Process & Deadlines

All Sociology & Anthropology majors are required to write a two-credit thesis. This is normally accomplished during the senior year, during which the student registers for SOAN 096 in the first semester of the senior year and SOAN 097 in the second semester. By enrolling for the thesis the student is automatically enrolled in the Thesis Writers Master Class, SOAN 098.

Those majors planning to spend a semester student teaching are advised to develop a modified schedule, scheduling their thesis work for their non-teaching semesters. This usually means doing the first semester of thesis work during the second semester of their junior year.

Schedule

  1. By now you should be working with a member of the department as your thesis advisor. If you already have a thesis advisor but have not met this semester, be in touch with her or him as soon as possible. If you don't have an advisor or you have questions about who might be appropriate, don't hesitate to speak with the department chair, whose job is, in part, to help students with just this process.
  2. By the beginning of the third week of classes, (September 16) if not sooner: submit a revised thesis proposal to your thesis advisor.  The specifications for such a proposal should be worked out with your advisor.
  3. The following are due dates for chapters and the completed thesis.
    • By October 25, at noon, a completed draft of your first chapter is due.  Thesis chapters should be numbered and include bibliography and footnotes. Chapters are submitted to and reviewed by the department.  Chapter deadlines apply to all thesis writers.

    • By November 25, noon, a completed draft of your second chapter is due.
    • By February 3, noon, a completed draft of your third chapter is due.
    • By March 3, noon, a completed draft of your fourth chapter or conclusion is due.
    • By April 2, noon, the completed rough draft of thesis is due.

      The copy should be considered a final draft with abstract*, proper footnotes, acknowledgements, table of contents, and bibliography. You will hand in your thesis during our annual "Rite of Submission."

      *Writing an Informative Abstract - http://www.asanet.org/journals/abstract.cfm

    • By May 2, noon, completed Honors Thesis is due.
    • By May 5, noon completed Course Thesis is due.
  4. The department will evaluate the progress of students writing Senior Honor Theses on the 1st of November.  If progress is deemed inadequate, the student will be asked to withdraw from Honors.

  5. During the following weeks:  your thesis will be read, discussed, and then, often, revised.  Your thesis will be read by your advisor and one other faculty member.  For the defense, a thesis conference will be scheduled between you and your two thesis readers.  The focus of the conference will be on the thesis itself, although the two readers may also ask you to discuss links between the thesis and your coursework in the department.  You may be asked to provide revisions.  .
  6. The Final Course Thesis is due May 5 noon.  Your grade will be based on the strength of your April 2 version and your revisions.     
  7. The Final Honors Majors:  By May 2nd the final copy should be submitted, it will be sent May 3rdto the Honors Examiner for grading.

When you turn in your final draft, you will need to convert the whole thing to a PDF file and turn in one hard copy and one PDF file (email to Rose Maio - rmaio1@swarthmore.edu) please include an abstract with your email copy. We now digitize every thesis, so you will be asked whether you want yours to remain on our "Swarthmore College shelf", as hard copies have in the past, or to be more widely available to the Tri-College community and beyond.

You will have the opportunity to decide whether your thesis is available to ALL browsers or just to members of Tri-Co or Swarthmore only.

Please be in touch with the department chair or your adviser if you have any questions about the thesis process.