Senior Thesis: MRST 473
Students in Medieval and Renaissance Studies complete their major by enrolling in MRST 473, Senior Thesis, during the Fall or Winter term of their senior year. The thesis should be a work of individual research devoted to an original topic dealing with issues pertinent to Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The focus of the thesis should coincide with the area of study in which the student has done the most work and should be grounded in interdisciplinary themes. Research should be carried out and the thesis written under the supervision of a faculty advisor and at least one second reader.
Thesis advisor and second reader(s): Well in advance of registering for MRST 473, students should identify a faculty member willing to supervise their thesis and at least one other faculty member, preferably from another department, willing to serve as the second reader(s) of the thesis. As early as possible they should agree to a rough schedule of meetings to discuss the progress of research and a timetable for the submission of drafts and final chapters.
Thesis proposal: Prior to registering for MRST 473, students should develop with their thesis advisor and submit to the MRST Program Committee for approval a 1-2 page proposal briefly explaining the topic they intend to study, indicating a few of the essential primary and secondary sources they will be considering, and identifying the faculty who have agreed to serve as advisor and second reader(s) of the thesis.
The Thesis: Senior theses are normally 25-35 pages in length. Besides the title page and table of contents, they may include a list of illustrations (if appropriate), acknowledgements, an introduction, two or three chapters, a conclusion, and a bibliography divided into primary and secondary sources. Details
Submission of the thesis: The thesis will be due at the end of the term. Once the thesis has been defended, corrections may be entered and fair copies should be provided, printed on quality bond paper and bound, to the director, second reader(s) and the Head of the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Defense: A defense of the thesis will be held at the end of the term or, at the discretion of the supervisor, in the first week of the following term (in this case, the student will be assigned a grade of WIP). Normally, the defense will consist of a substantive conversation between the student, the supervisor, and the second reader(s) of the research, methods, assumptions, and conclusions of the thesis. At the end of the defense, the supervisor and second reader(s) will deliberate on a final grade for the thesis. Students commonly make a public presentation of the results of their work to the MRST community in a forum such as an MRST luncheon.
The title page should be unnumbered. The title of the thesis should appear a third of the way down the page. Below this should be written: A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Below this should appear the author's name, our institution, and the date the thesis was submitted. In the lower right hand corner the names of the thesis supervisor and the second reader(s) should be listed with a line above each upon which they may sign their approval of the thesis.
The thesis should be printed with normal margins of at least one inch in Times New Roman 11-point or comparable type. Front matter (title through acknowledgements) should be paginated in Roman numerals. The pages from the introduction onwards should be in Arabic numerals. Notes should be at the bottom of pages. Text and citations should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style as summarized in Diana Hacker, A Writer's Reference (Boston, New York: Bedford /St. Martin's, latest edition).