Going through the process literally took blood, sweat, and tears, just kidding. Topic selection, look for a topic that's both feasible and significant. You may cut these summaries from your final draft, but you should include them in your earlier drafts. If youre positive that your reasons are legitimate, then you can move on to personal details. What do you feel most passionately about? For example, if senior year youre taking classes, applying to grad school, and working, then it might not be smart to add another large time-commitment like a thesis. Often, of course, the doubters have a good point, and you should grant. You can't be sure of your answer until you complete your research, but readers want to know what hunches you plan to investigate. This helps readers grasp what you have done. That prospectus should follow the format of the guideline sheet attached to this memo. Do not claim too much for your arguments or evidence! While it is probably true that a senior thesis improves my resume, this is not a soleand the bestreason to take on a project this large.
Secondarily, you also want to consider what professors might advise your thesis and what topics you are curious about. (You will probably want to own a copy.). How did you reach your answers? For more advice on writing see William Strunk. It should answer six (6) questions: What question or questions do you address? A reader should be able to grasp the thrust of your thesis by reading only the first sentence of every paragraph. To persuade the reader that you have been thoughtful, you should preempt doubters by letting them know that you are aware of the problem they spotted, the alternate explanation they would suggest, or the alternate interpretation of evidence that they might prefer. Why does this question(s) arise? This helps them see the big picture. Subsequent sentences should offer supporting material that explains or elaborates the point of the topic sentence.
Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 5th. White, The Elements of Style, 3rd. It is also a good idea to see what your trusted professors, parents, and friends have to say. But throughout your project you should keep your eye on how you will answer these questions when the time comes. Think carefully what evidence would confirm or disconfirm the arguments you plan to advance or investigate. Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 3rd. My advice is: finish a first draft in time to leave several weeks for more research. Why does your question(s) arise? Clearly state your conclusions in your introduction. The following structure is often appropriate:. More to the point: committing to paper your intentions in each chapter is a good way to force yourself to decide what you are and are not doing in that section.
Only a few pages less than my actual senior thesis. Cutting is painful-"I sweated hours over this!"-too bad! Note: Questions #2 and #3 overlap, and can sometimes be answered together in a single statement. Then, if you decide to write a senior thesis, I urge you to get started early. Do this early, before you begin your research! Organization, a good thesis has a thesis-a main line of argument, or a set of related arguments. What further research do they suggest is needed? Methodology, these injunctions should be born in mind: Frame your argument clearly.
and #3 What is your answer? Can I write a senior thesis in place of or in addition to the capstone requirement? It also should persuade readers that your questions are important, and your plan of action is practical. Carefully follow her instructions-sloppy style makes you look like an amateur. Stephen Van Evera MIT Political Science Department Version.0 THE senior honors thesis prospectus Your thesis prospectus explains your project to your advisors, friends, and others who need to know what you are. A thesis may propose theories; test theories; describe and explain historical events; evaluate (criticize or endorse) past, present, or proposed public policies; assess or prescribe strategies for social groups, movements, or leaders; and other things as well. What arguments do they settle? Better Perspective, some better reasons (that I luckily discovered later) to take on a senior thesis include: the opportunity to do your own independent research, go intellectually deep about a subject, manage a large project with only one final evaluation, and practice writing a book. A good thesis should not try to "seduce" the reader by withholding conclusions until late in the document.
Another benefit from completing a senior thesis is that you get experience working independently where youre only evaluated at the final due date. Youre most likely going to need all the time you can get. If you find your questions hard to frame, keep trying until you come up with something you like. How will you reach your answers? What mysteries has this literature already unravelled, and which has it left unsolved? Secondly, you will strongly dislike your senior year if the majority of your work is spent on something that you cant stand doing. I often make the following suggestions to seniors writing honors theses. Break chapters into sections and sub-sections. And it would be almost torture to work on a large project where you cant stand the material. It can also serve a diagnostic purpose for you.
I, personally, could rant about religious tolerance. If it took an extreme amount of effort and my school didnt require it, then why did I do it? Suggestions ON writinenior honors thesis. If a previous literature exists on the topic, you should describe that literature: summarize its evolution and main conclusions. Introductions are often best written last-it may work to convert parts of what you first write as can i reference a senior thesis a "conclusion" to serve as introductory material. However, like I said before, it can also be a miserable experience if you do it for the wrong reason or pick an uninteresting topic. It helps you get comfortable to grad school (or law school where your only class grade is the final exam) and work projects (where you dont receive feedback until it is submitted). Think your project through again.
Before submitting your thesis you should write a one-page (doublespaced) abstract that sums it up in a clear, cogent manner. However, the paper is a monster in length compared to anything else Ive ever written. Which didn't you consult, and why can i reference a senior thesis not? This evaluation process creates a different dynamic. What could you rant about for hours. Say a few words about the origins and significance of your project.
