Procedures for Thesis Writers and Advisors
Penultimate Thesis Draft* Submission Deadline: NOON,
Wednesday, March 20, 2013.
*This next-to-last draft bears the thesis advisor's
signature of approval, indicating it meets honors thesis standards
and is indeed ready to be viewed by the thesis reader. The
final thesis, properly formatted for binding and bearing the
signatures of the thesis advisor and thesis reader on the
certification page, is due Monday, April 22, 2013 by
Student and Advisor
Students are expected to put their best work into their honors
thesis. Faculty advisors are expected to guide students to produce
their best work. Both jobs are time-consuming and must be carried
out by students and faculty members working together in a
disciplined way over a sustained period. Each person has
responsibility to see that the necessary work is completed on time.
Contacts should not be limited to chance meetings in the hall. A
clear schedule of conferences should be set up for the year.
Written drafts should be prepared as early as possible. For
example, an introductory literature review can be written even
before the research is completed. Advisors and students should
decide on deadlines for drafts of chapters and sections of the
thesis and observe them. Failure of students to meet such deadlines
is grounds for abandoning the thesis. A complete first draft should
be finished four to six weeks before the submission draft is due
Penultimate Draft and Final Version
The penultimate draft is the completed thesis bearing the thesis
advisor's approval. It is due in the Honors Office by
NOON on Wednesday, March 20,
2013. If the student has multiple thesis advisors, all
must approve the submission draft. An advisor's signature on the
certification page indicates that the advisor is satisfied the
thesis is the best it can be.
The reader: The penultimate draft is then
read by one faculty member decided upon in advance by the student
and the student's advisor. If the reader approves the thesis, s/he
may still ask for revisions of the thesis, including mechanical
errors (typos, punctuation, grammar, etc.) and minor substantive
problems (organization, refinement of terminology, etc.). In such
cases, the reader will sign his/her approval of the thesis and it
will be returned to the student for correction.
The reader may postpone approving the thesis until he/she sees
substantive revisions such as major reorganization or to remedy
insufficient content, errors of interpretation, etc. In such a
case, the Honors Director should be notified, and the thesis will
be returned to the student and advisor to discuss the needed
changes. If there is a dispute, another reader may be assigned. The
thesis must be acceptable to all readers before it is approved.
The reader returns the penultimate draft along with the
mandated revisions to the Honors Office within two weeks after
submission. The student then prepares the final version of the
thesis according to technical specifications for binding.
This final version is due in the Honors Office by
Noon on Monday, April 22, 2013.
The Honors Director approves the final version. It is then
delivered to Irwin Library, where it is bound and deposited in the
permanent collection. Students will be asked to add their
thesis to the digital commons, making their thesis available on the
internet through Butler libraries.
Registration for Honors Thesis Credit
Students who want course credit for the honors thesis may
register for the Honors Thesis course in the department of their
major. The course number is 499 (following the department
designator, e.g., BI, MH, AC, etc.), carries three hours of
academic credit, and can be taken during either semester of the
final year depending on the student's work and/or credit load. Such
registration is not mandatory. If the student signs up for Honors
Thesis in the fall semester, he/she receives an Incomplete at the
end of the semester, and the "I" is changed to a letter grade by
the advisor at the completion of the thesis in the spring
The thesis advisor assigns the grade for Honors Thesis credit.
The grade for an approved thesis must be either A or B. The
University Honors Committee does not assign or review any
In the event that a thesis is not completed or approved, the
registration for Honors Thesis must be canceled and may be replaced
by an Independent Study in the same department. If a student is
registered for Honors Thesis but decides not to complete the
thesis, the student should notify the Honors office. The advisor is
responsible for the procedure necessary to drop or withdraw the
student from the course and to convert the hours to independent
study if desired.
Nuts and Bolts: Technical Specifications
- Both submission draft and final version must be produced on a
word processor and printed with a laser printer. (DO make back-up
copies!) This greatly facilitates editing.
- Footnotes, bibliography, table of contents, and other aspects
of form and style must be consistent with standards of the
discipline and uniformly applied throughout the thesis. It is up to
the advisor to mandate the style to be followed.
- The body of the thesis must be double-spaced. Extended
quotations, footnotes and bibliography should be spaced according
to the style being used. Pages must be numbered consecutively.
- Margins must be uniformly 1½ inches on the left and one inch on
the other three sides. The top margin may be increased to reflect
chapter and section divisions. (The larger left margin accommodates
the binding process.)
- All figures, diagrams and other illustrative material must be
clearly presented, numbered, labeled and referenced in the text.
- The thesis must begin with a thesis certification page,
including the advisor's signature. The certification page is
available in the honors office.
- A title page prepared according to the specifications of Honors
Program should follow the certification page. A sample title page is
available in the Honors Office. The certification and title pages
must also be printed on 24-lb. bond paper (see below).
- The submission draft may be submitted on any grade of paper,
but the final version must be submitted on standard (not erasable)
white 24-pound bond paper (available in the Bookstore, the Butler
Print Shop, and from quick printers and stationers; it generally
has at least a 25% cotton content, and is low in or free of acid).
- The thesis should be bound in a simple clip-type binder or put
into a manila folder or large envelope. Do not staple or punch
holes in the pages. After the thesis is certified it will be
- You may order extra bound copies of the thesis for $12.00 per
extra copy. You will need to come to the honors office with the
additional copies (printed on bond paper) and fill out a form with
mailing addresses where the copies are to be sent. Please note that
the binding process may take up to eight weeks; spring theses are
generally mailed in late November/early December.
Need more information?
Contact Amy Elson, Honors
Program Coordinator in JH 153 D, (317)940-9302