Proposal Guidelines: Thesis (Research)

Proposals need to be 10-12 pages (minimum) typed, double-spaced. Use the citation and formatting styles typical for your discipline.

Proposals for the Honors Thesis (Research) need to have the following components:

  1. A working title that is descriptive of the work
  2. A clear statement of the problem or goal of the study (e.g. the purpose of the study)
    1. Research Questions or Hypothesis (especially for science-based projects)
  3. The significance of the study (why it matters)
  4. Any necessary background or definitions for understanding the topic of your study
  5. A literature review that is relevant to the topic and which describes the field(s) in which the study is intervening or contributing (should be substantive and demonstrate the student’s exploration of the topic)
  6. Methodology/Research Design
    1. Should include a discussion of data or evidence to be used, and how student will access or generate this data or evidence
    2. Role of the Researcher
      1. Documentation of student’s training in the protocols for the research, as needed (e.g. methods course, draft interview protocol, surveys, certification for biohazard, animal research training, etc.)
      2. Description of the role the student is playing in the research project (especially if it is part of mentor’s larger research project)
    3. Research Ethics Statement, if needed
      1. Clearance from Institutional Review Board, if applicable
    4. Timetable for the Research (from present to graduation)
    5. Resources and Materials available to the student in order to carry out the project.

See these websites for more detailed support/examples and exercises: