Attend the Honors Thesis Workshop on Monday, April 24 at 4:45pm in the Academic Achievement Center Classroom. We’ll go over how to choose a thesis topic & mentor, write a strong thesis proposal, conduct research, and submit your thesis once completed. Come with questions!
It’s easy to get intimidated by the prospect of writing an honors thesis – a project that is the culmination of one’s studies at BSU and an achievement that reflects tremendous effort, creativity, and experience. The process of finding a faculty member to mentor you, asking the right questions, coming up with a thesis topic, conducting research, and putting all of this into writing can be overwhelming. Let us explain why students should be bold and embrace this experience.
1) Your mentor is there to guide you.
Faculty are happy to help! Your honors thesis will allow you to forge a close and meaningful relationship with a faculty mentor, an individual who not only guides the thesis writing process, but also can direct you to other opportunities like conference presentations, graduate programs, prestigious grants, or employment connections (and they facilitate a great letter of recommendation, too!).
Try to pick a mentor that has research experience aligning with your thesis topic. If you want to write a thesis on corporate social responsibility and communication, try to find a faculty member that has a background in corporate social responsibility. If you’re unsure of who to ask, talk to your department’s honors chair.
2) It’s a great opportunity to develop transferable skills for graduate school and your career.
The thesis is not only a great opportunity to prepare for the heavy workload of graduate school, but it prepares you for a career. Writing an honors thesis is a transformative experience that allows students to become mini-experts in their chosen field. The process sharpens written and oral communication skills and develops students’ critical thinking, synthesis and analysis abilities.
The honors thesis is a student’s way to demonstrate to employers that they had the motivation and determination to complete a major project, as well as the practical skills that employers desire in their employees.
3) Doing research should be fun!
By doing research, you’re expanding upon what you’ve learned in the classroom. You get to explore topics that interest you and become a mini-expert in your field. If you have trouble coming up with a topic, see if something sparks your interest in class. Is there anything you want to learn more about?
4) If you can’t think of a topic, you’re not alone.
This is probably the greatest single concern that honors students express: the fear of not having anything to research. Talk with your professors, review some scholarly articles in your discipline, meet with faculty in your discipline who mentor undergraduate research projects regularly, and meet with the Honors Director or Assistant Director. This is supposed to be challenging!!! Do not be discouraged. Please note that you can obtain support for developing a thesis proposal by taking the 1 credit colloquium “Transitioning into Departmental Honors” which is offered every spring.
Remember, you can expand upon your honors contract or other undergraduate research for your honors thesis.
5. You can work on your thesis over two semesters.
Most honors students work on their thesis throughout the entirety of their senior year – it gives them more time to explore their topic, collect data, and build a relationship with their mentor. Spreading out the workload makes the process much less intimidating.
Starting or continuing a thesis next semester? Submit your proposal no later than September 6.