A&S: Creative Writing
Planning Your Thesis
There are many good resources that will help you start planning your Thesis project:
- Browse and search our Thesis archives on the SURFACE Thesis database, talk to faculty from a class that interested you.
- In the first week of your Junior year, you will be required to attend a Thesis planning assembly,
- Optionally, you can enroll in HNR 309 planning seminar, which are also designed to help you get started.
- However you decide to go about it, make sure you follow the advice of Thesis alumni before you and start early!
Special arrangements must be made for students who wish to undertake a fiction or poetry Thesis Project. You must be on the "creative writing" track in ETS, and have taken a creative writing workshop in the medium you wish to pursue in your Thesis : poetry or fiction. This could be the Honors workshop (HNR 340 Introductory Workshop in Creative Writing Fiction/Poetry), or ETS 215 or 217. Taking such a course in the fall of your junior year would qualify.
Submit Your Proposal
- Fiction: one story, not longer than 20 pp.
- Poetry: 6 – 8 poems.
- Do NOT ask a faculty member to be your advisor and sign your proposal; just submit the form on-line.
You need to have completed - or be currently taking - a Workshop class (Honors or ETS) in order to apply. Preference will be given to students in the Creative Writing Track, but in rare cases students who have taken CW workshops can be approved for a Thesis with the permission of the professor who taught the workshop. The Creative Writing Faculty will evaluate the proposals we receive, see who among their faculty is available to serve as Thesis Advisors, and let us know which proposals they accept. This will be a competitive process; if you apply and your proposal is not accepted, you will need to come up with a “plan B” – either a critical Thesis in ETS (i.e. a critical analysis of a text), or a Thesis in another major, if you have one. So give that some thought. Remember that creative projects cannot be considered for “Distinction” in English.
Late proposals for creative writing projects will not be considered. If you intend to do a “standard” ETS Thesis (e.g. a critical analysis) you follow our standard “A&S: Social Science & Humanities” process for your Thesis .
Honors has several awards to support Thesis Projects. We fund approximately 20 projects annually, up to $5,000 per project.
Update Your Project Progress
Continue working on the Thesis through the spring semester. Talk to your advisor regularly so they are up to date on your progress. Submit a Thesis Update Form in the first week in April. The Update asks for information on your progress (There are separate guidelines for Creative Projects). This helps assure that you, your Advisor, and the Honors Program are all “on the same page” about your progress and the timeline for your future work.
499 Course Registration
You will devote considerable time and energy to your project, and you want to get academic credit for your work. The ETS 499 registration is how you do that. Everyone is required to register for one to three credit hours for the Thesis Project in their final semester. That puts one to three credits for the Thesis on your transcript, and provides your Advisor with a mechanism for grading your work. It's also a requirement. Everyone must register for at least one credit of 499.
Find Your Reader
Your Honors Thesis Reader is usually a faculty member in your major or a thematically related field. Make sure you ask, in person, if someone will serve as your reader. It can be any faculty member; it does not need to be one "officially" affiliated with Honor, and it does not have to be someone in your major.
Submit a draft of one chapter/section
In the first week of November, you will email one chapter / section of a draft of your final Thesis to your advisor and your Thesis Coordinator.
Submit Written Capstone for Editor Review
About a week prior to the final turn-in of your Thesis, you will be required to submit your finished Thesis to Honors for our editing process. One of our editors will review your Thesis for writing quality (grammar, structure, flow) and will either approve your Thesis for turn-in, or they will flag your Thesis for further editing.
This process gives you the opportunity to learn the importance of final editing and polishing your Thesis before you turn it in for its final submission.