How to Complete the Honors Thesis Requirement

How to Complete the Honors Thesis Requirement
for students in fields using APA Style*
In this packet, you will find the following:
1. Guidelines for preparing the thesis proposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Theses and capstone projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
How to begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
How to write the proposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2. Deadlines for completing steps in the thesis requirement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3. Sample proposal for your field or a related one . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4. Form 4, Honors Thesis Proposal Submission Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5. Form 5, Application for Undergraduate Research Funds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
6. Instructions for writing the thesis and scheduling the defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
7. Form 6, Honors Thesis Submission Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
8. Instructions for preparing the final copy of the thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
9. Format requirements for all theses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
10. Sample pages from a thesis in your field or a related one . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
*Recommended for students majoring in education, family science, linguistics, nursing, physical
education, psychology, social work, sociology, statistics and other branches of the social
Guidelines for Preparing the Thesis Proposal
Theses and Capstone Projects
There are two ways to complete the honors thesis requirement. One is to write the traditional
thesis; the other is to complete an honors capstone project. Preparing an honors thesis or honors
capstone project is a way for you to demonstrate that you possess sufficient knowledge of the
learning and methods of your discipline to create an original contribution, however small, to your
field. Whether you choose to do a thesis or a capstone project depends largely on your major and
your interests.
The Honors Thesis
A thesis is the most appropriate way to end a degree program in theoretical, historical,
and scientific disciplines for which the end product of research or creative exploration is
usually a text. For example, in art history, botany, chemistry, economics, English, French,
history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, or zoology, a practitioner would write a text
that presents the results of research done in the library, the laboratory, or the field.
Essentially, the thesis is a presentation and interpretation of the research results.
The Honors Capstone Project with accompanying documentation
A capstone project is the most appropriate way to end a degree program in certain
specialized disciplines for which the end product of research or creative exploration is
usually a performance, exhibit, or object that you create. For example, in art,
engineering, computer science, dance, education, music, or creative writing, a practitioner
typically would create something for others to enjoy (such as an exhibit of paintings, a
dance, a musical performance, or a short story) or to use (such as a software program, a
medical device, or pedagogical materials). If you are majoring in one of these disciplines
or a similar one, a capstone project is an acceptable alternative to a thesis. However, the
performance or product you create should be aimed at a broader audience than BYU; it
should have more than local applicability. In addition, you must document the experience
of creating your project by writing a text that contains the following parts:
the purpose of the project,
why the project was a suitable culminating experience for your education,
the procedures or methods you used to create the project,
a log of the hours you spent,
accompanying texts, sketches, diagrams, photos, or audiotape/videotape that help
document the project,
signature of the professor who supervised the project and can attest to its quality.
Although these two ways of completing the thesis requirement differ, for convenience both will
be referred to simply as a thesis. Completing either successfully depends on starting well.
How to Begin
Completing an honors thesis is a long process that will stretch over at least two semesters.
Planning your thesis is of great importance and always includes at least the first three of the
following four steps:
Step 1. Schedule a thesis orientation meeting. Go to 350 MSRB and ask for an
appointment to discuss your thesis plans with the Associate Dean of Honors and General
Education who supervises theses. The orientation meeting will help you (1) choose a
thesis topic; (2) choose a thesis advisor; and (3) obtain funding, if you need it.
Step 2. Choose a thesis advisor and narrow your topic to a manageable scope.
During or after your thesis orientation meeting, you must choose a professor to direct the
writing of your thesis or the completion of your project and a second professor to be the
referee. Normally, they will be professors in your major or a closely related field. The
advisor should be a full-time faculty member with a continuing appointment at BYU, not
a part-time instructor or visiting professor.
As you seek an advisor, it is best to start with a broad general interest rather than a
specific topic for your thesis. Next, find out which faculty have expertise in the area of
your general interest. (You’ll waste time if you focus on a narrow topic too soon only to
learn there are no faculty on campus who have the expertise to advise you. It’s better if
you make your project match faculty expertise rather than vice versa.) Then talk to these
experts and let them help you focus on a specific topic that they are qualified to advise
you about. Often in the sciences, a professor will assign you a research project to do that
is part of a larger project the professor is engaged in.
Step 3. Write a proposal for your thesis.