(Note: often these chapter summaries are best written after you write the chapter.). What sources did you consult? (NY: Macmillan, 1979 and Joseph. What are other questions you have that I can answer? What previous literature has been written on the question? If your thesis discusses cause-effect ideas, your readers should be able to "arrow-diagram" these ideas. Although these two areas can help you decide, if you cant think of advisors or topics at the moment, dont let this deter your decision to take on a senior thesis. What answer or answers do you offer? Dane 1 decade ago 0, thumbs up 0, thumbs down, comment). YOU know what you could talk about (and completely enjoy) for 40 pages. Say a few words about the sources and methods you plan to use. A senior thesis is a project that you take on your senior year of college (hence the word senior where you do independent, original research to make your own claim in a particular field (hence the word thesis). Should You Take On A Senior Thesis?
Readers, comment below on: What is potentially holding you back from taking on a senior thesis? However, I prefer a conclusion that briefly recapitulates the project, and then explores its implications. For one, plenty of other activities can improve your resume, which dont take a year or more to complete. Are there different schools of thought? (New York: HarperCollins, 1989). Plus, during senior year you might have to take other classes that you dont care for to fulfill graduation requirements and then add the stress of finding your post-graduation plan. If your thesis has too many theses, consider ways to organize your ideas more simply. (From what scholarly debates or real-world events?) Why does it matter? are the most important. Brief concluding remarks, which may include comments on the implications of your argument, or may note questions they raise. Spell can i reference a senior thesis them out clearly. State clearly what general mission your thesis fulfills. Your concluding chapter: format, in your conclusion you may wish to summarize your questions and answers, if your summary introduction was cursory.
Besides the specific research can i reference a senior thesis positions and research involved in some graduate programs, many other positions will value candidates with strong research and critical analysis experience. Instead, give more consideration to the points below to help you decide if you should take on a senior thesis. Now that Ive written a senior thesis, I prepared myself for if (or when) I write a book in the future. And this guide to making hard decisions can help. Version.4, stephen Van Evera / MIT Political Science Department. Doing research, a thesis should reflect a comprehensive survey of literature and evidence relevant to the subject matter of the thesis.
To make a decision, I recommend you spend quality time can i reference a senior thesis thinking about it yourself. Its not that hard to find an advisor and topic. During drafting you will doubtless run across important questions which you overlooked during your first phase of research. Footnote and citation format, etc.) consult Kate. For a discussion of arrow-diagrams, see my handout on "Hypotheses, Laws and Theories: A User's Guide." If your causal ideas cannot be reduced to arrow diagrams, then your writing (and probably your thinking) are too muddy. Counter-arguments, qualifications, and limiting conditions of your argument;. You should answer these questions in roughly 3-5 typed doublespaced pages. If youre intellectually curious about a topic, then this is another great reason to complete a senior thesis. That is why youll want to somewhat enjoy the senior thesis subject.
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976) for more clues on can i reference a senior thesis how to do research. You might ask What is a senior thesis? Your table OF contents AND abstract When you start your project you should draft a provisional table of contents for your thesis, with chapter titles. The funny part is that I voluntarily put myself through this pain. Later, when you circulate chapters to advisors or friends, you should always include this table of contents. What working hypotheses will you explore? HOW TO learn more about HOW TO writhesis Take a look at one or two good theses, especially theses that recently won prizes, and imitate their better aspects. Your advisor will give you feedback, of course, but no grade until the paper is turned. It is not possible to substitute a senior essay or thesis for the capstone taskforce requirement. Also ask the reference librarians; they can resolve many mysteries. If you cannot frame your questions clearly, this means they may be muddled in your own mind. Describe the "state of the art" on the subject. If a substantial literature has already appeared on the subject you address, you should explain and distinguish majority and minority views, and sketch the manner in which important relevant controversies have evolved.
From what academic debates or real-world events? If there are important questions which you did not answer, identify these can i reference a senior thesis and explain why you couldn't answer them. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that sums up the point of the paragraph. Provide a roadmap to the rest of the thesis: "Chapter 1 explains how I began my life of crime; Chapter 2 details my early legal embarrassments; Chapter 3 recounts my journey to Sing Sing; Chapter 4 offers general theoretical conclusions and. My school didnt require a senior thesis to graduate, like Princeton University does. If your thesis is purely descriptive or historical, make sure to offer periodic summaries of your main arguments or discoveries. Lastly, I can see myself writing a book in the future. Avoid cluttering the thesis with extra ornaments and gargoyles, as students often. You also may wish to consult Kate. If so, who are the major disputants, and what points of difference lie between them? In addition to conveying what you know about the topic, you should be able to tell the reader what is and is not known about. Can you think of any other advantages for doing this large project? It should frame the question(s) your dissertation will answer, and should explain how you propose to answer them.