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One of the most difficult parts of conducting original research is scheduling your time. If you leave the writing to the last minute, you will leave inadequate time for revisions, and consequently produce a thesis that falls well below its - and your - potential.

This is YOUR work. Take ownership. Be proactive and lead the project at every stage. This is not like coursework where you are given detailed direction and timelines – you need to “direct” yourself and set your own timelines. Your thesis advisor will offer guidance but you are steering the ship!

Develop deadlines and stick to them. Work backwards from the thesis due date and block out time for each step in the process. On the next page is a recommended timeline for your thesis work. Work with your thesis supervisor to refine this broad timeline into smaller chunks of time (e.g., a monthly timeline).

Recommended Timeline

Fall semester of junior year

Take the Research Methods Class (HM503); Early exploratory research and brainstorming; talk with faculty

Spring semester of junior year

Establish who your thesis supervisor is going to be; agree on the scope of your thesis project with your thesis supervisor; Continue the literature review that you started in the fall semester.

Thesis Proposal Report (TPR) is due to the Honors College at the beginning of March. This is just to review formatting; you do not need to have your content completed for this deadline. You just need to have all the proper placeholders in place.

Summer / Fall semester of senior year

Complete the majority of primary and secondary research and analysis; refine introduction and literature review chapter.

Spring semester of senior year

Write methods, results, and discussion chapters; submit draft to your thesis supervisor and complete revisions.

Thesis draft is due to the School of Hospitality Management honors adviser two weeks before it is due to the Honors College (submission to the Honors College is typically the first week in April). The draft submitted to the School of Hospitality Management honors adviser needs to be already approved as the final copy by your thesis supervisor before submission. Incorporate edits by the School of Hospitality Management honors adviser into your thesis.

Submit to the Honors College

Thesis presentation

You will present your research to the faculty of the School of Hospitality Management in April. Presentation of your work at the PSU Undergraduate Research Exhibition, held annually in April, is not required, but strongly encouraged

Important Notes

Work closely with your thesis supervisor to make sure that you are on track at all stages. It is a good idea to set up a weekly meeting with your thesis supervisor at which you'll provide updates on your work.
Discuss with your thesis supervisor, early on in the process, how he or she expects to receive drafts of your work. For example, some thesis supervisors like to review each chapter draft as it is completed, while others prefer not to review any work until all chapter drafts are completed.

Return to Thesis Guide Table of Contents