Once you have chosen a topic and advisor, let your advisor and referee guide you in
writing the proposal so that you can define a workable focus and scope for your thesis and
establish a reasonable time line for completing it by established deadlines. (See proposal
guidelines below; pay special attention to the deadlines on page 5.)
Step 4. Obtain funding for your research, if necessary.
If you need funding for your thesis, fill out and submit the Application for Undergraduate
Research Funds in Support of Senior Honors Thesis (Form 5 in this packet). You should
also consider submitting an application for a research scholarship offered by the Office
for Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) in A-261 ASB. This scholarship consists of
a $1,000 unrestricted grant. The deadline for submitting proposals for an ORCA
scholarship is usually the middle of October.
How to Write the Proposal
Whether you write a thesis or do a capstone project, you must first write a proposal to be approved
by (1) your thesis advisor, (2) the Honors Coordinator in your department, and (3) the dean or
associate dean of the Honors Program, or a person designated by Honors to review the proposal.
How you write the proposal will depend on what you have chosen to do. But in general, your
proposal should be about 5 or 6 double-spaced pages and should have the following parts:
I. Purpose. In this section of the proposal tell what you aim to do. If you plan to conduct
scientific research, state the hypothesis you will test, the problem you will solve, or the research
question(s) you will answer. If you are planning a non-science thesis, state the question(s) you
want to answer or the claim you plan to argue for. If you are planning a capstone project, tell
what it will include.
II. Background and Significance. In this section, explain the context of your proposed
research. The context might be historical, social, cultural, political, and/or personal. Usually, a
context is created by a brief review of related literature on your topic. This means that before you
write your proposal, you will have to do library research to learn what others have already written
about the question, problem, or topic your thesis will address. After establishing the background
of your research, tell why the thesis or project should be done. You can do this by showing how
your proposed work will add to, differ from, or relate to the work previously done.
III. Methods or Procedures. What you include in this section will depend on what sort of
research you plan to do. Regardless of the type, you should spell out the steps you will take to
complete the thesis research or produce the objects or performance required for a capstone
project. Here are three lists of possible items to include in this section, depending on the type of
thesis or project you do:
Scientific Thesis
Data Analysis
Non-scientific Thesis
Texts to be used
Theories to be applied
Models to be followed
Analytical tools to be used
Categories of information sought
Capstone Project
Rehearsal schedule
Production processes and schedule
Needs assessment
Usability tests
Quality control procedures
Please note that you must also obtain permission from the BYU Institutional Review Board
(IRB) if you plan to do research that will involve human participants. For example, research
methods that involve surveys, interviews, controlled observations, or experiments with human
participants must be approved by the IRB or its representatives to ensure that participants are
able to give their informed consent and will not suffer any harm or violations of their rights as a
result of participating in your research. Getting IRB approval is not difficult if the research is
well planned. However, it can add a month or more to the time needed to have your thesis or
project proposal approved. To learn more about IRB requirements and the approval process,
contact the Associate Director for Compliance in the office of Research and Creative Activities
in A-261 ASB (378-3841).
IV. Prospectus of Finished Text. In this section, provide a tentative outline of what your thesis
or the documentation of your project will include. If you are writing a scientific thesis, it is very
likely that the outline of your final text will simply be Introduction, Methods, Results, and
Discussion. If you are writing a non-scientific thesis, try to project the main divisions of your
argument and show how your thesis will be organized. If you are documenting a capstone
project, outline the contents of the narrative you will write to document what you did, including
the purpose of the project, how it crowned your education, the process you went through, and the
hours spent. (This narrative may be accompanied by sketches, diagrams, photos, or possibly even
a videotape or audiotape to record the performance, the display, or the object created.)
V. Preliminary Bibliography. In this section, list the books, articles, and other sources you have
read to review the literature related to your research. Use the documentation style that is standard
for your discipline.
VI. Qualifications of the Investigator. In this section, describe the courses you have taken and
experiences you have had that qualify you to undertake the research or the project you are
proposing. If your thesis or project requires particular skills with statistics, mathematics, foreign
languages, computers, etc., be sure to explain that you possess the required skills and knowledge.
VII. Qualifications of the Advisor. In this section, name your faculty advisor and describe his or
her qualifications. In most cases, your advisor should be a professor who publishes in your area of
interest, if you are writing a thesis. If you are doing a capstone project, it should be a professor who
performs or creates art or products of the type you want to produce.
