Not later than the second semester of your junior year, you should have contemplated a topic. Then contact your advisor and, with his or her help, identify potential advisors for your project.

Meet with your prospective advisor and agree on the specific topic for your thesis. During this time you will work out a rough outline for your thesis, and, with the help of the Reference Librarian, get a good, initial bibliography of works on your subject for consultation during the summer. Many faculty members are away or are involved in research during the summer, so you can’t expect to be in touch with them during this time.

During your senior year, you will take two credits of Honors Thesis in your department under the supervision of your advisor. These two credits are distributed between the first and second semesters, i.e., one credit each semester. This is done through the submission of a Gray Card with the thesis advisor’s signature.  The card is then submitted to the Registrar’s Office.   The course will be your department abbreviation and course number 500. For example, an anthropology honors thesis will be designated as ANTH 500.

During the summer, you should read through the literature listed in your draft bibliography, take notes, work toward drawing up an outline, and draft a proposal.

As soon as possible in September of your senior year, give a copy of your draft of the proposal to your thesis advisor. This proposal will need several revisions.  Your thesis advisor may give you a deadline for submission of the proposal. With your advisor, you should make up a schedule for doing research, writing drafts of chapters, rewriting, and finalizing parts of the thesis, so that you don’t end up having a rush of work to do at the end of your senior year. Once the schedule is written up, stick to it!

During your senior year, consult with your advisor about selecting two additional faculty members to serve on your thesis committee: one from outside your major, the other typically from within your major department. Keep in touch with these committee members and, if they wish, show them drafts of your work during the year. Do not dump a thesis on them at the last moment and expect them to be supportive!