The Honors thesis can be a creative project (performance of a play, poetry, etc.) with a descriptive author’s statement or a formal research paper. The project does not have to be related to one’s major. The topic can be just about anything.
“The rules for your Honors thesis are very strict – it has to be legal and you have to have a faculty adviser…Beyond that you can pretty much do anything that involves academic content,” Ruebel jokingly said during the presentation.
Many Honors College students attend a thesis appointment with an official at the Honors College when they are juniors. The student must submit a thesis proposal that includes the topic of the thesis and identifies the sponsoring academic adviser.
After the Honors thesis is complete, the writers can choose whether they want Bracken Library to digitize their work for the public to see. Examples of previously published Honors theses can be found by visiting www.cardinalscholar.bsu.edu and clicking “Ball State University Dissertations” and “Undergraduate Honors Theses.”
In regards to how to find resources for a thesis, information services librarian Brenda Yates Habich demonstrated the WorldCat and Web of Science search engines to help find information. Yates Habich emphasized the usefulness of this dynamic duo and said she hopes that people will find them useful for their project.
The last portion of the meeting was a presentation by history professor Dr. Michael Doyle. He is facilitating an oral history course that addresses the African American community that went to BSU from the 1960s-1990s. This course will focus on African Americans featured in old historical records of Ball State. Members of the Ball State Black Alumni Constituent Society will be interviewed in this course. This course (HNRS 390C) will be offered in the spring on Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 and can be used to write one’s Honors thesis or serve as an Honors College colloquium.
“[This project will show] the full picture of the range of students that have been here, not just well-privileged students or students with white backgrounds,” Dr. Doyle said.
More information on the Honors thesis can be found in the senior Honors thesis packet, available at the front desk of the Honors House.