English Studies 4999E - Undergraduate Thesis

2024-25 Academic Year

English Studies 4999E is individual instruction in the selection of a topic, the preparation of materials, and the writing of a thesis. Students who wish to take this course must apply to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, Department of English and Writing Studies. This course is restricted to students in fourth year of an English Program with a minimum "A" averageAdditional registration in 4000-level English courses require permission of the Department.

It is the responsibility of students who wish to take English 4999E to decide on an area in which they wish to work, to find a professor who is willing to undertake the supervision of the thesis, and then to obtain Special Permission from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies to register for the course. The thesis supervisor should inform the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, in writing, of his or her consent to supervise the thesis and of the subject agreed upon. Permission is normally granted only to fourth-year students having at least an “A” average. Undergraduate grading criteria here.

  • English Studies 4999E is equivalent in weight and value to other honours courses. It will require approximately 25 hours of consultation during the year.
  • The thesis should be not more than 12,500 words and a substantial bibliography should be appended.
  • Within the first month, a reading list will be established which will eventually become part of the bibliography for the thesis.
  • Students should submit a short proposal with the preliminary reading list by the end of October.
  • The student will produce a first draft of the thesis on a mutually satisfactory date but no later than the first week of March. It may be revised or re-drafted on the advice of the supervisor. The final draft must be submitted no later than the last day of classes.
  • The supervising professor will be responsible for finding a second reader. [One of the readers must be a full-time member of the department.] Together they will assign a grade which will be given to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies within one week after the end of classes.
  • An undergraduate thesis need not make an original contribution to knowledge on the subject (though it may do so) but it is expected to be a coherent, literate, intensive analysis of a challenging literary topic or problem.
  • There is no regular timetable for English 4999E. But at the beginning of the year, thesis students will be called together by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies to meet with each other and to discuss methods of research. Again, in mid-year either before or after December break, they will be called for a progress report.

At the end of the year, students are expected to deliver a short presentation on their research during Honours Thesis Day. This will provide the department with an opportunity to celebrate the work of these undergraduate students. As for any other course, a grade of INC (Incomplete) must be approved by the Dean’s Office, for a specific reason supported by documentation.