Comm Undergrad Student Megan Carrasco to Complete Honors Thesis
Senior applied communication major Megan Carrasco is currently working on a communication studies-related honors thesis. Her endeavor began as she came across an online article that piqued her interest called “Forbes Top 100 Sites for Millennial Women.” She immediately recognized this to be an appropriate topic for a communication studies thesis. Carrasco then was able to elaborate on possible research questions for the thesis with the help of her advisor, Dr. Suzy D’Enbeau, which they narrowed to “how millennial women are discursively constructed online.”
“I’m passionate about the topic and also saw it as a niche that needs further research, so I was able to determine that pursuing this area of research would be a perfect fit,” Carrasco said.
The primary goal of the thesis is to find answers to her research question by way of qualitative thematic analysis. She has coded over 200 online articles for attributes such as heterosexuality, race, religion, femininity, beauty and positive reinforcement. In all, Carrasco says she has developed a total of 65 codes, and she is now in the process of indexing the location of codes in each article.
One interesting theme that Carrasco found in researching the articles is that although they are mostly written by women, the articles often contain self-deprecating humor.
“Some online articles about women use this type of self-deprecating humor in a way that is acknowledged, so it could be said to be tongue-in-cheek,” Carrasco said. “Though the surprising thing is that many of these articles use this type of humor in a way that is not sarcastic.”
Carrasco would advise any student who wants to pursue an honors thesis to do it on something that they are interested in. She also would recommend that the student find an advisor that they would like to work with.
“Dr. D’Enbeau is a great asset to my research. She is fun to work with and shares the same passion on the topic,” Carrasco said.
“The advisor-student match works because my expertise on the topic is able to match Megan’s passion and interest in a way that is relevant to the goals of her research,” D’Enbeau said.
Carrasco will graduate in May, and she is currently looking at her best post-graduate options, which will start with her taking the LSAT or GRE. She believes that her thesis will help her substantially in any direction she chooses because it shows that she can dedicate herself to a narrow topic and do required original research.
For more information on completing an honors thesis, visit the Honors College website.