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Department of Literature and Language


The Senior Honors Thesis is a yearlong project for which the student enrolls for three hours credit during the last semester of the senior year.

Initial preparation for the thesis should begin the previous semester, however, and should follow the approved timetable.

The Senior Honors Thesis represents an in-depth, capstone experience designed to provide honors students with opportunities to develop a deeper knowledge of English, a closer intellectual interaction with faculty, and more complete preparation for their career goals. The thesis should represent a student's most sustained research as an undergraduate. The thesis should involve the student in intensive research of a topic in literature, rhetoric, or language. It should be considered a manuscript that may be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal (minimum of 20 pages). Works of fiction, drama, poetry, or personal essay may not be submitted as a senior thesis.

A final requirement for the Honors Thesis is that it must be presented publicly. Students will work with their director and the HID advisor to set up a public presentation of their work either at the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium or another appropriate venue.

An approved Senior Honors Thesis that receives a grade of B or better and that has been orally presented in public is required for graduation as an English Honors student from East Tennessee State University.

The Thesis Committee

A senior honors student should choose a thesis committee in conjunction with the English Honors Director. The committee must consist of a thesis professor and a second reader, both from the Department of Literature and Language, and a third reader who must come from outside the department.

Recommended Honors Thesis Timetable

The following are the recommended timetables for completion of the English Honors Thesis. You must complete a thesis to graduate with Honors in English. Please contact the English Honors-in-Discipline Advisor, Dr. Kornweibel () with any questions.


First Column Second Column Third Column
Thesis Progress Deadline if Graduating in Spring Deadline if Graduating in Fall
Choose Thesis Director September 15 January 26
Complete Prospectus for Director Approval 
Choose Second and Third Readers
November 1 March 19
Present First Draft to Thesis Director February 15 October 1
Present Second Draft to all Readers March 19 November 1
In conjunction with HID Director,
set date for thesis presentation
April 1 November 9
Deadline for Thesis presentation April 20 November 30
Deadline to submit bound copies to thesis director and English HID Director April 15 November 19
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