Writing Resources: Senior Thesis
October 8, 2014:
Senior Honors Thesis Candidate Form (look on the Student Services website under "Student
") must be returned to Dowling Hall.
April 30, 2015:
be completed by the last day of Reading Period.
May 1, 2015: Advisors must submit the
"Recommendation for Senior Thesis Honors" form by the
first day of exams. This form is only available from the Degree Audit
Coordinator and is sent out to advisors in mid-April.)
your defense but before graduation, you should
the final version
of your Senior Honors Thesis in
digital form to Tufts Digital Collections and Archives.
Senior Thesis Timeline
Over the summer between junior and senior year (or
- Conduct background research to determine
viability of topic.
- Decide on a topic or approach.
- Contact possible faculty advisors and
- Seek funding for your research; note funding
- Determine whether your research methods will
require IRB approval.
- Begin drafting a thesis proposal
- If required in your major department, submit
your Thesis Proposal
By the end of September, you should:
- Finalize your decision to write an honors
- Finalize your topic and research approach.
- Confirm thesis director and secondary
- Think about length, breadth, and size of
finished Thesis; consider chapter breakdowns or
other forms of presenting the finished product.
- Attend informational meetings and understand
- Create your own project timeline and goals.
- OCTOBER 8 DEADLINE: Submit signed
"Thesis Honors Candidate" Form to Dowling
Hall Student Services Desk. The chairperson of
your major department must sign this
form. The form can be downloaded from the
Registrar's website at:
- Conduct library, lab, or field research.
- Meet with librarians for guidance on
conducting advanced library or electronic research.
- Gather, record, and categorize information
as you find it; keep accurate bibliographic
notes and organized files.
- Keep a journal to record your ideas related
to thesis topic and research discoveries.
- Begin writing! You should be able to draft
some introductory sections of your thesis,
including your hypothesis, governing question,
or thesis statement, as well as your literature
review, methodology, and definitions of terms.
- Establish a regular meeting time with
primary advisor and provide regular (weekly) progress reports
and/or written drafts to advisors.
- Meet with an
ARC writing consultant or join a writing
group to help you stay on track!
November/ early December:
- Reassess chapter breakdowns; work on outline
of thesis as whole. Begin to draft a chapter
(not necessarily the first chapter.)
- Mid-year assessment: You and your
advisor should assess your progress so far to
determine if you should continue to pursue the
Honors Thesis in the spring or switch to a
senior project or independent study. If you
decide to continue with the Honors Thesis, you
will receive a Y (for year-long) instead of a
grade on your report card in January.
- Plan detailed research and writing agenda
for Winter Break. If you are doing a traditional
thesis, you should plan to write a
substantial amount over Break!
- Schedule a meeting with thesis director or
thesis committee to
discuss your work over winter break.Submit draft of first chapter or section of
thesis to advisor.
- Remember to include a bibliography
with any draft you submit to your committee!
- Plan a new timeline for Spring. Plan to have
the Thesis substantially written BEFORE Spring
- Continue to send regular progress
reports to your committee.
February and March:
- Write thesis section by section and submit
drafts to primary advisor for revision comments.
- Be very careful to cite sources correctly
and incorporate them into your writing so as to
avoid accidental plagiarism.
- Set a date and time for your defense (in
April); all three committee members must be
present at the defense. Remember to book a room
that has everything you need (for example,
internet hook-up or a movie-screen).
- You should be rewriting and revising by
early April. Now is the time to pay attention to
clarity of expression and prose style; you may
need to work on major structural changes to your
outline or clarify your logic.
- Rewrite and revise according to your
advisors' recommendations. Be sure the committee
is in agreement on what they expect from you
during the revision process.
- Schedule a meeting with entire committee so
there will be no unpleasant surprises during the
- Submit completed thesis with complete and
accurate bibliography to your committee at least
two weeks before your defense date.
- DEFENSE must take place before
finals begin in order to graduate in
- First day of finals: DEADLINE for
"Recommendation for Thesis Honors" form to
be submitted by Honors Thesis advisor to
the Degree Audit Coordinator in Dowling Hall.
- Your committee may ask you to correct or
rewrite portions of your thesis after the
defense but before you submit it to archives.
- Prepare final document for archives. See
online guide for instructions and
- Enjoy Senior Week! You've earned it!
Back to Senior Thesis Support