The first steps in beginning the thesis process are finding a faculty advisor, identifying a topic, writing a thesis proposal, and submitting it to the Honors office along with a "Proposal Cover Sheet." After your proposal is accepted, you must register for thesis credit hours.


Proposal Requirements - Registration for Thesis Credit - Meeting with Thesis Advisor
Thesis Presentation - Formatting Requirements - Approval of Final Draft


Thesis Proposal Requirements

Write your proposal so that any educated person can easily read and understand it. This means avoiding jargon and special terminology where possible and completely defining all special terms that must be used.

Sample thesis proposal

Proposal Content

While all theses require scholarship, a thesis can be any one of the following: research project, ethnographic study, performance, creative work, or a project that grows out of an internship or summer travel experience. This section must contain, in clearly identifiable sections, the following information.

A. Thesis in the Humanities or the Arts

Thesis Description
Describe in a sentence or two the precise question or problem which you are going to address. Then identify possible explanations based on the research and literature in your field. If appropriate, identify a position you will defend. It is altogether insufficient here to state simply that you are going to "research" or "investigate" or "look into" a question or problem.

What will your scholarship consist of? It is not enough here simply to state what you are going to read. Explain the questions you will pose and the methods (e.g., type of formal analysis, literary criticism, or hermeneutic) you intend to use to investigate, test, or interpret your thesis. Explain why these methods are feasible and adequate to demonstrate the validity of your thesis.

B. Thesis in the Sciences or Social Sciences

Thesis Description
Describe in a sentence or two the precise question or problem which you are going to address. Then identify possible explanations based on the research and literature in your field. It is altogether insufficient here to state simply that you are going to "research" or "investigate" or "look into" a question or problem.

State your research question(s) as clearly as possible. Identify and describe the major variables and concepts you will include in your research project. Provide an overview of the methodology you plan to use. How will you address the research question? Will you use an exploratory, descriptive, or causal research design? How will you select your sample(s)? How will you measure your key concepts and variables? How will you collect your data? How will you analyze your data?

C. Creative thesis

Thesis Description
Present your thesis statement in a sentence or two that describes precisely the question or problem which you are going to address. Based on the literature and other documentation in your field, identify probable directions your work will take. It is altogether insufficient to state simply that you are going to create or produce a work of art or a document. Include why this thesis is significant and how it contributes to your learning.

How will you communicate your concept? What research will aid you in your conceptual development and execution?

(You may place your Background section before the Thesis Description/ Methods section if you wish.) How did you arrive at your thesis idea? If your thesis grew out of your previous academic work, please describe how. What have other scholars/artists had to say about this question or problem? How does your thesis fit into the work these scholars/artists have already done? What is the significance or importance of your thesis? How will this project contribute to your learning?

Resources/ Budget

What resources are necessary to undertake this thesis project? Are these resources readily available and how do you plan to secure them? List all expenses (supplies, services, travel, etc.) required for your research or project and the dollar amount for each expense. Add the amounts of the line items for a total. If you have not already submitted the Application for University Honors Research Project, submit it with your proposal.


Append a bibliography of no less than 15 books, journal articles, and/or other scholarly sources that will convince the reviewers that adequate resources exist to do the thesis. Divide your bibliography into two parts: a) works you have already consulted, and b) works you plan to consult.

Sample thesis proposal


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Registration for Thesis Credit

During the semesters in which you are working on your thesis, you must be registered for the Honors Thesis course. The course carries three hours of academic credit which can be spread over two terms. You will be registered for the credits during the semester that you indicate in the online thesis submission system. The thesis advisor assigns the grade for Honors Thesis credit. The grade for an approved thesis must be satisfactory. If the thesis is not complete, the advisor assigns a grade of "G," then updates the grade when the thesis has been approved. Contact Jessica Forbes or Dr. Tomso in the Honors program if you need assistance regarding registration for thesis hours.

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Meeting with Your Thesis Advisor

Students are expected to put their best work into their Honors thesis. Faculty advisors are expected to guide students to produce their best work. Both jobs are time-consuming and must be carried out by students and faculty members working together in a disciplined way over a sustained period. Each person has responsibility to see that the necessary work is completed on time. Do not limit your contacts to chance meetings in the hall. Set up a schedule of conferences for the year.

You are required to meet with your advisor on a regular basis. Once a week is usually a good rule of thumb, though you and your advisor may devise a different meeting schedule that better suits your project. Email is not a substitute for face-to-face meetings. You may need to remind your advisor to schedule meetings with you. Don't be shy about asking for extra time if you need it.

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The Research Presentation

In order to graduate as an Honors Scholar, students must present their thesis at one of the following events:

  • a state, regional, or national Honors conference
  • a conference within the student's field of study
  • the annual UWF Student Scholar Symposium


Information about Presenting at Honors Conferences

Conference Time of Conference Deadline to Submit Proposal Website
National Collegiate Honors Council Conference
Mid/Late October Mid February NCHC
Southern Regional Honors Council Conference
Mid/Late March Late January SRHC
Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference
Mid/Late February Early December FCHC
UWF Student Scholar Symposium Late Spring One month prior to
scheduled Symposium


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Formatting Requirements

Thesis Title Page

You must format your title page exactly to match this sample title page.

Margins and Fonts
Observe these guidelines:

  1. Leave one-inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right side of each page.
  2. Do not justify the right margin; doing so makes the text more difficult to read.
  3. Use at least a 12-point font for the body of the thesis (footnotes and captions for tables and figures can be set in a smaller font.)
  4. Use a serif font for the text of the paper; research shows it is easier to read.
  5. You may use a sans serif font for titles and headings, if desired.

Front Matter
The following pages should come before the text of the thesis in the order indicated.

  1. Title/signature page
  2. Acknowledgments page, if desired
  3. Table of Contents
  4. List of Tables and Figures, if any have been used in the thesis
  5. Abstract (summary) of the thesis

Body of the Thesis
Please observe the following conventions in organizing the body of the thesis.

  1. The body of the thesis should be between 15 and 25 pages long.
  2. Divide the body of the thesis into sections or chapters as indicated in the Table of Contents.
  3. Give each section or chapter a heading that corresponds to headings used in the Table of Contents.
  4. Number all pages of the body of the thesis sequentially with Arabic numerals.
  5. Number tables, if any, sequentially, e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.
  6. Number figures, if used, sequentially, e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Figures include drawings, graphs, photos, diagrams, maps, anything that is not a table.
  7. Give each table or figure a descriptive caption that explains clearly what is presented in the table or figure.
  8. Place tables and figures close to the relevant text, but not before a reader needs them.

Back Matter
All theses will have the first of these, and many will have the second.

  1. References, Selected Bibliography, Works Cited, or Works Consulted. The title you use will depend on the documentation style you have followed. These pages must contain full bibliographic citations for all documents, printed or electronic, you have consulted and cited in the thesis.
  2. Appendix(es). Place in an appendix raw data (e.g., calculations, transcripts, tabulations, matrices, etc.) which your readers are likely to want to see but which are either peripheral to the argument or too bulky to put in the body of the thesis.

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Approval of Final Draft

Your thesis advisor must approve the final draft of your thesis before it is formally submitted to the Honors program. Once approved by your advisor, the Associate Director of Honors may decline to approve your thesis if the final draft contains mechanical errors (typos, punctuation, grammar, etc.), substantive problems that require major reorganization, insufficient content, errors of interpretation, etc. In such a case, the thesis will be returned to you and your advisor to discuss the needed changes. The Honors Program retains sole and final authority to determine the acceptability of theses for awarding the rank of Honors Scholar at the University of West Florida.


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