Most students who plan to graduate from the Honors Program in a future semester (rather than the current one underway) will register for two credit hours of HON 4V87 this semester and then for another two credit hours of HON 4V87 next semester. The standard assignment for the first two hours of HON 4V87 credit is to complete two major sections or chapters of the thesis (one for each hour of credit), or about half of the thesis by the end of the term. Students in many disciplines aim for each chapter to be at least fifteen double-spaced pages long, set in a 12-point font. Thesis directors may certainly modify, as necessary, the expectations for chapter submissions in consultation with thesis writers and the Honors Program office.
Students must submit hard copies of completed chapter-drafts, in accordance with this schedule, to both their faculty mentors and the Honors Program office (viz., the document bin outside Morrison Hall 203.4). Each such submission should include an inclusive bibliography or works-cited listing, i.e., students must keep up with sources chapter-by-chapter rather than waiting to document them all at the end of the project. Please note that duplex/double-sided printing is acceptable for chapter drafts submitted to the Honors Program except for the final copy submitted just prior to graduation which must be printed single-sided on cotton bond paper.
The first submitted chapter need not be the introductory or first chapter of the thesis; it may become any part of the final project. Often enough, students and mentors choose to begin with a “literature review,” which surveys current scholarship pertaining to the topic and describes the central problems that the thesis will explore. In other instances, though, the chapter analyzes some of the primary sources or laboratory or field-work procedures that will provide the foundation for the overall thesis.
In any case the chapter should be polished and revised (not a rough first draft), and should include appropriate and properly formatted documentation (i.e., references and bibliography) as evidence of significant research; it should, moreover, reflect the quality of the finished thesis that will be submitted for Honors graduation. These chapters, though subject to later revision, must not show evidence of hasty work.
Note: Meeting these submission deadlines will require careful planning. Here's a link to a useful scheduling calculator.
It is practically a necessity that the student meet with his or her faculty director at least weekly. Students should never assume that no news is good news when it comes to getting feedback from their mentor. Ultimately, the student is responsible for ensuring that he or she receives adequate feedback and makes the required corrections to the draft, but both the mentor and the writer should be diligent communicators. Contact the Honors Program staff early if there are signs of poor communication.