A&S: Distinction in English & Textual Studies (ETS)
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.
Honors ETS majors who qualify will be invited to join the ETS Distinction Program; you begin in the fall of your junior year by taking 1-credit ETS 494. In the spring you take 2-credit ETS 495, in which you write a major (30 page) seminar paper which will likely serve as a chapter in your Honors Thesis. That seminar paper will probably serve as the basis of one chapter of your Thesis. Special arrangements are made for students who study abroad during junior year. Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in ETS to learn more:
Note: The ETS Distinction program is different from the ETS Creative Writing or Poetry Thesis. If you are planning on a Creative Writing Thesis (fiction or poetry), you follow the A&S: Creative Writing / Poetry tab to the left.
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 project 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 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 Coordinator.
Submit Written Thesis 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.