The Library acquires copies of honors theses to serve the needs of students and faculty, to provide access to Whitman College scholarship outside the Whitman community, and to ensure that these original works are available to researchers for consultation in the future.
Approval by Advisor(s)
The thesis or project must be approved in advance by the professor(s) under whose direction the work is being done.
As part of the Honors in Major Study program, the candidate must complete a written thesis or research project to the satisfaction of this program and file copies (both physical and digital) of the thesis in the college library prior to the final examination period in his or her last semester. For December 2017 graduation, Honors Theses are due in the library on Dec. 8, 2017. For Spring 2018 graduation, submit the Honors in Major Study Application to the department/committee chair before Oct. 9, 2017. For the 2017-2018 academic year, the spring thesis submission deadline is Reading Day, May 9th, 2018. Please note that students may be required to comply with departmental regulations for earlier filing. Changes and/or exceptions in requirements or deadlines must be approved by the Board of Review.
Departments are asked to distribute these guidelines to all honors students whose theses will be acquired by the Library. The guidelines are to be followed by the students in the preparation of their honors theses.
Seniors have the option to use a correctly formatted thesis template which includes required elements such as the title page, certificate of approval, table of contents, etc. The template is not required; it is designed to facilitate proper formatting and pagination.
Download the Thesis Template (MS Word)
The thesis should follow requirements set forth by the home department or developed in consultation with the thesis advisor. Generally, one of the formats described in the Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual of Style, American Psychological Association or other standard style manuals should be used. Guides illustrating correct formatting (e.g, for footnotes, bibliographies, etc.) are available in the library (see Style Guides) and in the College Bookstore.
Unless approval by the departments and the Library is granted because of a need for a different format, the thesis page size must be 8½ × 11 inches.
Margins, Spacing, and Type
The left margin must be at least 1 ½ inches wide. All other margins must be at least 1 inch wide. The text should be double-spaced, but extended quotations may be single-spaced if indented slightly from each margin. Text should be in a standard font, no larger than 14 points and no smaller than 10 points.
For preliminary pages (title page, table of contents, etc.), use lower case Roman numerals at the bottom center of the page. Include the title page in the count but do not number it.
For the text (thesis, appendices, etc.), use Arabic numerals at the bottom center of the page. Include the first page of the text in the count but do not number it. First pages of new sections (bibliography, chapters, etc.) should also be numbered at the bottom center.
Other styles of pagination such as MLA or APA may be used if approved by the department or thesis advisor.
Images, Audio, Video, and Other Media
Theses including such materials should be prepared according to the special instructions below. Additional questions on special materials may be referred to the Special Collections Librarian at [email protected].
Digital images, maps, charts, and graphs, unless otherwise specified by academic department or thesis advisor should have a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). If this resolution is not available, consideration must be made to get as close to this resolution as possible without considerable visual degradation of the image be inserted into the thesis using the TIFF (preferred) or JPEG file formats.
For help with creating, scanning, formatting or otherwise preparing images, maps, charts, or graphs, please contact the WCTS Multimedia Development Lab (MDL) in Hunter at [email protected].
Copies of material in non-print format—DVDs, CDs, videos, etc.—should be included with each copy of the thesis deposited with the library. Media contents shall be formatted in accordance to guidelines set by the academic department and/or thesis advisor.
The usual make-up of the thesis is as follows:
1. Title page
In order to ensure consistency among Whitman theses, the title page should closely follow the sample with respect to order, spacing, and capitalization. In general, abbreviations should not be used. The author’s name must be typed in full as it is to appear on the commencement program.
2. Certificate of approval
The completed thesis must be approved by the professor under whose direction the work was done. Use the sample certification of approval form as a guide. The certificate of approval must be signed by the thesis advisor and placed in the thesis following the title page. NOTE: This is not the same form as the Honors in Major Study Application for the department/committee chair before due in the Registrar’s Office before the October break.
3. Table of contents
Depending on departmental requirements, most theses must have a table of contents immediately following the certificate of approval. It must list all the principal topics or subdivisions of the thesis and their initial page numbers.
An abstract in your thesis helps users identify, retrieve, and use the thesis. See the appropriate style guide for your discipline for instructions on writing an abstract. While the Library does not require your thesis to contain an abstract within it, we do require an abstract submitted to us as part of the digital submission form. If you choose to include an abstract within the contents of your thesis, you may copy and paste this into the digital submission form. A simple paragraph will do. The abstract helps us determine how to link to your thesis in our online catalog.
5. List of illustrations
All figures, tables, charts, graphs, drawings, plates and other illustrations are to be listed on a page following the table of contents, numbered consecutively in either Arabic or Roman numerals in the order in which they appear in the thesis. The number of the illustration(s) should appear at the left of each entry, and the page number on which each illustration appears should be indicated at the right of the entry.
