In this 7,000-8,000 word paper you must deal with a significant issue, problem or question within the discipline.
It is expected that you will develop a thesis and take that thesis to a supportable conclusion. The project will include a literature review, and include collection of original primary data whether derived from interview, online survey, quantitative statistics or media content analysis. It should make an original contribution to sociological understanding beyond the discussion of secondary research.
The polished papers will be due in the spring semester, typically in the last week of January.
Those students who write a paper that is awarded a pass with distinction grade and whose grade point average qualifies, may be selected for Honors by the department faculty either on the strength of the excellence of their over-all work in the department or after making appropriate revisions to their Comprehensive Paper. The all-college GPA for honors is 3.25 and within the department is 3.5.
The following suggestions are offered to those who wish to begin preparations before the senior year:
Begin thinking about an eventual senior thesis topic as you make progress through the sequence of Sociology methods courses. Read as much background literature related to the particular issue as you can. Think about what you need to know in order to answer the question you raise and how you might gain that information. You can work with topics extending out of study abroad or summer research projects. Seek advice from you teachers and advisors as you make progress through your undergraduate career.