GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS SEEKING DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN ENGLISH
College Catalog Description of the Honors Policy:
Departmental Honors is a distinction available to graduating students given the following criteria. English majors who have a departmental G.P.A. of approximately 3.6 or higher and who wish to write an honors thesis must submit an application in the early weeks of their senior year. This application will be reviewed by the entire Department. Applications are available from the Department chairman and must be submitted no later than October 1st. Only successful applicants will then be enrolled in English 575 during the spring semester of their senior year. Part of the application consists of securing a professor to be an advisor for the thesis, as well as a secondary reader for the completed thesis. These faculty will constitute the student’s thesis committee. Honors will be granted only to those students whose thesis earns an “A-” or above and who maintain their departmental G.P.A. of 3.6 until graduation.
In the spring semester of the junior year, the student interested in pursuing honors should contact a Department member to see if he is willing and able to supervise a thesis on a specific topic. The Department member will consult with the entire Department about the proposed thesis and then inform the student of the feasibility of the study. At this point, tentative approval of the project may be granted. This tentative approval should be secured by April 15.
During the summer, the student, in consultation with the thesis adviser, should begin assembling a bibliography, reading primary and secondary sources, and in other ways preparing the ground for the thesis project. The Honors Thesis application, available from the Department chairman, lists the materials that must be submitted with the student’s formal proposal by October 1 in the fall semester of the senior year:
A detailed essay outlining the focus of the study, the sources that will be consulted, and the projected timetable for completion (theses must typically be completed by mid-April of the spring semester of the senior year). The essay should include a brief description of why you chose this topic, any course work or personal experience which may be relevant to the topic, and an explanation of any special language or resource requirements of the project.
A preliminary bibliography of works relevant to the proposed study available at Hillsdale College or through inter-library loan.
A list of the college English courses completed, both at Hillsdale and at other institutions, including the title of and grade earned in each course.
The student’s formal application must be submitted by October 1. It will be reviewed by the entire Department. If the application is approved, the student may then register for English 575 the spring semester of the senior year. Ordinarily, the thesis must be completed by mid-April in the spring semester.
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