Completing an approved, bound thesis

Stage four, GRADUATE, supports you through selecting your thesis committee, writing your thesis and preparing for your defense. GRADUATE has three parts: initial steps to prepare for the writing process, either coursework or independent study, and final steps towards completion.  Because so much work is required in this stage of the process, GRADUATE typically takes three terms to complete.  You must complete GRADUATE no later than the term you graduate.  If you have questions, please contact your HC academic advisor.

If your plan has changed and you need to update your Thesis Map, see the Thesis Map update.

Preliminary Steps:

PS 1: Research compliance proposal (or exemption)

PS 2: Review the literature

PS 3: Conduct research

PS 4: Select your thesis committee

GRADUATE Tasks:

(either enroll in HC 408 Thesis: GRADUATE, or complete the tasks independently)

Task 1: Write a full draft of the thesis

Task 2: Create a poster to present your thesis publicly

Final Steps:

FS 1: Prepare the Examination Copy of your thesis

FS 2: Defend your thesis

FS3: Submit the Bound and Electronic versions of your thesis

 

 

Preliminary Steps:

In preparation for the two main GRADUATE tasks, you will complete four Preliminary Steps (PS 1-4). Preliminary steps are typically completed at least two terms prior to degree completion.

 

PS 1: Research compliance proposal (or exemption).

As explained in the LEARN section, training and compliance are required for all research activity. According to OSU’s Office of Research Integrity, this office “ensures compliance with ethical and legal responsibilities in research involving live vertebrate animals, biosafety, chemical safety, scientific diving and boating, radiation safety, [and] human subjects…” (http://oregonstate.edu/research/ori/).

You, with guidance from your thesis mentor, are responsible for obtaining approval from the appropriate committees if proposing research activities requiring oversight. Approval must be obtained before any research activity begins and may take about ten weeks. Plan ahead!

Depending on which committee has oversight, you may be expected to submit an application, protocol, consent forms, test instruments, and so forth.

 

ACTIVITY

COMMITTEE

CONTACT

Human subjects

OSU Institutional Review Board (IRB)

http://oregonstate.edu/research/irb/

Live Vertebrate Animals

OSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

http://oregonstate.edu/research/iacuc/

Recombinant DNA molecules, Transgenic Plants or Animals, and/or Infectious Agents of Plants, Animals, or Humans

OSU Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

http://oregonstate.edu/ehs/bio/institutional-committee

Ionizing Radiation

OSU Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)

http://oregonstate.edu/ehs/rso

Chemical Carcinogens

OSU Chemical Safety Committee (CSC)

http://oregonstate.edu/ehs/chemical-safety-committee

Scuba, Free Diving, and/or Small Boating Operations

OSU Scientific Diving and Small Boating Programs

http://oregonstate.edu/research/diving/

http: //oregonstate.edu/research/boating

 

 

PS 2: Review of the literature.

Every project requires a lot of reading. Early on, read the published literature related to your topic, usually starting with the last five years. Read critically to identify the trends, debates, and unanswered questions that will set the context for your own project.

 

PS 3: Conduct research.

Depending on your project, this may involve carrying out experiments and/or gathering all materials, sources, and other knowledge to formulate conclusions.

 

PS 4: Selection of your thesis committee.

With input from your thesis mentor, invite two (2) additional faculty members (or experts in the appropriate field) to form your full thesis committee.  Remember the 2/3 rule: the committee must include at least two people who are tenure track at OSU (such as associate professor, professor, or emeritus professor). Review our Finding a Mentor page.

 

Copyright permission: Assume that any material from other sources used in your thesis, including text, pictures, musical compositions, charts, and cartoons are copyrighted. You need permission to include them in your thesis. To determine whether you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner, fill out the Fair Use Documentation.  Please consult Data and Digital Repository Librarian Steve Van Tuyl about copyright law.

 

GRADUATE Tasks:

You have two options for writing support in GRADUATE for drafting and finalizing your thesis for presentation, defense, and printing. 

Option 1 – Register for HC 408 Thesis: GRADUATE

OR

 

Option 2 – Complete GRADUATE tasks independently

Task 1: Write a full draft of the thesis.

Begin by writing a rough draft that brings the sections of your project together and allows your committee to see your progress as well as provide feedback. The content of the rough draft and how many revisions are to be made are determined by you and your mentor.

It is critical during the drafting process to give yourself plenty of time to follow recommended writing techniques, including “cool-downs” and targeted proofreading.

  • Cool-down: disengaging from a draft for a few days or weeks, to help you mentally transition from composing to editing. This break makes it easier to spot and correct weaknesses.

  • Targeted proofreading: editing your work in layers, focusing attention on one aspect of revision at a time.  In the first round, read to edit content only; in the next round, organization only;  in the next, formatting only; and in the final round, edit for grammar and mechanics.

Throughout the process, work with your mentor to determine what revisions need to be made for the final draft of the thesis.  You can utilize the Graduate Writing Center for additional help.  Schedule an appointment here

 

Task 2: Create and submit a poster to present your thesis publicly. 

