Thesis Guidelines

Senior Thesis Requirements and Procedures

Students wishing to write a senior thesis in the department must demonstrate excellence in critical writing and the desire to explore a topic in depth through extensive research. In certain cases, traditional research methods may be supplemented by creative work, as long as that work is understood to be an organic part of the written thesis, and vice versa.

The student should discuss their interest with a faculty member in the department, and work closely with them throughout the entire process. Two additional readers should be included on the student's committee.

By February 1 of their junior year, the student should submit a proposal to the chair of the department that includes the following:

  • A brief explanation of why they want to pursue an honors thesis.
  • A three-to-five page description of the thesis. This should include an introduction to the subject, a breakdown of chapters and their contents, a tentative schedule for completion of the work, and a preliminary bibliography. If additional research outside the College is required, this must also be detailed.
  • Two samples of critical writing, preferably papers from previous classes, with professors' comments included.

Note: If creative work is involved as a form of research, the proposal must include a clear explanation of the relationship between artistic practice and critical writing, the resources needed to complete the artistic work, and a schedule for doing so.

The department will meet to discuss the proposals early in the spring semester. If any revisions to the proposal are suggested, the student should submit them to the chair as soon as possible.

Final decisions will be announced by March 1 and are based on the student's demonstrated abilities, the feasibility of the particular topic, and the availability of faculty resources.

As stated in Faculty Legislation - "In the case of a single-department major or honors project, the paper or its equivalent shall be evaluated by an examining committee appointed by the department and composed of at least three members; two or more members of the department in which the honors work has been done, including the director of the project and, ordinarily, the chair of the department, as well as a member of another department at MHC or an examiner from outside the College. "

For formatting see also submitting MHC Honors papers.