VIII. Time line for completing your thesis or capstone project. In this section of your
proposal, list the sub-tasks that will be required to complete your thesis and a date by which you
will complete each sub-task so that you meet the Honors Program deadlines in the table below.
IX. Budget (if needed). In this section, list all expenses (supplies, services, travel, etc.) required
for your research or project and the dollar amount for each expense. Add the amounts of the line
items for a total. If you have not already submitted Form 5, submit it with your proposal.
Deadlines for Completing the Honors Thesis
For graduation in
Thesis proposal approved by
May 15
September 15
January 15
First draft of thesis submitted to advisor
and referee by
November 15
March 15
July 15
Final draft of thesis and portfolio
submitted to Honors Program by
February 1
June 1
October 1
Thesis defense scheduled by
February 5
June 5
October 5
Thesis defense completed by
March 1
July 1
November 1
Four final copies of thesis submitted to
Honors Program by
March 15
July 15
November 15
Sample Thesis Proposal
Body Image Satisfaction Among LDS
Versus Non-LDS College-Age Students
by AnnMarie Carroll
I. Purpose
My objective is to determine whether LDS and non-LDS students differ in body
satisfaction. If I find that Latter-day Saints are, in fact, more critical of their bodies, I will
attempt to determine whether this is unique to BYU or if it extends to LDS students on other
campuses. I will take a sample of both women and men to determine if this expected difference
applies to men as well. From this, I hope to provide useful information for a unique LDS culture.
If there is a significant difference between LDS and non-LDS students, it is important that we
begin to make some changes. Awareness is the first step in initiating change. To promote
awareness, I hope to dissiminate to the LDS community what I learn from this study by
submitting a manuscript about my research to an appropriate publication such as the Journal of
the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychologists.
II. Background and Significance
Research during the last two decades demonstrates that preoccupation with weight and
body image has increased to a level some term an obsession. Girls as young as eight years old
report dissatisfaction with their weight and shape, and 50% of nine-year-olds and 80% of tenyear-olds have dieted in an effort to change their appearance (Council on Size & Weight
Discrimination, 1996). Eating disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent as young women
seek to obtain an almost unrealistic ideal of how their body should look. Although the research
is somewhat ambiguous concerning men, it appears men also have a tendency to view their
bodies negatively, although in different ways. As body dissatisfaction is a major predictor of
dieting behavior and eating disorders, it is crucial to understand the factors relating to body
image and satisfaction.
Another reason this study is vital is that research on body image within the LDS
community is sparse. As Latter-day Saints, we are taught our bodies are a gift from God and that
the Lord “looketh not on the outward appearance” but “looketh on the heart.” However, it is
unknown whether these beliefs affect actual body image. Given these beliefs, we should expect
to find higher satisfaction with body image among LDS young adults. Unfortunately, my
experience tells me otherwise. We are commanded, “Be ye therefore perfect.” The quest for
perfection leads many to be overly critical of themselves. Many seem to view their bodies as
enemies which keep them from their goal of perfection. Also, there is a phenomenon entirely
unique in the LDS culture, especially at BYU, where a great deal of pressure is put on LDS
young adults to get married. In some preliminary research and interviewing, I have found that
many young women feel that this pressure to get married causes them to almost abuse their
bodies in order to fit the ideal body shape. They believe that to get married, they have to look
their best. It is my hypothesis that these pressures cause LDS students to be more critical of their
bodies and to have a more negative body image than non-LDS students.
III. Methods and Procedures
I will survey three groups of students between the ages of 18 and 25. The three groups
will consist of LDS students at BYU, LDS students on other campuses, and non-LDS students. I
will take my sample from Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Cambridge
University in Boston, and the University of California at Los Angeles. At each university I will
take a sample of 30 LDS and non-LDS men and 30 LDS and non-LDS women. Prior to data
collection, I will receive approval for research with human subjects from the IRB.
Each participant will be administered the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations
Questionnaire (MBSRQ) which is a 69-item standardized, attitudinal assessment of body image
composed of 10 reliable and valid subscales. Respondents rate their disagreement-agreement
with statements on a 1 to 5 scale (Cash et al., 1997). This will be used in conjunction with the
Body Figure Perception and Preference Questionnaire, an instrument comprised of nine black
line drawings of human figures ranging in body shape from very thin to extremely obese.
