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ENGLISH 483, 484j HONORS THESIS
The curriculum includes the opportunity for students to take a four-credit course (English 483, 484j), write an honors thesis, and, if successful, graduate with honors. This is the only way to earn honors in the department. Latin Honors and Distinction in the Major are grade based; only students with a major average of at least 3.5 will be eligible for consideration for Distinction in the Major. The Honors thesis program is for those who want to do and are capable of a certain kind of independent work. Here are the ground rules:
You must have 3.0 GPA and a 3.25 in the major at the end of junior year, which must be confirmed by the Registrar.
By May 10 of your junior year you need to have secured a tutor and written a formal prospectus that defines the work to be done and the methods for achieving it. Your topic should be a focused investigation based on work you have already done in the field. Honors theses proposals should not involve beginning explorations in an unknown field. Copies of the prospectus should then be submitted to your tutor and to the department chair.
Once you have the approval of a tutor who agrees to direct your thesis, you should enroll in EN483 (two credits) for the fall of your senior year, and EN484j (two credits) for Jan Plan of your senior year. You can also do a one-semester honors thesis (four credits) in the fall semester, but it must be completed by the end of that semester.
The final draft must be submitted by the end of Jan Plan before classes begin second semester.
Your thesis will be evaluated by your tutor and one other member of the department, “the reader,” whom you will select and consult with during fall semester.
We do not count words, but most essays will be approximately 50 pages. They should be finished essays of high quality that demonstrate independence, originality, and thoroughness. The grade they receive will be the grade for English 483, 484j; a B+ or higher is necessary to graduate with honors.
ANY APPLICATION RECEIVED AFTER MAY 10, WHETHER FROM A STUDENT AT COLBY OR ABROAD, WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.