Creating Your Bachelor's Thesis

It should be at least 15 pages in length, excluding title page, table of contents, acknowledgements, figures, tables, captions, and references. You should use this template to format your title and introductory pages. The style should follow accepted professional standards for your discipline. The thesis must be written in a language that is understandable by any professor in psychology or related field. Your thesis must be formatted in accordance with the Instructions for the Submission of a Bachelors's Thesis for All Levels of Distinction. These instructions are also available in Rooms 12 or 321 Psychology Building. The thesis should consist of:

Title: The title should describe your thesis clearly with as few words as possible.

Abstract: The abstract should present a very short synopsis of your thesis.

Introduction: The Introduction should describe the problem your thesis addresses, review the previous relevant literature, and describe the objectives of the research. In essence, the introduction should make clear to the reader what the question or hypothesis is, why it is important and how your research will help answer the question.

Methods: The Methods section should convey how the research was conducted so that others can replicate and evaluate what was done. This includes a description of the experimental design, of details on how the experiments were conducted, and of the analytical techniques including any statistical or qualitative analyses used.

Results: This section should describe in detail the findings from the experiments. The experimental data should be shown in graph, figure or table formats with appropriate, clear, legible labels and captions. If the experimental results are quantitative, then the appropriate statistical analyses must be used. For qualitative research, the Results section must provide support (e.g. verbatim; narrative; interpretation) for warranted conclusions and describe the efforts employed to ensure rigor with attention to both the specific approach and qualitative standards, in general. Research that consists of an individual case study is NOT acceptable. You must have data to write the Results section. Only in rare cases will the Distinction Committee consider a thesis for distinction without data. In these cases, a letter from the faculty mentor must explain the challenges that prevented the student from collecting data, and the Results section must include how you would have analyzed the data and what you would have expected the data to show.

Discussion: The Discussion section should be your evaluation of the results. You should discuss what the results mean, what their implications are, what the drawbacks (if any) are, and what the future directions of the research might be. The findings and their importance should be put in context for your field and clearly convey the contributions of your work to your field of study. You should show that you have carefully thought about the results, their implications, and that you can think on your own.

Acknowledgments: Thank any coworkers who made your work possible.

References: You should have an adequate bibliography with complete references formatted appropriately for a journal in your area of psychology.

Important: Turn in the electronic copy to Joshua Gulley (, Associate Head for Undergraduate Studies, BEFORE printing your Bachelor's Thesis. This will allow the format of the thesis to be checked and any formatting errors can be corrected prior to printing the hard copies.

The thesis will be read by the Undergraduate Distinction Committee and evaluated using the above criteria for each section of the thesis along with the letter of support from the research advisor. If the research area falls outside the research expertise of the Committee, other members of the faculty may be asked to evaluate the thesis.