6. Text Format (Discipline Specific)
Text should follow the style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) of the thesis discipline. For more information, see “Formatting” and consult your thesis advisor.
The bibliography shall be placed following the text in a form approved for use by the academic department. Guides illustrating the correct use and form of bibliographies are available in the library (see “Style Guides”) and in the College Bookstore.
If you are the author of all the text, image, audio, and/or video files contained in your honors thesis, you hold copyrights and can grant full permission to post a digital copy online. If portions of your materials have been produced by others, you need to seek permission to include them in the digital copy you post online. If permission cannot be obtained, copyrighted material should be removed from any digital copy you post and complete print copies can be placed in the Library collection. For more information, see the library’s tutorial on copyright at Whitman or contact Dalia Corkrum, Library Director, at [email protected].
Theses are due prior to the final examination period in the student’s last semester (except when the student may be required to comply with departmental regulations for earlier filing). Changes and/or exceptions in requirements or deadlines must be approved by the Board of Review.
Students are required to submit both print and digital versions of their work to the Library. Please note the following guidelines:
Printed Version: What to print and submit (and where):
The library will only require one single-sided, black & white* copy of your honors thesis. Submit it unbound to Kathleen Hutchison in the College Librarian’s office, Penrose Library, room 213. This copy will be added to the Library’s circulating collection and be made available for circulation to other libraries through interlibrary loan. The library will print a second copy from your digital submission to be deposited in the Whitman College Archives. Be sure that your final printed thesis conforms to the formatting guidelines, paying particular attention to the Title Page and the need for signed Certificates of Approval.
* The print copy may contain color charts, graphs, etc. only if the graphics are preceded by a blank sheet and they are printed on a color laser printer.
How to Print:
Print one-sided, not two-sided “duplexed”, on a laser printer
Unless prior approval is obtained by the academic department, the thesis must be 8½ × 11 inches in size. Library copies must be printed on a minimum of 20-lb weight paper that has a minimum 25% cotton content. Penrose Library will provide free, archival quality paper for seniors submitting theses. Paper will be available approximately one week before the deadline and stocked in the thesis printer on the main floor of the library. Check with a librarian or the WCTS Help Desk in the library if you will be submitting early.
Text must be in black ink.
Theses may be printed on the designated thesis printer at the WCTS-staffed Technology Support Desk in the Library.
Cost (if printed on College-owned laser printers)
Black & White and Color printing is charged through the GoPrint pay system. Seniors working on their thesis may request an additional $15 of GoPrint credit. The request may be made by emailing [email protected] with the name of the thesis advisor and the academic department for which the thesis is being written. Black and White printing is charged at the rate of $0.05 per page single-sided or $0.045 per page for duplex. Color printing is charged at the rate of $0.50 per single-sided page.
Personal Bound Copies
Students desiring to have personal copies of theses bound at their expense can order copies for $18 each, including tax and shipping.There is no limit to the number of personal copies you may order.Provide one complete copy of your thesis for every personal bound copy ordered.
To order bound copies, please fill out the online order form.
Payment can be made by charge to your student account or by check (made out to “Penrose Library, Whitman College”). Checks can be turned in to Kathleen Hutchison. Personal copies may be printed on any printer, without special paper requirement.
Digital (PDF/A) Version
In addition to the deposit of paper copies, each student must deposit with the library a copy of the thesis in digital form.
Copyright: In order to include any text, images, audiovisual, or other material not created by you, the material must be in the public domain or fall within the parameters of fair use. If the material does not fall within either of those categories, authors must receive permission from the copyright owner to include that material in their digital thesis. For more information, see the library’s tutorial on copyright at Whitman or contact Dalia Corkrum, Library Director, at [email protected].
The author of the thesis must complete a non-exclusive distribution license and select a level of access, subject to thesis advisor’s approval:
1. Worldwide distribution via the Internet, or
2. Local distribution only to authorized users of Whitman’s network
If the thesis is co-authored, all authors, even those not earning honors designation, must sign the non-exclusive distribution license. All thesis co-authors and thesis advisor(s) should sign the same form. Submit the non-exclusive distribution license to the Library by the Reading Day due date.
The digital copy must be a pdf/a file. Create one by following the pdf/a instruction sheet while using Adobe Acrobat XI on either of the two computers closest to the Penrose Circulation Desk. Students with questions about digital formatting should contact the WCTS Multimedia Development Lab in Hunter Conservatory at [email protected] Combine the Thesis Title page and Certificate of Approval Form that only contains the advisor’s name (no signature) together with your thesis into a single PDF/A file. When you’ve completed all the guidelines listed above, you’re ready to fill out the digital thesis submission form by the Reading Day due date.
Note: If your PDF file size is greater than 25MB, instead of uploading your PDF/A file, bring the file on a flash drive to Kathleen Hutchison in Rm. 213. A digital thesis submission form is still required.