The Senior Essay or Senior Thesis

The Senior Essay together with Thesis

Every student whom completes the main in Comparative research writes a senior essay or a thesis. The essay and/or thesis is completed in CS 4990, “Senior Seminar,” a writing workshop offered every Spring by which students share drafts, present their work orally, and get step-by-step feedback from their peers. Whichever is plumped for, the senior research project serves as a capstone experience for students in the major, and results in an item of initial work that may be distributed to the relative Studies community. The essay or thesis can also be valuable as a writing test if students connect with graduate or expert schools, or pursue an array of careers that value individual initiative and effective interaction.

We. Making a choice

The senior essay choice

If you compose the senior essay you certainly will finish most of the work of research and writing through the Spring semester of your senior year, while enrolled in CS 4990, “Senior Seminar.” You could either revise and expand a paper you composed for the next program (usually, yet not constantly, a training course in Comparative Studies), or begin and finish a study paper on a fresh topic. Senior essays vary long, but are generally around 12–15 pages (and sometimes longer if they are expanded versions of previous essays).

The thesis choice

If you who decide to compose a thesis you may typically start taking care of it throughout the Autumn semester of senior year (and quite often during the preceding summer) by enrolling in CS 4999 or 4999H (“Undergraduate Thesis” or “Honors Thesis”). You'll then complete the writing while signed up for CS 4990, “Senior Seminar.” Theses vary significantly in total, but are generally between 25 and 40 pages. The thesis procedure also incorporates an oral “exam” (really similar to a conversation in regards to the finished work with your advisor plus one or higher other faculty members). If you select the thesis choice you are permitted graduate with “Research Distinction” or “Honors Research Distinction.”

Analysis Distinction

To graduate with Research Distinction in Comparative Studies or with analysis Distinction (in the event that thesis is completed in another control), you need to meet the following demands:

· Complete at the least 60 graded credit hours at Ohio State

· Graduate with minimum GPA of 3.0

· Submit “Application for Graduation with analysis Distinction” no later compared to the semester before graduation and before using CS 4999

· Complete at the least 4 credit hours of CS 4999 (these might spread over multiple term)

· Complete and effectively protect the thesis during an oral assessment

For a far more step-by-step range of instructions, see:

Honors Analysis Distinction

If you are inside Honors Program you could graduate with Honors Research Distinction in Comparative Studies or with Honors analysis Distinction (in the event that thesis is completed an additional control) by meeting the next demands:

· Be signed up for the ASC Honors Program and complete an approved Honors Contract

· Complete no less than 60 graded credit hours at Ohio State

· Graduate with minimal GPA of 3.4

· publish “Undergraduate Thesis Application” no later than semester before graduation and before using CS 4999H

· Complete at least 4 credit hours of CS 4999H (might spread over multiple term)

· Complete and effectively protect the thesis during an oral assessment

For an even more detailed set of guidelines, see:

II. Starting Out

Preparing in advance

Both the senior essay together with thesis require some advance planning, although schedule the thesis is normally longer. If you choose to compose the senior essay, you need to have selected a paper to revise and expand, if not identified an interest for a new research paper, no later versus semester if your wanting to sign up for 4990. You need to submit your draft or proposal for a first round of peer review at the beginning of Spring semester.

If you opt to compose the thesis, you need to have identified an interest and a consultant by the beginning of Autumn quarter of one's senior year (some pupils choose a topic in Spring of junior 12 months and commence work in summer time) in order to sign up for 4999 and commence your quest.

Note: in case the research involves other humans (for example, collecting oral records, performing interviews, or administering surveys) or animals, be sure to be aware that it might probably need previous approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This is a time-consuming process and involves collaboration with your faculty advisor, and that means you will have to build additional time into the schedule. For further information, see:

Choosing a topic and advisor

Whether you write the senior essay or the thesis, nothing is more essential versus range of an interest. It ought to be a thing that engages you, that sparks your curiosity or imagination, and that has stakes that matter for you. But it also needs to be an interest of manageable scale, one which can adequately be explored within the time available to you. Your faculty advisor can help you to contour assembling your shed first, and also to make any necessary corrections along the way.