Respondents will be asked to indicate which figure most closely corresponds to their present
body shape, their ideal body shape, and the body image they believe would be most attractive to
the other gender (Fallon & Rozin, 1985).
IV. Prospectus of Finished Text
My thesis will contextualize and report my findings, and will probably take a form similar
to what I've listed below.
Methods and materials
V. Preliminary Bibliography
Cash, T.F. (1997). Gender attitudes, feminist identity, and body image among college women.
Sex Roles, 36, 433-447.
Council On Size & Weight Discrimination. (1996). Facts and Figures.
Fallon, A.E., & Rozin, P. (1985). Sex differences in perceptions of desirable body shape.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 102-105.
VI. Qualifications of the Investigator
I have taken Research Design and Analysis as well as an introductory course in statistics,
two courses in which I learned to draw up research proposals and to determine the quality of
research surveys. My interest in eating disorders, combined with previous research and reading
on the topic, qualify me to perform this study.
VII. Qualifications of the Thesis Advisor
I have chosen Diane Spangler as my faculty advisor. I am currently working with her in
the area of eating disorders, an area she specializes in. She has done a great deal of research in
the field of psychology and I feel her resources and help will be invaluable.
VIII. Schedule
I will obtain data from the various universities during Winter Semester 1999. I will spend
approximately four or five days at each university in order to obtain a sufficient sample. I will
devote Spring Term 1999 to the analysis and report of the data.
IX. Budget
Airline tickets to Boston
Airline tickets to Los Angeles
Car Rental
$350 (round trip)
$160 (round trip)
$200 (5 days)
$400+ (4 nights)
form revised 10/99
Name ___________________________________________________ Social Security Number _____________________
Local Address ______________________________________________________________________________________
City _____________________________________________________State ____________ Zip Code _______________
Local Telephone ( ______ ) _____________________ Permanent Telephone ( ______ ) _____________________________
Permanent Mailing Address ___________________________________________________________________________
City _____________________________________________________ State ____________ Zip Code _______________
Major(s) ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Minor(s) _________________________________________________ Graduation Date __________________________
Thesis Title _______________________________________________________________________________________
If registered for thesis credit __________________________________________________________________________
Course Number
Credit Hours
Semester Taken
Please print or type the following information for your advisor and faculty referee:
Advisor: _____________________________________ Office _________________ Telephone ____________________
Referee: _____________________________________ Office _________________ Telephone ____________________
Please obtain the following signatures:
Advisor: ________________________________________Office _____________________ Date ___________________
Department Honors
Coordinator: _______________________________________ Office ___________________Date ___________________
To be answered by the Honors Coordinator in consultation with the Advisor:
Do the proposed scope and contents of the thesis meet the standards expected of an Honors student? ____Yes ____ No
Are the methods the student will use clearly explained and is the student capable of using the methods? ____Yes ____No
Are the methods appropriate to answer the research questions? ____Yes ____No
Comments ________________________________________________________________________________________
For Office Use Only
Honors Approval ______________________________________________________ Date _________________
Comments ________________________________________________________________________________________
Funding requested?
Yes or No
Name___________________________________________________Social Security Number _____________________
Local Address ___________________________________________________________ Date ______________________
City _____________________________________________________State ____________ Zip Code _______________
Local Telephone ( ______ ) _________________________________
Major Department ________________________________________ College __________________________________
Thesis Title ________________________________________________________________________________________
Requested funding from your department for your thesis project?
• Yes
• No
Applied for a Research and Creative Activities Scholarship?
• Yes
• No
Thesis proposal • Accompanies this application.
• Has been previously approved.
Proposed funding period will begin and end _______________________________________________________________
In what form(s) will the results of your research be reported? ________________________________________________
Describe briefly the relationship of the proposed funding to the honors thesis. Include an itemized budget. Attach additional
information, if necessary.
Advisor’s Signature_______________________________________________________Date ______________________
Student’s Signature_______________________________________________________ Date ______________________
For Office Use Only
Honors Program Recommendation (Other sources of funding?) _______________________________________________
Approval ___________________________________________ Amount of Honors Funding ________________________
Dean’s Signature
Instructions for Writing the Thesis and Scheduling the Defense
After your proposal has been approved by your advisor, department honors coordinator, and a
representative of the Honors Program, you are ready to begin carrying out your research and
writing your thesis. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1. Conduct your research or complete your capstone project. Normally, you will do the
research or the preparation for your project the semester before you write the thesis or
accompanying documentation. Work closely with your advisor throughout the research phase to
be sure you are gathering the right data or information. Keep a careful log of your research efforts
and take notes about information that will likely become a part of the final document.
