Thesis Format

Word Count

Social Studies Senior Theses should be between 20,000 and 30,000 words of text. Theses that exceed 30,000 words may be penalized by up to half a grade for excessive length. Theses that do not reach the minimum required length may fail to receive honors. You are required to attach a word count to your thesis. To do so, print out the word count on an otherwise blank piece of paper and include it as the last page in your thesis. Theses will not be accepted without a word count.


One copy of your thesis is to be submitted to the Social Studies office, enclosed in a black spring binder. If you are a joint concentrator, you should turn in one bound thesis to Social Studies and one to your joint concentration. Social Studies has pre-labeled binders for each student. Joint concentrators will only receive the binder to be used for their Social Studies copy of the thesis.

You can come up to WJH during normal office hours (9-5) to pick them up. You may not pick up your binders on Thesis Day.  

The thesis should be printed on one side of the sheet only and, apart from quotations of more than 50 words and from foot­notes, should be double-spaced.  

Pages must be numbered.

The margins should be one inch at the top and bottom of each page, with two inches at the left edge, to make space for the binding, and one inch at the right.

Follow the foot- or end-noting conventions of the discipline with which the essay is most closely associated.  

Title Page

Here is an example of the text that should be appro­priately centered and spaced on the title page:

Title Page


When the thesis is submitted, please leave out an acknowledgements page. If your thesis is accepted for archives, you will be contacted to provide an acknowledgements page and any minor updates you wish to include.