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Honors College

East Tennessee State University

The Honors Scholar and Faculty Mentor choose the format for the thesis.  It is recommended that the thesis be written as a manuscript for publication in a journal specific to the Scholars discipline.  However, other formats may also be used, especially in the case of creative theses. Questions about format should be directed to the appropriate honors program director.

Scholars may want to include more data or extensive footnotes than might be publishable. Appendices are appropriate for this purpose. The length of the Honors Thesis varies by discipline and journal requirements. A humanities thesis might be 40 to 60 pages; one in mathematics or the natural sciences might be 20 to 30 pages; and a creative thesis might be more or less depending on the topic. 

In general, the thesis will include:

  • Title Page
  • Dedication/acknowledgements (optional)
  • Background of the study
  • Thesis statement or research question
  • Review of pertinent literature
  • Method (study design, population/sample, instruments, data gathering strategies, data analysis plan, IRB approval)
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Recommendations
  • Summary/Conclusions
  • References (format used by discipline)
  • Appendices

Not all disciplines or individual studies will use all of these topic areas.

Thesis in the creative arts (e.g., studio art, performing arts, creative writing, digital media) and those that involve public service, field experiences or service learning should include a tangible form of creative work (e.g., photographs, musical score or recording, poems, video) or extensive documentation of their experience. Particularly in the case of the creative thesis, the written thesis should serve as an augmentation of the creative work by explaining the intent of the project, process of creating the work and project outcomes, both in terms of the product and the scholars experience.


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