scholarly research, and a thorough discussion of findings or results demonstrates a standard of scholarship expected of all Honors students.
  • Conclusion
  • Appendices
  • References or Bibliography

Note:  Individual departments may have departmental thesis guidelines, deadlines, and policies particular to their department or discipline that supplement Honors Program guidelines.  Students should confer with Department Honors Coordinators to ensure their thesis meets both departmental and Honors Program requirements.