Components & Specifications
An honors thesis will be between 60 and 100 pages in length be completed to the satisfaction of the thesis advisor. An honors thesis must receive a grade of A or A- to count toward completion of the honors program. A thesis that receives a grade of B+ through D will receive credit but will not fulfill the thesis requirement for the Communication honors program, and the student will not graduate with department honors.
All theses must follow the standard APA style format for subheadings, sections, tables of contents, references, etc. Spacing, page numbers and other elements of physical layout should conform to the department’s guidelines for the honors thesis listed below. A detailed description of thesis components will be given to students in Introduction to Honors (COMM4475).
Students must submit two bound copies of the thesis to the thesis advisor and are invited to upload a copy of their final thesis to e-Scholarship. Copies should be bound with tape-style binding. Copying and binding are at the student’s expense. One copy of the thesis will be kept on file by the Department of Communication.
Key Dates for Thesis Writing
- Two weeks after the start of the semester — Submit a clearly articulated thesis proposal––a statement of what your thesis topic will achieve and its goals and contribution to the canon of knowledge on your subject.
- Fourth week of the semester — Submit a draft of your thesis Table of Contents (essentially a project outline of your thesis) and your edited literature review.
- Three weeks before 1st study day — Your penultimate draft is due.
- First study day of the semester — Final bound copy must be deposited with your advisor.
Thesis Formatting Guidelines
Your thesis marks the culmination of your work in the Communication Department. It is both a public testimony of your scholarship, and the vehicle by which you make known the contribution to knowledge that your research has made. Consequently, the appearance of your thesis is a matter of some importance to you, and to the department whose name it also bears. If you have any questions about the format of your thesis, please contact Professor Celeste Wells, Director of the Communication Department Honors Program.
- The department requires that you submit two bound copies of your thesis - one copy for your advisor and one copy for the department's library.
- The typing of all textual material must be letter-quality, clear, dark black, and double spaced on one side of the page; notes, bibliographic references, and long quotations must follow APA style guidelines.
- Font: The type size should be 12 point Times New Roman.
- Page layout: Left and right margins should be 1.25 inches. Top and bottom margins should be 1 inch.
- Pagination: The title page, the copyright page (optional) and the acknowledgements should have no page numbers and should be submitted in this order. Table of contents, acknowledgments, etc. are considered the introductory material of the manuscript and page numbers should be expressed in lower case Roman numerals (i, ii, etc.). Every page of the body of your thesis, after the introductory material, must be sequentially numbered. Follow APA style.
- Charts, graphs, tables, and other illustrative material should be produced in black ink. Colors should not be used for shading or in graphs but should be replaced with labels or cross-hatching. Photographs should be high-contrast black and white.
Note: The Communication Department's guidelines are based on the "Guidelines for the Presentation of Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertations" prepared by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Refer to http://www.bc.edu/schools/gsas/academics/thesis-guide/thesis-cklst.html for additional direction and advice.