Liberal arts students know that a senior thesis is an in-depth analysis of a topic, usually in a specialized field of study. A thesis is an opportunity for students to demonstrate all of the skills and knowledge that they have acquired during their studies. Those who have already completed their senior thesis know that it does not (contrary to popular belief!) have to be submitted solely in the form of an essay. In fact, a thesis may be complimented with performance pieces, artwork and even poetry.
If you are entering your senior year at liberal arts college, you probably have already given some thought about what topic you’d like to research for your thesis. While you may have heard stories about how difficult and extensive a thesis can be, it’s actually a great way to learn more about an issue or cause you’re really passionate about. Your thesis will be the best work you do in college, which is why we have a few guiding tips to help you get started, and keep the passion alive throughout the whole process!
Select an Expert Advisor in Your Field of Study
Writing a senior thesis provides students with the opportunity to work closely with a member of the school’s faculty. Graduates who have already written their senior thesis understand the importance of choosing a faculty member who is an expert in your field of study and has performed their own research about the topic that you have chosen. Since a thesis is normally completed over the course of an entire school year, you will be required to delve deep into a certain subject or issue. A professional in the field can help you guide your ideas and research in order to ensure your time is spent efficiently.
A Liberal Arts Thesis Requires Focused Research
During your time at liberal arts college, you’ve no doubt accumulated a collection of questions that have remained unanswered. These questions can serve a dual purpose while you are brainstorming ideas for your senior thesis. Not only will they provide inspiration for creating your main thesis question, but you’ll also finally be able to satisfy some of your curiosity while you perform research.
However, former liberal arts students know that it is very easy to wander off course while working on your thesis. To ensure you don’t drown in open-ended research, it’s a good idea to keep your thesis question written on a sticky note above your work area. Every time to feel lost in your research, re-read your original question. If the research you’re doing at that moment doesn’t contribute to answering this question, then move on.
Writers Block? Try Freewriting!
We often censor ourselves when we are writing formal papers. Normally, this is done to ensure that we are writing logically, using correct grammar and following proper essay formatting. However, graduates of small liberal arts colleges know that many students benefit from beginning their papers and assignments by writing brief, raw and uncensored pieces—also known as freewriting. Freewriting can help loosen the mind, encouraging it to follow its associative and non-linear logic. While it’s not advised that you write your whole essay using this method, it does help to get ideas flowing.
Are you interested in pursuing a liberal arts education? What topic do you want to research when your write your senior thesis?