Honours and Advanced Major Theses
All Advanced Major and Honours students normally meet with the Chair of the Department in March of their Junior year for advice on senior seminars and/or to discuss their thesis topic. If the thesis is to be written as part of the requirements for a senior seminar, the student is not normally required to set a topic in the Junior year. Every Advanced Major and Honours student must complete a thesis by March 31 in his or her senior year. The Honours thesis will be judged by the Department Thesis Committee; the Advanced Major thesis will be judged by the supervising professor. The Advanced Major supervisor may choose to consult the Thesis Committee should he or she feel it is necessary. Advanced Major students will write their theses based on work done in any 300 or 400-level class, taken in the Fall term of their Senior year. Honours students will normally write their theses separately from their senior seminars unless special arrangements are made with their seminar professor. A successful Honours thesis will be granted 6 credits.
All Honours and Advanced Major English students shall write a senior thesis to be completed by March 31 of their senior year. While the Department recognizes that guidelines will vary as the needs of the writer and the material dictate, exceptions to the following should be submitted to the Thesis Committee for approval.
1. All Advanced Major and Honours students normally meet with the Chair of the Department in March of their Junior year to discuss their thesis topics.
2. Advanced Majors students write a thesis in the form of a research paper or senior essay as part of any 300 or 400-level course, taken in the Fall term of the Senior year. It is the responsibility of the course professor to ensure that Advanced Major theses meet the Departmental Guidelines below.
3. Honours students write their theses separately from senior seminars under the supervision of a professor who has agreed to work with the student on her or his proposed project. It is the responsibility of the Thesis Committee to ensure that Honours theses meet the Departmental Thesis Guidelines below.
4. The professor of the senior seminar will not expect Honours students to write an essay exceeding 5,000-6,000 words in length.
5. The Honours thesis will be judged by the Department Thesis Committee for the Department's Honour Thesis Prize; the Advanced Major thesis will be judged by the supervising professor.
6. The Thesis Committee shall consist of three members selected by the Department.
7. The Honours thesis pass/fail status will be decided by a second reader, nominated at the beginning of the Senior year. The second reader will normally, but not always, come from the Department of English at StFX.
Advanced Major Thesis
1. The Advanced Major thesis should be a minimum of 5,000 and a maximum of 7,000 words.
2. The Advanced Major thesis must be of a quality sufficient to earn a grade of 70%; any student applying for an Advanced Major in English literature should demonstrate superior academic skills.
3. Theses should conform to MLA style for citation and documentation.
4. Theses can be developed based on work done in any 300 or 400-level class, taken in the Fall term of the Senior year.
1. The Honours thesis is a six-credit course and shall be taken in the Senior year.
2. The Honours thesis shall be a minimum of 10,000 words, and a maximum of 12,000 words (excluding notes and Works Cited list). While all theses will be different, a structure consisting of an introduction and 2-3 chapters or sections is recommended.
3. The final version of the thesis shall be submitted to the Thesis Committee for approval by March 31 of the senior year, with no undocumented exceptions. (See schedule for dates below.)
4. The Honours thesis must be of a quality sufficient to earn a grade of 75%. Any student applying for an Honours degree in English literature should demonstrate superior academic skills. In order to pass, a thesis must demonstrate an awareness of the topic’s critical and scholarly history; an engagement with literary and cultural texts; and a strong argument. The final grade will be determined in part on the written work itself, but will also take into account the process of bringing the thesis to completion: failure to meet deadlines and demonstrate commitment to the process may affect the final grade. The annual Honours thesis prize will be decided by the Department Thesis Committee on the basis of these criteria, and the Committee reserves the right not to award a prize in any given year.
5. After the initial meeting with the Chair, students should meet with the prospective thesis supervisor by March 15. For that meeting, students should prepare a brief 1-2 page proposal outlining their intended object of study and some possible research questions. The topic should be approved by the advisor and registered with the Thesis Committee by April 1 of the academic year prior to the student's graduation. Faculty reserve the right to decline topics which they cannot adequately supervise. No faculty member is required to supervise more than two thesis projects in an academic year.
6. As part of the degree requirements, Honours students must make a presentation on their thesis topic at the English Department Honours Colloquium held in January.
7. The corrected thesis must be received before a final grade is submitted, the deadline of which is dictated under “Calendar of Events” in the StFX University Academic Calendar.
8. A full draft chapter of the thesis will be due before the start of the December exam period, and will be read by the second reader. Failure to provide this chapter may result in the demotion of the project to the status of the Advanced Major, and the student’s grade may also be affected.
9. Theses accepted by the Committee shall be kept in the University Archives. Students will provide the Committee with a disk copy of their thesis.
10. Theses should conform to MLA style for citation and documentation.
Schedule of Dates for Theses
March 1 Junior Advanced Major and Honours students will consult the Department Chair before this date regarding senior seminars and a potential thesis supervisor.
March 15 After the initial meeting with the Chair, students will meet with the prospective thesis supervisor. For that meeting, students will prepare a brief 1-2 page proposal outlining their intended object of study and some possible research questions.
April 1 Junior Honours students will see the thesis supervisor for approval and registration of the thesis topic.
September 15 First meeting with Supervisor. Second reader decided.
October 1 Senior Honours students will submit theses' titles, outlines, and bibliographies to supervisors.
December Senior Honours students will submit a draft of a first section or chapter to their supervisor by one week prior to the last day of class.
February 15 Completed rough draft will be submitted to thesis supervisor.
March 1 Students will supply a title for their presentation at the English Honours Presentation Day.
March 5 Final draft shall be submitted to supervisor for final reading and correction.
March 31 Final version of thesis will be submitted to Thesis Committee.
April Corrected version of thesis will be submitted prior to the deadline for final grades as dictated in the Academic Calendar.