Manuscript Formatting and Submission
Students enrolled in an Honors Thesis of any kind are expected to document their work. This documentation must take the form of a Research Manuscript or Portfolio conforming to Commonwealth Honors College content and formatting requirements below.
Students seeking Honors recognition upon graduation are required to submit their manuscripts to the Commonwealth Honors College office for forwarding to the University Archives in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
Both the Honors Thesis formats, Research Manuscript and Portfolio, traditionally include the components listed below. However, the Thesis Committee or Thesis Seminar instructor may authorize adjustments to meet professional standards set by the department.
Manuscript submission is made through CHC PATHS in digital format. Please refer to the Manuscript and Grading Deadlines for information regarding submission and grading deadlines, graduation credentials and archiving.
Research Manuscript Content and Order
The Research Manuscript is a written document of 40-60 pages, excluding the bibliography.
Summary of work of previous researchers
Explanation of current methodology and goals
Report and discussion of research results
Conclusions and implication for future research
Portfolio Content and Order
The Portfolio includes both a written document of 10-20 pages and an artifact.
Portfolio manuscripts must be a minimum of 10 pages in length* and contain at least two of these areas:
- Contextual information: e.g., literature review or a discussion of theoretical or artistic influences.
- Process information: e.g., What did you wish to achieve? How did you set out to achieve the goals?
- Reflections: e.g., What did you learn or contribute? What changes would you make in hindsight? Implications or suggestions for the future?
Portfolio manuscripts can be a variety of styles, depending upon the professional format appropriate to the field of study:
Preface manuscripts: e.g., a collection of original poetry which is preceded by a preface which addresses two of the three areas above.
Integrated manuscripts: e.g., a 40-page case study report which addresses two of the three areas above.
Accompanying manuscripts: e.g., a comparative study of three artists, accompanied by original artwork created to better understand their artistic styles and techniques.
* While the Portfolio manuscript must be a minimum of 10 pages, the actual length and scope may be required to be greater at the discretion of the instructor/committee.
Artifact formats should follow the standard of the discipline. For archiving purposes, a representation of the artifact must be provided in digital form. Students may use a digital format appropriate in the field of study. Formats recommended by the library are noted in CHC PATHS.
Artifact examples include collections of original poetry, theatrical scripts or screenplays, digital photographs or videos of creative work, case studies, a manuscript submitted for publication through a collaborative effort, engineering plans, landscape designs, photojournalistic essay, etc.
The Honors Thesis manuscripts must meet the following minimum quality standards for submission to the University Archives:
Margins: set to one inch on each side.
Page numbering: consecutively, beginning after the title and abstract pages.
Font: consistent type and size throughout (e.g., Times Roman 12 pt).
Spacing: double-spaced (exceptions: block quotes, footnotes, itemized or tabular material).
Style manual: if used, it must be used consistently throughout (e.g., Psych APA, English MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.).
Note: The Appendix section is exempt from the requirements above.
Title Page and Abstract Pages
When students begin the process of submitting their Honors Thesis manuscript in CHC PATHS, they will be prompted to enter information that will allow PATHS to generate the properly formatted title page and abstract.
The student’s Thesis Committee or Thesis Seminar instructor must review the entire Research Manuscript/Portfolio, including the title page and abstract, and, if appropriate, any artifacts. Following Thesis Committee or Thesis Seminar instructor final review AND the oral defense or final presentation, the student must incorporate all comments and changes requested before beginning the submission process on CHC PATHS.
Once all the information has been submitted by the student, CHC PATHS will generate a properly formatted title page and abstract. The student will then upload a PDF of the manuscript without the title page and abstract. Once the manuscript has been uploaded, a link to the document will be available through CHC PATHS for viewing by the student and their Thesis Committee/Thesis Seminar instructor that will provide the properly formatted title page and abstract at the front of the manuscript.
The student must upload a PDF of the Honors Thesis manuscript without the title page and abstract. Once the Honors Thesis manuscript has been uploaded in CHC PATHS, a link to the document will be available through PATHS with properly formatted title page and abstract at the front of the manuscript. When archived, this compiled document will be assigned a standard file name in the following format: [Last Name], [NetID], Honors Thesis, [Grad Year].
Regardless of the student’s type of 499 enrollment (e.g., 499T, 499P, 499C, etc.), the term “Honors Thesis” will be used in the archived file name. For example, the file name assigned for a student named Sasha Smith with NetID ssmith, graduating in 2019, would be: “Smith, ssmith, Honors Thesis, 2019.”
Artifacts that accompany a Portfolio manuscript must be represented in digital format and may use a digital format appropriate in the field of study. Formats recommended by the library are noted in CHC PATHS. If possible, it is preferable that artifact representations be converted to PDF format for upload. If the format used is PDF, the artifact PDF may be appended at the end of the Portfolio manuscript and uploaded as a single file. Such merged files will be assigned a file name as described above under “Manuscript.”
When archived, artifacts that are uploaded as separate files (i.e., separate from the Portfolio manuscript) will be assigned a standard file name in the following format: [Last Name], [NetID], Honors Thesis, [Grad Year], [#].
For example, the artifact accompanying Sasha Smith’s Portfolio manuscript is a video. The archived video file will be assigned the file name “Smith, ssmith, Honors Thesis, 2019, 1.”