Writing an Empirical Senior Thesis
Middlebury College Political Science Department
for Biology, ESBI, and MBB majors with biology advisers
(Neuroscience thesis students: please visit the Neuroscience Independent Study and Senior Thesis web pages for instructions.)
Check with your adviser for any format preferences. Below are general guidelines.
- Thesis Binding
- First Class Mail
- Bulk Mail
- Standard Mail
- Mail Merge
Theses Procedures and Schedule
(Revised September 2015)
A. General Procedures
- Getting Started
- Finding Books and Other Materials in Summon, MIDCAT, NExpress, and Worldcat
- Finding Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Articles
- Finding Materials to Borrow from Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
- Finding Primary Sources
- Using Other Libraries, Museums, or Research Collections
Check with your department or thesis advisor to see if they have scheduled a thesis session for your major.
To keep track of what databases and indexes you have searched, start to keep a SEARCH RECORD of these sources. You will quickly forget what you have already consulted, and these records will make it easy to see what you haven't yet covered and may also be useful in discussions with your advisor or a librarian.
*It is also a good idea to note the search terms you used with electronic databases, that way when you review your results with your advisor or a librarian, they can suggest other terms that might improve your results.
Below you'll find information to help you with your thesis research and documentation. It is strongly recommended that you consult with reference librarians along the way, either with the librarian on duty or by appointment with the librarian in your subject area.
Evaluation becomes important in choosing what to read or use and in determining how much weight to give sources. Think about the source of the information and the suitability of the contents. You may not have time to read everything on your topic. If you need guidance, consult your professors or a librarian.
Aaron Smith, Class of 2009 and a Film & Media Culture major, has posted online a discussable version of his senior thesis, "Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0," in which he explores how contemporary television has embraced new narrative strategies and digital media to encourage participation in expansive storyworlds. In this online version, he invites readers to comment in the margins of his project to further the dialogue about these new developments.