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Undergraduate Honours Thesis (ENGL-4020D)

​The emphasis in this double-credit course is on the development of research skills and critical methods, leading to the writing of a thesis (described below).


The thesis (of approximately 15,000 words) is expected to show the results of substantial reading in primary and secondary texts and to display a sustained level of scholarly and critical insight.


The student will be supervised by a member of the Department with whom there will be regular meetings. While it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for an appropriate member of the Department to supervise the Honours thesis, the Honours Advisor or Department Chair may be able to suggest which members of the Department share the student’s interests.

The supervisor can be changed by either party with the agreement of the Executive Committee of the English Department.

Enrolment Students interested in the thesis option should begin developing a thesis proposal submission in the Winter Term prior to the academic year in which they intend to apply for English 4020D.

Deadlines a) By May 1 of the year prior to the academic year in which the thesis is to be undertaken, the student will submit to the Honours Advisor a 1000-word abstract of the proposed research project and a preliminary bibliography of primary and secondary sources, both of which will have been developed in consultation with the proposed supervisor. The Honours Advisor, the student and the supervisor will then agree on a second reader; and the Advisor will present the proposal to the Department staff meeting for approval no later than May 15.

b) Before the final date to change registration in the Fall Term, the student will meet with the supervisor to show that adequate progress has been made on research for the thesis. By the end of first term, the student will submit a substantial piece of writing to the supervisor and the second reader. In consultation with the second reader, the supervisor will provide the student with an assessment of the progress of the thesis.

c) The student will submit a complete draft of the thesis to the supervisor and second reader by February 15. The complete draft with comments will be returned to the student by March 1. Within the next six weeks, the student will submit a finished copy of the thesis to the supervisor and second reader who will forward the thesis, with their final evaluation and grades, to the Department Chair.

Should significant disagreement develop between the supervisor and the second reader on any matter concerning the Honours thesis, the Department Chair or delegate will arbitrate. Should it be decided that the thesis cannot be given a passing grade, the supervisor and second reader may recommend to the Department Chair that the student be given credit for English 490 (a single credit Reading Course) rather than for English 4020D.

One copy of the approved thesis will be submitted to the Department for deposit in the University Library.