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Research and Write Your Thesis

Register for HONRS 499R

While students are actively engaged in the research and writing stages of their thesis, they enroll and complete at least 3.0 and up to 6.0 credits of HONRS 499R, working under the direction of their thesis advisor. This is a variable credit (1-6 credits), independent, pass/fail course, and requires an approved thesis proposal prior to registration. Students receive a “T” (temporary) grade until after they have successfully defended their thesis (grade changes to a Pass), or have graduated without completing the thesis (grade changes to a Fail).

Conduct Research/Project

Once a thesis proposal is approved, the student begins work on the thesis project. It will necessarily involve research, notetaking, and record-keeping. It may involve collaboration with peers or research subjects; it will certainly involve collaboration with and tutelage by faculty on the thesis committee. Research methodologies are necessarily specific to each field of research and topic. Students should adhere to all discipline-specific norms, requirements, style guides, and protocols. Students are advised to follow a detailed timeline with interim steps and checkpoints, and to coordinate regularly with their advisor throughout the research and writing period. Typically, students spend 2 to 3 semesters completing the project and revising multiple drafts of the written thesis.

Write Your Thesis

Writing the first draft of a thesis can be the most challenging aspect of the whole research process as students pull all of their work and experiences together to create something meaningful. Prior preparation and organization will pay off here. Students should provide drafts in stages to thesis advisor as they complete each part, keeping in mind that advisors may require numerous intermediate drafts.

When the thesis advisor is satisfied with the thesis, the student provides the complete draft to all members of the thesis committee for review. Additional revision may still be required before all committee members agree the thesis is ready to defend. With that in mind, students should allow ample time ahead of defense deadlines for multiple drafts, and be mindful of committee members’ time and schedules. Remember, departments may have earlier deadlines than the Honors Program.