499 Honors Thesis Workshops
A student presents using her thesis poster; a student types on a computer; and a faculty member and student chat.


Spring 2023 Schedule
Dates, times, and topics for 499 Workshops
Workshop Date Time Location Professor
LAUNCH: Starting an Honors Thesis Feb. 7th 4-5 PM TL 1053 Dr. Ethan Watson
DISSECT: Parts of a Thesis Paper Feb. 16th 4-5 PM TL 1053 Dr. Ethan Watson
DEFEND: Preparing for Your Oral Defense
Feb. 23rd 4-5 PM RL2007A Dr. Fred Scharf
APA: How to Make Science Writing Less Painful Mar. 15th 5-6 PM RL 2007A Dr. Erica Noles
DEFEND: Preparing for Your Oral Defense Mar. 16th 4-5 PM RL 2007A Dr. Ethan Watson
DEFEND: Preparing for Your Oral Defense Apr. 3rd 4-5 PM RL 2007A Dr. Fred Scharf
APA: How to Make Science Writing Less Painful Apr. 17th 5-6 PM RL 2007A Dr. Erica Noles

If you would like to attend but need to do so remotely, please contact the workshop instructor to ask if adding a Zoom component is possible.

Types of Workshops
NUTS AND BOLTS: Honors Project Logistics - Beginning 

You will learn about the logistics of thesis and expectations during the first semester of 499. 

LAUNCH: Starting an Honors Thesis 

You will learn about how to start an honors project, including finding a topic, advisor, and committee; how to create an action plan; and how to manage time and tools to help.

DISSECT: Parts of a Thesis Paper 

You will learn about scholarly writing, typical thesis structure, stages of the writing process, dealing with writer's block, and sharing your work. This workshop includes hands-on activities where you will examine completed student Honors theses/papers to understand the structure.

POP: Compelling Writing 

You will learn strategies for making your writing more compelling, eloquent, and cogent.  You should bring a small sample of their writing to practice improving.    

FINISH: Logistics of Finishing an Honors Project

This workshop goes over logistics and expectations during the final semester of 499.

DEFEND: Preparing for Your Oral Defense

You will learn about format, preparation, expectations, alleviating concerns, and presentation resources. 

How to Make a Poster 

Attendees will learn about scholarly poster design, composition, and tools to implement it (e.g., PowerPoint). 

Improving Your Scientific Writing Skills using APA Style

Does the phrase "You must use APA formatting for this paper" make you feel nervous? Do you want to improve your knowledge and experience with how to write more scientifically and adhere to the rules of APA formatting? Our workshop on utilizing APA formatting will be useful to anyone who uses APA format. 


Dr. Fred Scharf is a Professor of Fisheries Biology in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology (College of Arts and Sciences). Dr. Scharf obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook, and then earned M.Sc. and PhD. degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since arriving at UNCW in 2003, Dr. Scharf has taught undergraduate courses in biodiversity and fisheries science, as well as graduate courses in biostatistics and fish population dynamics. His research interests has been focused on the ecology and population biology of estuarine and marine fishes, including predator-prey dynamics, migration ecology, and sources of mortality. Dr. Scharf has served as chair for more than 20 Honors students, and as a committee member for 25+ additional students. He has also mentored a large number of students participating in directed individual studies projects. Nearly all of his honors students have presented their work at a professional conference and several have authored or co-authored peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Ethan Watson is an Associate Professor of Finance in the Economics and Finance department (Cameron School of Business).  Dr. Watson has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Mississippi State University, a MSHA & MBA from the University of Alabama Birmingham, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Mississippi.Dr. Watson has taught several Finance courses and also teaches HON 120: A Survey of Business Research.  His research interests lay in the field of market microstructure, which examines the fine detail of trading in financial assets such as stocks and bonds. He has chaired or served as a committee member in numerous Honors theses, and with his colleagues, he has started an Honors Research Group in Cameron that encourages students to get involved in undergraduate research.

Dr. Erica Noles is a full-time lecturer in the Psychology Department. She is an UNCW alumnus (’04 BA and ’07 MA) and focuses on getting students actively engaged in the learning process. She teaches a 4-credit Senior Capstone course in Psychology, and she has experience teaching Research Methods. Both classes require students to develop a research project, conduct a literature search, create a survey, collect and analyze data, and write a full research project that is revised throughout the semester. This experience, plus sitting on numerous Honors thesis committees, helps her see where students struggle with scientific writing and APA formatting. These APA workshops are focused on learning through examples and actively incorporating the resources she has created to become a more skilled writer. By understanding the rules and formulaic-style of APA writing, students can use their time to focus on the content of their projects instead of feeling anxious about formatting.

Dr. Sue Richardson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film Studies.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Akron, an MA in English from The Ohio State University where she became interested in film studies, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee--Knoxville.  Her research and teaching interests include American Studies, Film Studies, Film Rhetoric, and Popular Culture.  In addition to offering a variety of courses about film authors, film genres, and film criticism, she has written about film rhetoric and film in terms of comparative studies. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Popular Culture as well as served on the editorial board for the 3rd edition of Bernard F. Dick's seminal text Anatomy of Film.  For the Honors program, she regularly teaches courses about the connections among film, popular culture and cuisine.  Recent HON 120 Enrichment Seminars that she offered were “Sizzling Hot Cinema,” “Disney, Food, and Self Discovery,” and “Film, Food, and Spectacle.”  Over the years, she has chaired or served on many Honors thesis committees, and along with an Honors colleague, she inaugurated the Honors Cafe workshop series.