All graduates are required to prepare a poster for public presentation.  Those completing their Honors degree in spring term are required to present their poster at the HC Thesis Fair. This event, held every spring term, is an opportunity to show off your work on campus and to the general public. Please follow the criteria outlined in the HC Thesis Fair Poster Printing Specifications. Among other important requirements, the poster must:

  • display your name, your mentor’s name, and the project title
  • be 48 inches wide and 36 inches high.
  • fit in a 4-foot area (including additional materials)
  • be designed to hang on a wall (no tri-fold displays).
  • be of professional caliber, while also communicating clearly to a layperson.
  • submit a pdf of the poster to the Honors College

Use the video tutorial for design assistance. The Student Multimedia Service team provides free personal design consultation and printing of the poster. Photos from previous Thesis Fair events can also be found on the HC photo gallery.

All poster displayed at the Thesis Fair will be judged by faculty in three categories (engineering; science; or humanities, social science, and business). One poster in each category will be selected to receive the Outstanding Thesis Poster of the Year award with a cash prize!

For 2017 the Thesis Fair will be held Friday, June 2nd from 11:30am to 1:30pm in the Learning Innovation Center.

 

                 

Final steps

Whether you drafted your thesis in HC 408 or worked independently, there are a few more required steps.

FS 1: Prepare the Examination Copy of your thesis.

Once you have revised your draft in consultation with your mentor (see Task 1), prepare an examination copy. The examination copy should conform to all the formatting requirements of the Formatting Your HC Thesis page, except that: it is not yet bound, not printed on cotton rag paper, and does not contain signatures. Send one copy to each committee member at least ten days before your defense.

 

FS 2: Defend your thesis.

The thesis defense is a validation and celebration of your contribution to shared knowledge. It should take place well in advance of the deadline for turning in your thesis, to allow for final revisions, and printing between the defense and the due date. You may decide to invite friends and family or have a closed defense with only your committee present. Consider attending an open defense to experience one for yourself, or watch this HC student's defense video(http://oregonstate.adobeconnect.com/p81aij83a6n/).

  • Schedule the Defense: In coordination with your committee members, schedule a two-hour session. Identify a day, time, and location convenient for everyone, noting technology and accessibility needs. To reserve a room in the HC, please contact the office coordinator (keep in mind that space is limited). To reserve a room in the Valley Library, your major department, or elsewhere, contact the appropriate administrator directly.

Notify the HC of your scheduled thesis defense here: Thesis Defense Notification

  • Prepare for the Defense: Carefully review the Thesis Defense Agenda Template and use it to create your own agenda for committee members.  Organize a brief presentation of your thesis work and be prepared to answer questions from all in attendance. Bring the signature page, on 25% cotton rag paper, in case the committee wishes to approve your thesis at your defense.
  • Day of the Defense:  Defending your thesis is not as stressful as some students anticipate; above all, it is a celebration of your efforts.Please note that nearly every thesis needs revision after the defense.  Upon conclusion of the examination portion of the defense, the thesis committee will recommend either: pass, fail, or recess the examination until a later date. Alternatively, the committee may recommend a conditional pass if relatively minor modifications to the thesis or project are necessary
  • Submit Transcript Notification Form, which can be found on the URSA web page. OSU offers students who complete a research or creative project with an OSU professor the opportunity to note the experience on their official transcript.  The notification appears on official transcripts only - not online or unofficial transcripts. There are two versions of the application form, an abbreviated form and a full form. To use the abbreviated application, you must submit it AFTER your defense. A full application is available if you wish to obtain transcript notification before your defense date
  • Submit the Thesis Self-Assessment Survey. In this brief survey, you are asked to rate your own ability to accomplish the outcomes established for the HC Thesis.  Your feedback is valuable for ongoing evaluation of the Honors College thesis process

 

FS 3: Submit the Bound and Electronic versions of your thesis.

Deliver the final, bound and signed, copy of the thesis to the HC advising office (LInC 450) by 5pm on the Friday of Week 10. This is an absolute deadline; you will not graduate with the Honors Baccalaureate diploma without submitting a completed thesis. If you are not able to submit your thesis by this deadline, you can push graduation back a term.

  • Formatting: The HC does not provide guidelines for formatting the body of your thesis. Follow the style guide of your discipline to format the text of your thesis. However, there are specific requirements for formatting the pre-text pages, including the flyleaves, abstract, copyright page, title page, and signature approval page. Refer to our Formatting Your HC Thesis page and templates.
  • Printing & Binding: Follow the HC Bound Thesis Printing Specifications for specific requirements for printing and binding the thesis. Please follow these guidelines precisely as an improperly produced thesis will require reprinting and rebinding at your expense before being approved.
  • Electronic Submission: Submit one PDF file of your thesis, without the signatures, electronically to Scholars Archive.  The Honors College follows the Undergraduate Thesis Submission Instructions within the  ScholarsArchive@OSU research guide. Please refer to this guide for assistance. In brief, you will (1) use Adobe Acrobat, (2) name the file: Last name, First name, Middle initial, and Graduationyear – in this format: EdisonThomasA2014, (3) Create "Accessiblity Tags" utilizing the Accessiblitiy Submission Guide to include Descriptive Properties, and Language Properties, and (4) choose Creative Commons License or No Creative Commons License.

 

“Turning in [my honors thesis], I feel like I’ve accomplished something I never thought I would, and I am excited for the next challenge. I feel prepared.”

Irene Ridgway, Honors College Class of 2003