By late April of Junior year, the student must make clear their intention to pursue Honors. For honors, students must have at least a 3. Explain the theoretical context for the project, as well the current state of the field. This is particularly important for a senior thinking of writing an honors thesis. Begin by clearly stating the research question and working hypothesis.

Program guidelines for independent study and thesis work A. The argument is what you intend to prove in your thesis. Any student who decides to pursue an independent research should have a genuine interest in a well-defined subject and should be willing and be able to work to an agreed upon timetable with faculty supervision. Because there are many options for what might be included in the project, you must talk with your adviser in depth and agree upon the supporting material that will be necessary. How will the project expand or challenge other literature on the subject? If you are writing, you should aim to complete a chapter draft before the end of the semester. What are the broader implications of the project and how will those be brought into the thesis?

Some departments allow students to divide these 8 credits between a 2—4 credit capstone or senior seminar honirs the level usually in the fall semester and an independent study usually in the spring semester. Have you taken courses on this topic? This examination is meant to be more of a conversation than an interrogation.

mhc honors thesis

The purpose of the thesis proposal is to help you organize and define your topic and to inform International Relations faculty about who is working with whom and on what subjects. The thesis must be done under the direction of an International Relations Department faculty member.

Honors Thesis and Independent Study | Mount Holyoke College

If the work receives a favorable review, the student will receive a letter from the chair in early April asking them to confirm that they will be submitting the final draft of their thesis to their thesis committee by April 30th. For honors, students must have at least a 3. Prepare your final draft, due on May 1st. Such an essay may provide a useful summary of the existing literature, but it does not advance our understanding of the question being explored and may, unfortunately, perpetuate a gilt-edged error.


If you are writing on a topic within a field in which you have never taken a class, you will have to do a substantial amount of work during the summer before your senior year. It must be taken early enough for the grade to reach the Registrar by senior grade deadline. Revised draft to advisor and second reader; faculty decide whether project will be considered for Honors designation April: At that point, the advisor informs the student whether the thesis is of sufficient caliber to go before an oral examining committee, or whether it will remain independent work.

The full Film Studies Program decides in a later meeting whether to support the recommendation of the committee. Typically, proposals are not rejected, but students may be asked to modify or refine their projects.

theiss If your topic does not inspire or consume you, it will be hard to keep yourself working. Will you use qualitative, quantitative, or interpretive methods? Thus your advisor will make some recommendations about what you should read and see, but you will have to find many of the texts that are relevant to your topic on your own. Some departments or programs also require students to submit a proposal or prospectus in the spring semester of their junior year. Orally defend your thesis.

mhc honors thesis

Writing a senior thesis can be an incredibly enriching experience. Worthwhile theses also require an argument that is significant or non-trivial. Primary research is part of the process of writing. Senior Year — Spring Semester In the spring of your senior year, you should: Your advisor’s job is to aid you in your study of the question you have chosen.


If you are writing, you should aim to complete a chapter draft before the end of the semester. Give an oral presentation and defense of your thesis. Such a student should schedule a meeting with the Dean of Studies in the fall semester of their senior year to discuss the members of her special honors committee.

Senior Thesis | Mount Holyoke College

Strong theses are built upon a clear and coherent assertion of causation or correlation. How will the thesis demonstrate the central argument and claims? Further information on all of these steps will be given in conversation with your advisor and committee members.

Summer before Senior Year Because of the amount of writing that needs to be done during the Fall, an Honors student should plan to begin and complete most of the research over the summer.

mhc honors thesis

At this point your topic can be quite general. Or you might confirm an existing argument by marshaling new evidence.

Senior Thesis / Independent Study

To pass, the thesis must mmhc judged acceptable by the honors committee. Good writing depends on clarity and precision, on direct language and structures.

A senior may take an independent course in the fall and change the course status to honors in the spring.