The following is the standard format for an honors thesis or project paper. While not every thesis paper will include the same sections and items, the following can be used as a general guideline.
NOTE: The title page (and its specific formatting), Table of Contents, and Thesis Summary are required for ALL senior theses regardless of discipline or project type. Copies that fail to contain those three elements will not be accepted by the Honors College.
- Title Page (REQUIRED: view the forms page for an example)
- Table of Contents (REQUIRED)
- Thesis Summary (REQUIRED): appearing after the Table of Contents written in less formal and less technical terminology than the Abstract or Introduction. Must be included in the Table of Contents
- Main Body
- Endnotes, Works Cited or References (required if sources are quoted.)
- Tables, Graphs, Photos, Maps, etc. (if appropriate)
- Bibliography (required if no Endnotes, Works Cited or References section is included)
- Appendix(ces) (if appropriate)
The pages must be numbered consecutively.
Final Copies of Theses
The University of South Carolina is committed to digital open access of information. Open access allows for broader dissemination of information throughout the world. In the spring 2010 academic term, an institutional repository was established through the Thomas Cooper Library, known as Scholar Commons, and allows the University of South Carolina to maintain control and responsibility for its own records, provide free access, and not rely on a private company to maintain its public records. Beginning with the May 2014 graduating class, students can choose to have their senior thesis uploaded into Scholar Commons.
In order to be certified for graduation, students are required to submit the Senior Thesis/Project Submission form and an electronic final copy of the revised (post-defense) thesis/project paper must be submitted to the SCHC Thesis Coordinator. This copy must have the title page in the required format, contain all required elements of the paper in the exact order as stated in the section of this handbook entitled “Format,” and must carry the signatures of both readers. SCHC will obtain the signature from the SCHC Dean; a line at the bottom of the title page should be left for this purpose.
Students can opt to have a bound copy of their senior thesis. The paper must be submitted in the following formatting requirements listed below:
Margins: Margins are to be one inch at the top, bottom and right and one and one-half inches on the left (on all pages) to permit binding. Margins less than one and one-half inch on the left result in the deletion of much of the text, graphs, photographs, tables, etc. along the left margin. Final copies submitted without these margins will not be accepted.
Paper Type: The final thesis paper, including the title page, must be printed on standard, white (ivory and light beige are also acceptable) 25 percent OR HIGHER cotton bond paper, single sided. This type of paper is easily found at copy shops and office supply stores. It is a heavier weight paper with a watermark that will resist deterioration.
Ink Type: The final thesis paper must be printed in black ink with the exception of photographs, maps, charts, graphs, figures, tables and similar items, which may be printed in colored inks.
The cost to bind is $30 per copy, made payable with a check (made out to the USC Educational Foundation). You must submit all copies you wish to have bound on 25 percent or higher cotton bond paper in the format listed above. It is customary for a student to present his or her thesis/project director with a bound copy of the thesis. Such thoughtfulness is seen as a professional courtesy. When the copies are returned from the binder, they will mailed to the forwarding address that you include on the binding form.