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You may need to take a lighter course load or eliminate extracurricular activities.Even if the thesis is the only thing on your plate, you still need to make a systematic schedule for yourself.Now’s your chance to follow your passions, explore further, and contribute some original ideas and research in your field.
A thesis requires a reflective, multi-stage writing process. It is targeted at students in the humanities and social sciences, since their theses tend to involve more writing than projects in the hard sciences.
Yet all thesis writers may find the organizational strategies helpful. However, all honors theses have at least two things in common: In general, students who are at the end of their junior year, have an overall 3.2 GPA, and meet their departmental requirements can write a senior thesis.
Open windows into future professions An honors thesis will give you a taste of what it’s like to do research in your field.
Even if you’re a sociology major, you may not really know what it’s like to be a sociologist.
Ideally, you should start thinking about topics early in your junior year, so you can begin your research and writing quickly during your senior year.
(Many departments require that you submit a proposal for an honors thesis project during the spring of your junior year.) How should you choose a topic?After all, most jobs require some form of problem solving and oral and written communication.Writing an honors thesis requires that you: Work closely with faculty mentors At large research universities like Carolina, you’ve likely taken classes where you barely got to know your instructor.But any substantive research project requires a clear timetable. Find out the final deadline for turning in your project to your department.Working backwards from that deadline, figure out how much time you can allow for the various stages of production. Use it, however, with two caveats in mind: Avoid falling into the trap of procrastination. For some tips on how to do this, see our handout on procrastination.You may also be able to find past theses collected in your major department or at the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library.Pay special attention to theses written by students who share your major.The senior year is an exceptionally busy time for college students.In addition to the usual load of courses and jobs, seniors have the daunting task of applying for jobs and/or graduate school.These demands are angst producing and time consuming If that scenario sounds familiar, don’t panic!Do start strategizing about how to make a time for your thesis.