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Honors In German

Majors with strong academic records (a GPA of 3.5 in German and 3.3 overall) and an interest in pursuing honors should contact the honors director in the spring of their junior year. For students to qualify for department honors, they must complete two quarters of German 398 or German 399 (or one quarter of a designated 400-level graduate course and German 399) in which they work with an advisor to develop and complete an honors essay of approximately 25 to 35 pages. Students whose research paper and grades meet departmental criteria are recommended to the college for graduation with honors. Interested students should consult with the departmental Honor's advisor.

How To Get Started

If a student is interested in writing an honor thesis, he or she should contact the Honor's advisor in the Spring quarter of their Junior year to make an appointment. The Honor's Advisor will then discuss the topic with the student, will help him or her arrange a fall/winter or winter/spring study sequence, and will help the student put together a thesis committee to supervise the work (an advisor specializing in the area of the student's research and one independent reader).

Format Of An Honor Thesis

The two-quarter research should result in a thesis of 25 to 35 pages in length with endnotes and an up-to-date bibliography. The thesis should make an original contribution to the topic under discussion. In the context of undergraduate education, "original” denotes a study that deals with a given issue within the boundaries of established critical literature, exploring and developing particular angles that are underexposed or have been neglected. The thesis advisor establishes, in consultation with the student, the agenda and general schedule for the research and for the writing of the thesis. Even though a student may have signed up for one or two quarters of Independent Study, the ongoing research should be guided by regular consultations between the student and his or her advisor.

Schedule And Review Of Work

Spring Quarter Of Junior Year Or Summer Before Senior Year:

Initial Contact with Honor's Advisor

During this initial contact, a student will discuss the research topic for the Honor Thesis and chose the Honor Thesis Committee (an advisor specializing in the area of research and one independent reader).

Fall Quarter Week 1 Through 4

Applying for Honors and Writing of Honor Thesis Plan

During the first four weeks of the fall quarter of the senior year, the student will then write a project description which outlines the nature and substance of the research project. It should include a description of the research question and its significance and a bibliography. The project description must be submitted together with the Honor Thesis Application to the honor thesis advisor of the German Department, Franziska Lys. The Honor Thesis Application needs to be signed by both, the student and the thesis supervisor. Once the honor thesis advisor has approved the project, the signed application will be returned to you. Please keep it safe as you will need it to collect period signatures from your thesis supervisor to show your progress.

Fall Quarter Week 5 Through 9

Reading of Sources listed on the Bibliography

The student is expected to use the remainder of Fall Quarter to read the sources listed on the bibliography, present a short synopsis of each source to the thesis supervisor and discuss the sources with the thesis supervisor.

Winter Quarter

The student works with the thesis supervisor on developing the arguments and writing the thesis. The student is expected to meet regularly (at least every two weeks) with the thesis supervisor to discuss the work. The student is expected to hand in a preliminary chapter of the thesis every two weeks for discussion, rewrite and approval.

Spring Quarter

By the end of the first week of spring quarter, the student will submit a comprehensive draft of the senior thesis to their thesis supervisor and the second reader to suggest improvements, changes, or amendments. These comments will serve as a basis for the final version of the thesis. The student will have five weeks to rewrite the thesis. The final draft of the thesis is due by the end of the seventh week of Spring quarter. No late thesis accepted. The thesis advisor and the second reader will have one week to issue their independently written evaluations of the project. These statements will be communicated to the members of the honors committee in the German department for their approval of granting or not granting departmental honors.

The student will be notified no later than one week before the College’s deadline for the submission of the successful candidates’ names. In the case of a negative decision, the student can request a review from any two members of the honors committee toward the reversal or confirmation of the original evaluation. The honors committee usually consists of three members, one of them serving as honors coordinator. It is to be constituted periodically for a three-year term of service.