Step 2. Write a first draft and as many intermediate drafts as your advisor requires. Show
your draft in stages to your advisor as you complete each part. The advisor and, in most cases,
the referee should see a complete first draft about two months before you plan to have your
defense. Subsequent drafts are almost always necessary before you write a final draft. Do not
expect to write and submit only one draft of your thesis, then hold your defense a few days later.
Refer to the table on page 5 to remind yourself of deadlines you must meet.
Step 3. Write a final draft. The final draft will be read by your advisor, referee, and a
representative of the Honors Program prior to your defense. The final draft should conform to the
Honors Program’s specifications for the final copy that is bound and submitted to the library.
These specifications are explained and illustrated on the final pages of this packet. Since
additional changes in the thesis may be necessary after the defense, the final draft may be printed
on regular paper. Not less than one week prior to your defense, give your advisor and referee a
copy of the final draft, and have your advisor sign Form 6, the Honors Thesis Submission form.
Bring a copy of the final draft to 102A MSRB for the Honors Program representative who will
chair your defense. Form 6 should be attached to the Honors Program copy.
Step 4. Schedule your thesis defense. When your final draft is nearly ready, contact the Honors
Advisement Center in 102A MSRB to find out who will chair your defense. Contact the chair,
your advisor, and your referee to schedule a time (at least one hour) when all three can meet for
the defense. It is also your responsibility to find a room for the defense. The department secretary
in your major department can usually help you schedule a room; the Dean’s secretaries in 302
MSRB can also tell you about the availability of the Honors conference room. At your defense
the three readers of your thesis will ask you questions about your research and the claims that you
make in your thesis. Remember that you must complete the defense by the specified deadline in a
given semester to be eligible for graduation with University Honors. Please refer to page 5 of this
packet for the deadline you must meet.
Name___________________________________________________Social Security Number ____________________
Submission Date__________________________________________ Semester of Graduation ____________________
Major (s) ________________________________________________ Minor __________________________________
Thesis Title ______________________________________________________________________________________
Faculty Advisor ___________________________________________________________________________________
Faculty Referee ___________________________________________________________________________________
Approximate Hours Spent on Thesis
Research _______________________________
Writing ________________________________
The thesis will be submitted for publication in the following journal (not required):
I submit my work for approval of the honors thesis requirement for graduation with University Honors.
Student's Signature _________________________________________________________________________________
As the thesis faculty advisor, I certify that the attached thesis is in final form and recommend that it be accepted as
fulfilling the honors thesis requirement.
Advisor’s Signature _______________________________________________________________________________
For Office Use Only
Great Works
Date of Thesis Defense ___________________________________ Place __________________ Time _______________
Thesis Defense Committee ___________________________________________________________________________
Recommendation of Committee _______________________________________________________________________
Comments ________________________________________________________________________________________
Rank of Thesis ____________________________________________________________________________________
Instructions for Preparing the Final Copy of the Thesis
When you have passed your defense, the following steps will be necessary to complete the thesis
Step 1. Correct and format your thesis. Make the final corrections in your thesis required by
your thesis defense committee. Then format your thesis for printing. The next two pages outline
the format that all theses must conform to. The pages at the end of this packet illustrate and
explain format conventions that are peculiar to your discipline. Each of the model pages shows
how to format a particular part of the thesis and what to include in it. The small red type in the
left hand margin explains the details and the reasoning behind the format conventions.
Step 2. Submit four unbound copies to the Honors Program. After you have formatted your
thesis, prepare four unbound copies on acid free bond paper to submit to the Honors Program
Office in 102A MSRB. Before submitting the copies, however, you must obtain your advisor’s
signature on all four copies of the title/signature page. The Honors Program staff can usually get
the signatures of the defense chair for you.
Format Requirements for All Theses
Margins and Fonts
Observe these guidelines:
1. Leave a margin of one and one-half inches on the left side of each page to
allow for binding.
