Research and Mentoring Process

Students intending to do honors must follow this procedure:

By the End of Junior Year
Once the Spring semester grades have been filed, the department chair will contact eligible students. Eligible students should identify a thesis advisor as soon as possible. This advisor should be the anthropology faculty member most competent to advise the student on their topic and not necessarily their main advisor.

Fall Semester
The student should contact their advisor at the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year to plan work on the honors thesis. During the Fall semester, the student should plan on working closely with the advisor, including regular consultation in person or electronically, as the student and advisor see fit. These deadlines apply:

  • Sept. 15: Email a one-page statement of the proposed topic to all anthropology faculty. The statement should describe the topic and present an individualized plan of work to be completed during the fall semester, including bibliography building, reading, and beginning or continuing field research and data collection, which will lead to the completion of the honors proposals.
  • Oct. 15: Present a progress report to the advisor, listing library sources identified, explaining how these generally will be useful to the research project, and reaffirming the research question(s) driving the project. This progress report should be prepared after consulting with the research librarian at Musselman Library who is liaison to the anthropology department.
  • Nov. 15: Submit a draft of the final proposal to the advisor. The student should also ask the advisor for a email of endorsement that indicates the advisor's support for the thesis proposal.

The proposal, due immediately after Thanksgiving Break, should be revised in light of the advisor's comments on the draft. The proposal contains the following sections:

  • Statement of research objectives: Explains what are you going to examine and why it is academically relevant. One page.
  • Statement of methodology: Discusses the fieldwork and analysis that you have already completed and/or the fieldwork and analysis that you have yet to complete. Two to three pages.
  • Bibliography: Lists relevant literature, indicating which works you have already read. Note that the full literature review must be completed by early spring. Format the bibliography according to The Chicago Manual of Style. ( Minimum of fifteen sources; indicate with pen or typed symbol which works you have already read.
  • Time-line for research/analysis and literature review: Conveys in a clear fashion when you will complete the specific steps of the research. The time-line should include what you have already accomplished as well as what you still need to do. Note that students need to schedule ethnographic research, archaeological analysis of data, and literature review so as to complete everything by early March, when the student should plan to begin the write-up process. One page.
  • Endorsement email from advisor.

After submission of the research statement, the faculty meet with the student. The goals of this meeting are to:

  • Decide whether the project should continue.
  • Discuss the research statement and make suggestions on the research methods and literature review. 
  • Choose a committee of at least two faculty who will work with the student as the student continues the project.

At this point Prof. Donna Perry, IRB representative will review the project to determine its status with regard to the ethics of human subjects research. In some instances, a student will have to complete an IRB form that undergoes full review by the College's IRB. Students will be informed of their IRB status within a week.

For the remainder of the fall semester and during winter break, students must adhere to the proposed time-line for research and keep in regular contact with their committee members.

  • Student's must complete the department's ethic contract as well as designated CITI modules before conducting work with human subjects.
  • Students should begin/continue fieldwork or analysis of archaeological data as soon as possible after the fall meeting (if they have not done so already, and when appropriate). Fieldwork and analysis can and should provide an opportunity for the student to revise their research objectives and methods. The student should make changes in consultation with their committee members.
  • Students should simultaneously read relevant literature. Literature should be on-going and should inform, and be informed by, research.

Spring Semester

Students enrolled in ANTH 400 (capstone) will set up a meeting with their committee and with the instructor of ANTH 400 by the second full week of classes. The goals of this early-semester meeting are to:

  • Assess the work completed thus far (referring to the original time-line for research/analysis and literature review included in the research statement).
  • Build into the timeline dates for completing and writing up the project. Due-dates for the project must coordinate with due-dates for the capstone. In addition, meeting dates must be set up with the committee.

During the semester, the committee will meet regularly with the student in conjunction with the due dates for the written work listed above. The committee members will continue to mentor the student on his/her fieldwork and literature review.

Students will write a thesis of 10,000-12,000 words (not including bibliography).

Students will present their honors theses to the department near the end of the semester.

The final draft of the honors thesis is due on the first day of finals week. The anthropology faculty will meet during finals week to determine if honors is to be awarded. All honors theses will be uploaded to The Cupola, pending revisions (if necessary) requested by the faculty.

Revised 5/14/2015 DLP