The Honors Thesis

Hard to believe it’s March already!

And do you know what March means?

No…not spring break…

Not St. Patrick’s Day…

Not Midterms…

That’s right, the middle of March is the deadline for applying for Charles Center Summer Research and Honors Grants.

It’s also the time when all of us juniors confront one of the biggest questions of our undergraduate tenure: To write the Honors Thesis or not to write the Honors Thesis? And what a big question that is.

Though daunting (my adviser just sent me one of her old advisee’s final thesis papers and it came out to a modest 105 pages) the Honors Thesis, especially at W&M, is an incredible opportunity to not only explore a narrowed topic of your choice in great depth, but, through close collaboration with a team of faculty, actually add to the dialogue and increase the knowledge base that exists for that subject.

The Thesis is an excellent exercise in research method, critical thinking, perseverance, and being able to defend your own original ideas and notions against the criticisms of professionals of nationwide and sometimes worldwide renown in the field. At the end of the process, you will have made it through the fire and emerged an enlightened honors student – with a major work under your belt before even graduating.

The writing of a Thesis at William and Mary, in my opinion, epitomizes in a microcosm the W&M academic experience – close and intimate collaboration with faculty, flexibility of pursuits, heavy undergraduate research (maybe even funded by the Charles Center if you can get the application in by the 17th!), and a lot of intellectual questioning.

This semester I am in the process of beginning to put together my honors proposal that I will work on over the summer and into my senior year hopefully – opting to look at the intersection between linguistics and trademark law/litigation under the close advising of Dr. Anne Harper Charity Hudley, my major adviser and an expert in linguistics, and even a law professor who specializes in trademark law and language.

So – if it’s right for you, take the leap and don’t look back.

You may never again have the opportunity to work so intimately with distinguished faculty and give back to a topic that interests you.

And at W&M, you’ll find incredible resources at your disposal to help make your thesis dreams a 105-page thesis reality.

Who wouldn’t get excited about that?

Enjoy the first days of March (arguably more enjoyable than February),


Categories: Academics, Student Blogs

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