Theses are comprehensive research projects completed at the undergraduate level. They encourage independent research, motivating students to contribute knowledge to a field of their choosing. Most theses have two overarching goals: to examine and critique existing scholarly literature, and to contribute a unique voice to the conversation. This second goal can either be met through experimental research, or though deeply analyzing existing research.
No Davidson students are required to write theses. However, many students may find writing theses to be advantageous. For example, theses can fulfill most major's capstone requirements.
Writing a thesis is also a required to earn academic honors in the following programs:
Theses are focused on answering a central research question. This question, chosen by the student, should be well-defined and set the tone for the paper. There are five parts to the typical modern theses:
If your professor asks you to follow a different format, you should do so. If you need help formatting a thesis, please contact your professor or a librarian.
*This chart plots the average thesis length for programs at Davidson.