2. Leave one-inch margins on the top, bottom, and right side of each page.
3. Do not justify the right margin; doing so makes the text more difficult to read.
4. Use at least a 12-point font for the body of the thesis (footnotes and captions
for tables and figures can be set in a smaller font.)
5. Use a serif font for the text of the paper; research shows it is easier to read.
6. You may use a sans serif font for titles and headings, if desired.
This is an example of a serif font.
This is an example of a sans serif font.
Front matter
The following pages should come before the text of the thesis in the order indicated.
1. Title/signature page
2. Acknowledgments page, if desired
3. Table of Contents
4. List of Tables and Figures, if any have been used in the thesis
5. Abstract (summary) of the thesis
Body of the thesis
Please observe the following conventions in organizing the body of the thesis.
1. Divide the body of the thesis into sections or chapters as indicated in the Table
of Contents.
2. Give each section or chapter a heading that corresponds to headings used in the
Table of Contents.
4. Number all pages of the body of the thesis sequentially with Arabic numerals.
5. Number tables, if any, sequentially, e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.
6. Number figures, if used, sequentially, e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Figures
include drawings, graphs, photos, diagrams, maps–anything that is not a table.
7. Give each table or figure a descriptive caption that explains clearly what is
presented in the table or figure.
8. Place tables and figures close to the relevant text, but not before a reader needs
Back Matter
All theses will have the first of these, and many will have the second.
1. References, Selected Bibliography, Works Cited, or Works Consulted. The
title you use will depend on the documentation style you have followed. These
pages must contain full bibliographic citations for all documents, printed or
electronic, you have consulted and cited in the thesis.
2. Appendix(es). Place in an appendix raw data (e.g., calculations, transcripts,
tabulations, matrices, etc.) which your readers are likely to want to see but which
are either peripheral to the argument or too bulky to put in the body of the thesis.
Note: Most of the illustrative pages that follow have been taken directly from various honors
theses submitted in the past; not all pages come from the same thesis. Some changes have been
made in these pages in order to illustrate various conventions. All have been used with
permission of the original author; alterations in the original have also been permitted by the
The margins for the
entire thesis should
be set at 1" top,
bottom, and right,
with a 1.5" left margin
to allow for binding.
All information should
be centered
horizontally between
the margins as shown
and presented in the
same 12-point font as
the rest of the
Locate the title 2"
from the top edge of
the page and
capitalize all the
letters, except where
standard usage
dictates otherwise.
If the title is too long
for one line (over 5"),
it must be split and
placed on two or
more lines, with the
first line the longest
and subsequent lines
shorter (inverted
pyramid style).
Your name should be
double-spaced below
the word “by.”
Type this statement
exactly as shown
Identify your
department and type
the month and year
of thesis submission.
In the signature
section, type the
name of your thesis
advisor and the
Honors Dean
presiding at the
defense of the thesis.
Skip a space and
provide a signature
Make the signature
line flush with the
bottom 1" margin.
page is optional,
Center the heading
2" from the top of the
page. Use block
letters in the same
font type and size.
Start the text of the
acknowledgment four
lines below the
The acknowledgment
page is used to
express appreciation
for committee
members, family, or
friends who provided
assistance or support
to the writer during
the Thesis project.
should be brief,
simple and in good
I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Diane Spangler, for her continual guidance and
support. She was very patient with me as I learned the research process, and she always
treated my questions with respect.
In addition, I appreciate the help of my research assistants for this project: Cara Jones,
Damon Elliot, Helaina Escienca, and Jared Sellers. They did everything I asked of them and
This project was generously funded by The Women’s Research Institute, by the
Honors Program at Brigham Young University, and by a grant from the ORCA Scholarship
Committee. Without this financial help, I could not have completed the work.
Lastly, I am extremely grateful to my parents for their support and for the quiet space
and time they provided in their home while I wrote this thesis.
Flippant and
sarcastic statements
would be
Sincere is better than
The outline of your
thesis becomes the
table of contents.
Center the heading
2" below the top of
the page in a 12point font. Leave
three blank spaces
between the title and
the start of the text.
Use a 12-point font
for the text.
The table of contents
is of importance
because it enables
readers see at once
the entire content of
your document and
read selectively if
they so desire.
