Senior Thesis - Kingswood Oxford

Senior Thesis

What is Senior Thesis?

The Senior Thesis, the culmination of the long-range objectives of the English program at Kingswood Oxford, requires students to use all of their acquired reading, writing and thinking skills in an independent research paper with a substantial literary component. An assigned thesis advisor works with a small group of students in class to cover topic selection, methods of research and technical procedures while the student pursues his or her independent research and writing. All Form 6 students are required to write a Senior Thesis during the third quarter.


What a Difference a Thesis Makes


  • Thesis is not a single paper but an 8-week process.
  • With the support and guidance of thesis teachers, students explore a topic of interest and craft an argument about a text or textss.
  • The product is the paper (of at least 15 pages).

Thesis Goals

  • develop an original idea.
  • adjust assertions as one researches, reads, and investigates.
  • pay close attention to the ideas of published scholars.
  • search for the information and ideas that will expand, shape, and hone the original analysis.
  • recognize that most of what one reads and writes won’t tangibly appear in the final product.
  • independently apply the reading, writing, and thinking skills practiced in the previous years of high school English classes.
  • sustain energy and enthusiasm for intellectual pursuit.

Identifying the Love and Finding Your Focus

The text(s) must allow for a close analysis of both language (or style) and form (or structure.) The writer also must be able to find secondary sources to incorporate into the essay.




As they think about what text(s) to explore, students should ask themselves what they feel capable of analyzing. For example, if a student wants to write about a movie, the student has to explore the form of this visual medium.  The author could analyze: cinematography, editing, color, characterization, sound effects and dialogue, the score/soundtrack.

The text(s) one explores can be:

Short stories
Graphic novels/comics
Plays and musicals
Songs and albums
Films and TV shows

Video games

Teacher Support

What a Difference a Teacher Makes


The English department has put together writing guides for analyzing different types of texts, and the Writing Center is a supportive space with many resources to help in the thesis process.


Though students are assigned thesis teachers, they often rely on the expertise of other teachers in the department for further guidance on their topic.

Adverbs to live by:



KO and a Cup of Joe – Thursday Mornings throughout the Summer

Join us for a brief information session to learn about the academic and co-curricular offerings at Kingswood Oxford School during the summer: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Roberts Building’s lower lobby. For more information, contact our Admissions Office at (860) 727-5000. What a Difference a Day Makes!