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Composing and completing your thesis
Stage 4 supports you through writing your thesis and preparing for your defense. In this stage you may ask:
This stage of the process typically takes two terms to complete. You must complete Stage 4 no later than the term you graduate. If you have questions, please contact an HC academic advisor.
If your plan has changed, update your Thesis Map.
Register for HC 408 Stage 4: Compose & Complete
Complete Stage 4: Compose & Complete tasks independently
Note: The thesis draft can be completed in HC 408 Thesis: Stage 4 - Compose & Complete.
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.
Begin by writing a rough draft that brings the sections of your project together and allows your mentor 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.
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 a Writing Center appointment.
The Honors College Thesis Fair is an opportunity to display your work, discussing it (either in-person or online) with the general public. Held every spring, all HC graduates are required to present their poster at the HC Thesis Fair. Details for the 2021 HC Thesis Fair are coming soon!
All graduates are required to prepare a poster for public presentation. Among other important requirements, the poster must:
Use the video tutorial for design assistance. The Student Multimedia Service team provides free personal design consultation. Photos from previous Thesis Fair events can also be found on the HC photo gallery.
After completing the poster, submit it for inclusion in the poster fair to bit.ly/S4Poster. Please submit it as a PDF.
All posters displayed at the Thesis Fair will be judged by faculty in three categories (engineering; science; or humanities, social science, and business) with one from each category being selected for a cash prize!
Once your poster is submitted you will be invited to the HC Thesis Fair Canvas page. Graduates are asked to create a short video/audio file introducing your research and sharing your findings by following the same steps as outlined in the CUE media tutorial. The file should:
In coordination with your committee members, schedule a two-hour session. Identify a day and time convenient for everyone. All HC thesis defenses will be virtual and conducted using Zoom at least through winter term. Once you have determined a date and time, coordinate with your mentor to schedule the defense. Your mentor should create the Zoom meeting and invite your committee members. You can use the link to invite friends, family members, and other guests. Please don’t share the link on social media. The mentor should schedule and host the Zoom meeting so that they can create a breakout room where the student will “go” during the portion of the defense when the committee confers.
It’s vital that you inform the HC of your defense through the HC Defense Notification. This will prompt the HC to send you the appropriate DocuSign paperwork for the defense (approval page, thesis assessment forms, etc.) Notify the HC of your scheduled thesis defense at bit.ly/S4Defense.
HC Thesis Defenses can be public (anyone can attend) or private (only those you invite can attend.) If you select a public defense, your defense will be publicly visible on the HC event calendar on the HC website, but not publicly accessible. The website would note “contact the presenting student for attendance information if you would like to attend.” Again, we caution you not to share the link on social media, but rather provide it to others on an individual basis.
Once you have revised your draft in consultation with your mentor, prepare an examination copy. The examination copy should conform to all the formatting requirements of the Formatting Your HC Thesis page. Send a copy to each committee member at least ten days before your 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.
Present your work to your mentor and committee members. The HC Advising Office Coordinator will send you the HC Thesis Submission Approval Form through DocuSign. Once you’ve signed it (online), the form will go to your committee. Please send the email address of any non-OSU affiliated committee members to Bailey.
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.
COVID-19 FAQ How do I submit the final copy of the Thesis Submission Approval page if the HC office is closed? / With the COVID-19 restrictions I am not sure I can finish my thesis or they prevent me from proceeding as my mentor and I planned. What do I do?
Please submit the PDF of your thesis to Scholar's Archive by 5 pm on the Friday of Week 10. Your committee will need to submit the approval form via DocuSign also by 5 pm on the Friday of Week 10. These are absolute deadlines; you will not graduate with the Honors Baccalaureate diploma without submitting a completed thesis. If you are unable to submit your thesis by this deadline, you must immediately contact an HC academic advisor to discuss your options.
Updated Spring 2020: After notifying the HC of your thesis defense, you will receive the HC Thesis Submission Approval Form through DocuSign two times. The first time, you will fill out the top portion. The second time, you will sign the form. Once you have completed and signed the form, DocuSign will forward the form to each of your committee members. The HC Advising Office Coordinator will initiate the form for the student and the committee.
Submit one PDF file of your thesis, without the signatures, electronically to Scholar's 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 Graduation year – in this format: EdisonThomasA2014, (3) Create " Accessibility Tags" utilizing the Accessibility Submission Guide to include Descriptive Properties, and Language Properties, and (4) choose Creative Commons License or No Creative Commons License.
For those who wish to submit their thesis to the Honors College thesis library, 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. You can submit your thesis to be printed through this Printing and Mailing webform.
You will be emailed two surveys after you alert us of your thesis defense. One survey is a self-assessment for you to complete, as student researcher. You need to email the second to your mentor and each committee member, as they need to fill their survey out individually. Once completed, all surveys should be emailed to email@example.com. These are anonymous surveys and do not have to be sent together. They are solely intended to gather data and are not attached to any one person.
“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