EAS honors thesis guidelines

In all cases the student must have a GPA of 3.65 in the major at the end of the junior year. The proposed project will be an examination of some aspect of East Asian culture and/or society past or present.

Students interested in pursuing an honors project will propose a topic before the end of the junior year (or, for students who are abroad during their junior year, as near to this deadline as possible). This topic must gain the approval of a faculty “mentor,” the Department Chair, and the faculty instructor of EA493.

The student then completes a preliminary proposal that includes their research question, methodological approach, types of sources to be used, research plan and a preliminary bibliography. The preliminary proposal is due to the faculty mentor and the faculty instructor of EA493 no later than June 30. The student will conduct preliminary research during the summer.

The student enrolls in EA493 in the fall. During the fall semester, the student consults with their faculty mentor, but works under the guidance of the EA493 instructor to complete the first draft of their thesis. The student will share major assignments completed in EA493 with the faculty mentor. At the midterm, or after the student completes an outline of the paper, the faculty mentor and student decide whether to continue the research as an honors project. At this time, the faculty mentor selects a faculty member to serve as “second reader.”

During the last week of classes in December, the honors candidate presents a draft of their thesis to a board made up of the mentor, second reader and East Asian Studies faculty members. The board will approve or disapprove continuation of the project into the second semester.

Approved students enroll in EA483 in the spring and work independently in consultation with their mentor to revise the research paper completed in EA493 into an honors thesis. The student will submit a workplan (including deadlines) to the faculty mentor at the beginning of the spring semester.

The candidate will submit a complete draft of the Honors essay to the mentor no later than the Friday of the week after spring break. Drafts submitted on time will be returned to the candidate as soon as possible with comments, suggestions and corrections. The student will incorporate these into the final form. Honors candidates must submit their final papers to the mentor and second reader by the last day of classes. The faculty mentor and second reader will issue a grade for the thesis. Candidates will be held to the highest standards of style and precision. Projects judged to be of B or C quality (i.e. below B+ but above a failing grade) will be assigned a grade, but will not be granted honors status.

Honors candidates will present their completed projects to EAS faculty members, students and the Colby community before the conclusion of the spring semester.