Senior Thesis Guidelines

Your thesis must be printed or typewritten in black-letter type upon plain white paper (any kind of paper is acceptable). The text must be double-spaced, with wide margins and paragraphs clearly indented. Although there is no fixed requirement, you should be careful to leave enough space on the left to allow for binding, and enough on the right, top, and bottom so that your thesis will look presentable. (An inch and a half on the left and an inch on the right, top, and bottom should be adequate.) It must be a single-sided document.

The title page should contain the title, name of author, date, and the following statement: "A senior thesis submitted to the History Department of Princeton University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts."

On a separate page you should certify that "This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations" and sign your name.

A table of contents listing the title and page number of each chapter should follow the title page. On a page preceding the table of contents, you may wish to acknowledge any special assistance or support that you received in writing your thesis.

The prescribed minimum length of text, excluding appendices, charts, and bibliography, is 75 pages. The prescribed maximum length is 100 pages. No thesis may exceed 100 pages unless permission of the thesis adviser is obtained in advance.

Two copies of your thesis must be submitted to the Department of History by the due date of 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Both copies MUST be bound, using Velo, GBC, or Glue; hardcover binding is not required.  Students are also required to upload a PDF of their thesis, both for departmental review and for archiving at Mudd Library. The link to upload your PDF copy to Mudd is: https://sp.princeton.edu/thesis .

The following guidelines provide advice on general styling and formatting questions.

Quotations

Footnotes

For additional guidance and examples of Chicago-style documentation, see Footnotes made easy: a guide for history majors, which is posted in the Department of History’s Library Resources. (Do not hesitate to ask your thesis adviser for assistance in determining the appropriate format.)

Bibliography

Evaluation

Submission and Readers

You should remember that theses are submitted to the Department of History and not only to your individual thesis adviser. The adviser is just one of the readers who will grade the thesis; the final evaluation of your work will be the product of deliberations between your adviser and a second reader (and in some instances, a third reader). Still, there should be no problem submitting an acceptable thesis as long as you work closely with your adviser throughout the year and respond to his/her guidance. 

Comments

Each reader of your thesis will prepare written comments. Usually these take the form of a general evaluation of your work, but you may find that a reader has prepared more detailed comments about particular points of substance and style. You may obtain the readers’ comments, together with your thesis grade, from the department’s undergraduate office upon submission of your comprehensive examination.