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Thesis Specifications

A thesis that fails to follow these specifications will not be acceptable for honors.

Research

If you are pursuing honors in Latin or Greek (i.e. enrolling in LATN 495/6 or GREK 495/6), your thesis must reflect a substantial amount of work with ancient sources in their original language(s). If your honors are to be in Classical Civilization (CLCV 495/6), you will still be required to work with primary sources (literary and/or material), but research in Latin and Greek texts may be done in translation. 

Your thesis must also reflect an acquaintance with the best and most current modern scholarship on your topic. Your advisor will give you advice on this, but in the course of your research you should also gain and demonstrate a familiarity with the print and electronic resources available for finding modern scholarship.

Writing

Particulars of the style and structure of your thesis are for you and your advisor to determine. The following departmental and/or college-wide requirements must be observed, however.

  1. Length: Except in unusual circumstances, your thesis should be neither less than 35 nor more than 100 pages in length (exclusive of illustrations for an archaeological or art-historical topic). A good range to shoot for is 40-50 pages.
  2. Citations: All ancient and modern sources must be cited in a manner that is consistent and clear. The exact format of citations (footnotes vs. endnotes vs. in-text citations; MLA or APA style, etc.) is something you and your advisor should decide upon at an early point in the writing process.
  3. Greek: If you quote words or passages in the original Greek in your thesis, you should use a Greek word-processing font. Carefully proofread the Greek and make sure that all accents and other diacritical marks are correct. The accents and diacriticals should be printed along with the letters, not written in by hand. Work out the difficulties of using a Greek font with your computer and printer well ahead of time.
  4. File formats: The final version of your thesis that you provide to your examination committee should be either printed or sent as a digital file in a word-processing format that all members of the committee can access (Microsoft Word is the best bet).  It is your responsibility to make sure that all committee members have a copy of the file in the format they prefer.  When you upload your thesis to the library archive, it will need to be in .pdf format.
  5. Margins: All margins must be at least one inch. Margins must also be maintained for all charts, graphs, and photographs.
  6. Final Copy: The original final copy must be as free as possible from typos and formatting anomalies.  Proofread your text carefully.
  7. Illustrative Material: By far the best way to include illustrations is to scan them into a digital format and include them as part of the file that contains your text. The department has a scanner which students preparing honors theses can arrange to use for this purpose. 
  8. Title Page: The title page must conform to the format prescribed by the Charles Center.  You will need to bring a copy of this page to your oral defense so that the members of your committee can sign it before you upload it along with the rest of your thesis to the library archive.
  9. Submit final copy to the Swem Library thesis archive: You will do this using W&M ScholarWorks.