Contact Us

rich@svsu.edu
(989) 964-4317
(989)964-4484

Honors Program Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Rich

Honors Program Assistant

Ann Garcia

Office

SVSU
Science East 164

Honors Program Thesis Guidelines

Writing an Honors Thesis


This information is designed to get you started on your Honors Thesis. It is divided into three sections: 1) Student created research theses; 2) Faculty directed research thesis; 3) Creative Projects.

I. Student Directed Research Theses

Students who wish to write an Honors Thesis on a topic that they generate themselves must take the following steps:

1) Meet with the Program Chair (Dr. Rich, Science East 164), the semester before you wish to work on the Thesis. This should typically be the Winter Semester of your Sophmore year.

2) During that semester we will set up a committee for you that includes your advisor, the Honors Program Chair, and another faculty member with expertise in the field. We will also ask another Honors Student to come to the proposal meeting.

3) Students should print out and follow the guidelines for Honors Thesis Proposals eslewhere on this site or contact Ann Garcia (x4484) or agarcia@svsu.edu for the form and information. Generally, we will want to know why you're writing this paper, what other scholarly sources have said about it, and what new kinds of new light you will shed on the topic by writing about it.

4) You'll write a 10ish page paper addressing these topics and include a 2 or three page bibliography that you turn in by the 10th week of the semester.

5) When we've received the proposal, the Honors Committee will read it and make suggestions.

6) The program chair will call a meeting with you and your committee at about the 12th week. If there are not too many revisions we'll happily send you on your way to work on the project the next semester.

7) We strongly recommend that students who come up with their own thesis topics apply for research funds from the SVSU Creativity Institute. This is not a requirement, however.

8) The program chair will give you and your advisor the paper work to sign you up for the Honors Thesis class. Do not try and do this yourself as it does not appear anywhere in the catalogue.

9) During the semester that you write the thesis, you will be expected to finish the 30 page paper. You should have it done by the 10th week so that you can defend it the 11th week and turn it in to the chair for evaluation. (Both your advisor and the Honors Program Chair have to agree that the thesis is acceptable.)

10) Ann Garcia (x 4484) will be contacting you early in the semester to set up the defense that will take place in the 11th week of the semester.

11) After the thesis is defended and the completed paper is turned in, the student's advisor and the Chair of the Honors Program will evaluate the paper. If it is satisfactory, the student will be paid $600.00. The student will only receive payment, however, if a satisfactory paper is turned in the same semester that it is submitted.

II. Faculty Directed Theses.


If you wish to work with a faculty member working on a research project you will need to take the following steps.

1) Tell the chair that you want to take this approach the semester before you want to write the thesis. For example, if you want to write your thesis in Fall '11, then you need to contact the Chair early in Winter '11 to get the project set up.

2) Faculty often ask the Honors chair to list their research project on the Honors Program black board site. They are looking for research assistance and understand that if you work with them, they will be adivising your Honors Thesis. This is one way to find a research project.

3) A second way to find a research project is to contact the Chair who keeps track of faculty research across campus. The Chair typically knows of faculty who are doing research either exactly in your discipline, or close to your discipline. The Chair will then tell the professor that a student wishes to work with him or her on their research project. Faculty are typically delighted to work with Honors students.

4) The chair will send the faculty member (now your advisor) a signed registration form with the appropriate class listed in the title for both of you to fill out. You will need to make an appointment to meet with your advisor as soon as you get the approval from the Honors Program chair.

5) All you have to do is work as a research assistant for the faculty member during the semester that you have agreed to write your Honors Thesis. By the end of the 10 week period, however, you will need a polished 30 page paper that will serve as your thesis, so make sure that you're completing small sections of the paper along the way.

Note: Students who take this approach to the Honors Thesis do not have to form a thesis committee or write a thesis proposal.

6) Ann Garcia will be contacting you to set up the defense for the 11th week of the semester that you write the thesis.

7) After the thesis is defended and the completed paper is turned in, the student's advisor and the Chair of the Honors Program will evaluate the paper. If it is satisfactory, the student will be paid $600.00. The student will only receive payment, however, if a satisfactory paper is turned in the same semester that it is submitted.

III. Creative Projects

Students in the arts often have different objectives from students in all other disciplines. A fine arts student with an interest in painting, for example, might want to do a show with his or her own paintings instead of a written Honors Thesis. This kind of creativity is strongly encouraged. Here are the kinds of steps you will need to take to complete the thesis process.


1) You can select either the student directed project style listed first or the faculty directed research listed second.

2) Let the Chair know which one you would like to pursue to get the registration paper work started.

3) You will not be expected to write a 30 page paper, but you will probably have to write some kind of summary of your work. For example, if you did a show of your art, we would expect text accompanying the art work.

4) Plan on having your show or performance by the 10th week of the semester. We will expect a talk about your work during your show. This will constitute your defense.

5) Plan on documenting the whole work through pictures and text so that the program has evidence of your work.

6) You will receive payment ($600.00) when all of this has been completed by the 11th week of the semester.