Composing and Completing Your Thesis

Stage 4 supports you through writing your thesis and preparing for your defense. In this stage you may ask:

  • What revisions to my work will be needed?
  • What standard does my field use in publishing work?
  • What will the final report of my project look like?
  • How will I present my work?

This stage of the process typically takes two to four 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.

OPTION 1

Register for HC 408 Thesis: Stage 4 - Compose & Complete

OR

OPTION 2

Complete Stage 4: Compose & Complete tasks independently

Write and Format the Thesis

Create and Submit Thesis poster

Participate in the Honors College Thesis Fair 

 
 
 
Write and Format the Thesis
THESIS FORMAT

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 title pages, abstract, copyright page, and signature approval page. Refer to our Formatting Your HC Thesis page and templates.

WRITE A FULL DRAFT OF THE THESIS

Begin by talking with your mentor about the writing process.  You may 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.

WRITING TIPS & RESOURCES

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 OSU Writing Center for additional help. Schedule a Writing Center appointment.

 

Create and Submit Thesis Poster
THESIS POSTER FORMAT AND SUBMISSION

All graduates are required to prepare a poster for public presentation. Among other important requirements, the poster must:

  • display your name, your mentor’s name, and the project title
  • be of professional caliber, while also communicating clearly to a layperson
  • size should be 36 inches tall x 48 inches wide (even for virtual submission)

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 a PDF of your poster to the HC at bit.ly/S4Poster AND upload to 2022 Thesis Fair website

 

Participate in Honors College Thesis Fair

The Honors College Thesis Fair, held every spring, is an opportunity to display your work, discussing it with the general public.  Spring graduates are required to participate in the fair. HC Summer, Fall, and Winter graduates are welcome and strongly encouraged to participate. 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!

The Spring 2022 Thesis Fair will include a brief audio or video presentation (2-5 minutes) to accompany your poster. Information on the audio or video presentation will be sent to you via your OSU email after you submit your poster.  

2022 Thesis Fair Checklist:
  1. Create Poster.
  2. Submit Poster to HC: bit.ly/S4Poster
    • You will need to submit your registration by May 15th by 11:59pm to be considered for the Honors College Outstanding Thesis Poster competition (Spring or future grads ONLY).
    • If you are not competing, you need to submit your presentation by Friday May 20th by noon.
  3. Submit your Poster, Audio/ Video Presentation to the 2022 Thesis Fair website on Symposium. You will need to upload your video to YouTube but make sure it is "Unlisted"
  4. Attend the Virtual 2022 HC Thesis Fair. Posters and presentations will be viewable starting May 23, 2022.  

 

Schedule Thesis Defense and Notify HC

To begin scheduling your defense, work with your mentor and committee members to find a two hour block of time that you and your committee can attend. Once you have a date and time for your defense it is vital that you notify the HC of your scheduled thesis defense at bit.ly/S4Defense. This will prompt the HC to send you the appropriate paperwork for the defense.

HC Thesis Defenses can be public (anyone can attend) or private (only those you invite can attend). The HC does not require a thesis defense to be open to the public or closed, but your major department may require an open defense.

DEFENDING REMOTELY (COVID-19)

HC thesis defenses will be virtual and conducted via Zoom at least through Spring term. 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.  You and the mentor can use the Zoom link to invite the committee and if you choose friends, family, and other guests.  To avoid unwanted complications don’t share the link on social media. 

 

Prepare for and Complete Defense
PROVIDE MENTOR AND COMMITTEE WITH FINAL THESIS DRAFT AT LEAST 10 DAYS PRIOR TO THESIS DEFENSE

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 and should be sent to each committee member at least ten days before your defense.  

What to expect during your defense

A Typical Defense Agenda may look like :

  • Opening of Defense: Welcome and introduction of committee and student (Thesis Mentor)
  • Presentation of Thesis (Student)
  • Discussion Sessions with Student (Thesis Mentor Moderates)
    • Thesis mentor moderates the review of thesis and discussions
      • Open Discussion: If your defense is open there will be an open question and answer session with all in attendance
      • Student & Committee Discussion: Question and answer session with thesis mentor and committee
  • Student Excused for Committee Discussion (Thesis Mentor Moderates)
    • Typically in virtual defenses the student is put into an individual breakout room
  • Student Called Back to Session (Thesis Mentor Notifies)
  • Announcement of Defense Results  (Thesis Mentor Moderates)
    • 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
  • Review of any necessary changes, corrections, and of course positive feedback. Confirm if an embargo is needed (patent/intellectual property or pending publication) for upload 
Final Steps
MAKE FINAL REVISIONS AS REQUESTED BY YOUR MENTOR AND COMMITTEE

Please note that nearly every thesis needs revision after the defense. If your thesis mentor or committee have requested any revisions, update the examination copy with those edits.

SUBMIT PDF OF FINAL THESIS TO THE OSU SCHOLARS ARCHIVE

Follow the Undergraduate Thesis Submission Instructions to submit the PDF copy of your thesis, without the signatures, electronically to [email protected]. Refer to  [email protected] research guide if you need assistance logging in or making changes to your submission.

Your thesis submission and signatures are due at the latest the Friday of week 10 of the term you are graduating. 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.

Summer 2021 Graduates Deadline: Friday, August 27th BY 5:00 p.m.

FINAL SIGNATURES FOR THESIS APPROVAL

Shortly before your scheduled defense date 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 and the HC Dean for signature. All signatures must be completed through DocuSign by the latest 5PM on Friday of Week 10 of the term you are graduating. If you have any non-OSU affiliated committee members, sending the email address(es) to the HC Advising Office Coordinator before your defense will reduce the time needed for signature after your defense. 

SUBMIT SELF-ASSESSMENT AND COMMITTEE MEMBER SURVEYS

You will be emailed a link to surveys after you alert us of your thesis defense. You and each of your committee members should fill this out. You need to email your mentor and each committee member the link, as they need to fill their survey out individually. These are anonymous surveys and are solely intended to gather data and are not attached to any one person.

SUBMIT A BOUND COPY TO THE HONORS COLLEGE THESIS LIBRARY (OPTIONAL)

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.

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