No formal advisor is needed the senior essay. If you choose to revise and expand an earlier paper, you might reconnect with the instructor for whom you had written the original. They might very well be willing to act as an informal advisor as you undertake your revisions. If selecting a brand new subject, you'll need to consult with a professor into the department or on our affiliated faculty with expertise in the subject matter. Each of you comes with your own faculty consultant with whom it is possible to confer, as well as the professor who will be teaching 4990.

In the event that you write a thesis you must have a formal thesis consultant: he/she will supervise any thesis research courses you are taking (4999), the writing of this thesis it self, and the dental exam by the end associated with process. This could function as the same person as your faculty advisor nonetheless it need not be. You need to choose some one with who you might be comfortable (usually because you have been around in a class together before) and who may have sufficient knowledge of the niche matter to guide work. You might wish to talk informally with more than one professor before generally making one last decision.

Seeking capital

There are many sourced elements of financing for undergraduate research. Arts and Sciences awards two forms of scholarships on a competitive foundation each academic 12 months; each requires a page of help from a scholastic consultant, and preference is fond of students likely to compose a thesis. Undergraduate Research Scholarships are priced between $500 to $12,000. Applications for a given scholastic 12 months are due in very early February regarding the preceding 12 months. International analysis Grants provide up to $4,000 for research-related travel abroad for pupils in Arts and Sciences. There are two main application rounds per academic year. For more information, see:

The Division of Arts and Humanities provides Undergraduate Research Small Grants (up to $500) to simply help fund visit things such as conferences, research collections, and exhibitions also to buy materials for research or creative activity. The Aida Cannarsa Endowment Fund provides funds of $500 to $3,000 to students in arts and humanities, with concern fond of individuals with demonstrated financial need. Applications for both are evaluated every six months.


There could be additional sourced elements of capital, off and on campus, for particular types of projects. You need to consult with your advisor and the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Please be aware that research money involving peoples subjects may need prior IRB approval (see above).


Every Spring, you will find possibilities for Comparative Studies pupils to provide the results of their research, whether they choose to compose the senior essay and/or thesis. The Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate analysis Forum is a university-wide display of undergraduate work that awards prizes by areas of interest (including, Humanities). There was a competitive abstract submission process in January, and each day devoted to presentations in late March. Though all the forum involves poster presentations, Humanities majors give brief dental presentations (8-10 minutes) on the work to faculty judges.

In April, the Department of Comparative Studies hosts its Undergraduate Research Colloquium. Students distribute paper abstracts in February—300 words or less that describe the project’s central questions, methodologies, theoretical framework, and (tentative) conclusions. Students may choose to provide a 10-minute presentation on work in progress or a 20-minute presentation on completed work (by April everybody else enrolled in 4990 should be ready to give a presentation). This is certainly a more slow paced life, with an audience of your peers and friends, also faculty and graduate students in the department.


Senior Essay Timeline

Autumn of senior year

· Choose a topic

Spring of senior year

· join CS 4990, “Senior Seminar”

Thesis Timeline

Spring of junior year

· Identify a consultant

· Select an interest

Summer time between junior and senior years (optional)

· join CS 4998 or 4998H, “Undergraduate analysis in Comparative Studies” (2 credits)

Autumn of senior year

· publish “Application for Graduation with Research Distinction” or “Undergraduate Thesis Application”

· join CS 4999, “Undergraduate Thesis” or 4999H, “Honors Thesis” (2 credits)

Spring of senior year

· sign up for CS 4990, “Senior Seminar”

· Enroll in join CS 4999, “Undergraduate Thesis” or 4999H, “Honors Thesis” (2 credits)

· Oral exam


You will find copies of undergraduate theses online at the OSU Knowledge Bank:

More info on undergraduate research opportunities is available at:

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