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How to Submit an Honors Thesis Proposal

Please see the Anthropology Major's Handbook for Important Deadlines. Your Honors Thesis Proposal will need to meet the following guidelines for review:

  • Introduction 

    • Short statement on the research problem. 

    • Brief statement on previous literature.

    • Theoretical approaches that will be used in the proposal. 

    • Proposed methodological approaches for the investigation. 

    • Overall significance of the research problem. 

  • Describe your research question or research objective 

    • The research question, or objective should be narrowly focused and ask “why,” “how,” or “what” about an issue of significance to anthropology. 

    • Do not present a vast research topic as the object of investigation; instead, develop answerable questions in the context of the larger research topic.

  • How does your research build on existing scholarship in anthropology and related disciplines?

    • It is important to clearly demonstrate that you have a good knowledge of the anthropological literature, as well as other disciplinary literature, relevant to your topic of research. 

    • Be explicit in showing how your research will expand on previous findings. 

    • Provide a clear and comprehensive discussion of the issues and demonstrate how your work fits into current theoretical and methodological debates in the field. 

  • Research design

    • What evidence will you need to collect to answer your research question? How will you go about collecting and analyzing this evidence?

    • You will need to clearly demonstrate that the evidence gathered and the analytical procedures proposed will realistically support the research goals expressed in your research question.

    • A timeline for the honors thesis should be submitted. 

    • A feasible research plan with clearly defined procedures is much better than one so broad that it seems impossible to accomplish within the limits of the time available.

  • What contribution does your project make to anthropological theory and to the discipline?

    • A successful application is one that emphasizes the contribution of the proposed research not only to the specific area of research being addressed but also to the broader field of anthropology. 

    • Be explicit about the potential contribution of your research to anthropological theory and method in the broadest possible sense.