Show all the divisions
or chapter titles in the
thesis. There should
be as many headings
as divisions of the
All headings should
be substantive or
functional to
accurately signal the
content of the
numerals are used
for page numbers of
prefatory sections:
title page, abstract,
table of contents,
etc.. Title page is
number i, but the
number should not
appear on the page.
Spaced dot "leaders"
extend from each
section entry to the
page numbers in
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A number of sociocultural factors have been shown to impact body image. The
purpose of this study was to determine if the sociocultural variable of religion,
specifically the LDS religion, affects body image in college-age students. Questionnaires
assessing body image and beliefs about appearance were administered to male and female
LDS and non-LDS students at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Boston
University, and California State College, Fullerton. Results indicated that male students,
regardless of religion or institution, were more satisfied with their bodies than their female
counterparts. Within-gender comparisons indicated that male LDS students had higher
body satisfaction on almost all subscales than non-LDS males. In contrast, female LDS
students did not significantly differ from non-LDS females. By institution, male BYU
students reported spending more time and effort on their appearance compared with two
of the other institutions. Female BYU students indicated greater dissatisfaction with their
overall appearance and reported investing more time and effort into their appearance
compared with two of the other institutions. Possible explanations and implications of
these results are discussed.
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Body image is the perception and evaluation of body size as either positive or
negative, i.e., the mental picture of one’s body. Body image is described as the product of
conscious and unconscious perceptions, attitudes, and feelings (Lopez, Blix & Blix, 1995).
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Research during the last two decades demonstrates that concerns about body image and
weight preoccupation have increased to a level some term an obsession (Rodin, 1993). Girls
as young as eight years old report dissatisfaction with their weight, and 50% of nine-year-olds
as well as 80% of ten-year-olds have dieted in an effort to change their appearance (Council
on Size and Weight Discrimination, 1996). A study of girls ages 13 to 16 found that only
23% had never dieted, 40% were classified as “dieters,” and 16% were often or always
dieting (Strong & Huon, 1998).
This increase in body dissatisfaction and weight preoccupation parallels a rise in
eating disorders. Indeed, many theorists suggest that negative self-evaluation and
dissatisfaction with body size are prominent factors in the etiology of eating disorders (e.g.,
Monteath & McCabe, 1997). Eating disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent as young
women seek to obtain an almost unrealistic ideal of how their body should look. As body
dissatisfaction is a major predictor of dieting behavior and eating disorders (Stice, Shaw, &
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Nemeroff, 1998), it is crucial to understand the factors related to body image
Factors Related to Body Image
Media effects. Hesse-Biber et al. (1987) found an indirect link between sociocultural
values and eating disorders. One factor linked to sociocultural factors that influence body
image is the media. . . .
Religion. Little to no research has been conducted on the effects of religion on body
image. However, it is possible that religion affects body image because Western society has
inherited many of its norms and practices from a religious past. Religion has taught that the
body should be viewed as something ranging from carnal and devilish to holy and a temple of
God. Religion often prescribes body rituals of what to wear and how to look; some religions
have rules on how and what to eat. Thus, there are several avenues by which religion could
impact body image, weight preoccupation, and eating patterns.
Research on body image within the Latter-day Saint (LDS) community is especially
sparse. LDS doctrine teaches that bodies are a gift from God and that the Lord “looketh not
on the outward appearance” but “looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, King James Version).
However, LDS members are also commanded, “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The
quest for perfection may lead many to be overly critical of themselves and their bodies.
Young LDS adults, especially at BYU, also experience a great deal of pressure to get
married. In a 1963 commencement address, Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of BYU, quoted
Brigham Young as saying that any unmarried man over the age of 25 is a menace to society.
Another leader of the LDS Church has said, “No man who is of marriageable age is living his
religion who remains single” (quoted in Lee, 1973, p. 117). There is an attitude that anyone
who graduates from college without first getting married is a failure.
Thus, young LDS women, feeling pressure to attract a mate, may try to make their
bodies fit the thin ideal. Berschied and Walster (1972) found in the general population “an
unexpectedly high correlation between physical attractiveness and a woman’s social
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Entry for a magazine. If the publication is paginated by the month, show the month with the year.
4XHVWLRQQDLUH1RUIRON9$2OG'RPLQLRQ8QLYHUVLW\ Entry for a single author book. Note that only the
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'LVVHUWDWLRQ$EVWUDFWV,QWHUQDWLRQDO% Entry for a dissertation abstract
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