theory to a different dataset could be an original contribution. Many students come context chapter in thesis to me wanting to do broad-ranging, ambitious topics. I always tell them to be focused on a narrowly defined project. This is a question that necessitates an in-depth discussion between each individual student and their advisors. Depth and breadth of insight are usually tested through doctoral qualifying/comprehensive exams (though Im well aware of the British model that doesnt involve comprehensives). I believe you can make theoretical and empirical contributions, and PhD dissertations often have both, but they need at least one of these. An undergraduate (honors) thesis.
That way, I define the scope of the project in very narrow terms, I give them the tools they need to apply and I let them do the empirical testing or the archival or secondary source searches (though some students of mine even collect primary. While its important that the topic is adequately covered and that the contribution is original, it doesnt need to be a grandiose or far-ranging contribution. But as discussed above, you can do a perfectly competent undergraduate honours thesis just by doing a systematic policy analysis, a solid literature review, an interesting exploration of a known quantitative or qualitative research technique, an empirical (or descriptive) case study, etc.
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There are various reasons why undergraduate students (or even graduate ones) want to do very broad topics, resulting in thesis that are not narrow enough. You can read my Twitter essay on venice italy today thread here and the excellent responses. One reason why the 3 papers model for a PhD thesis is so popular is because it allows the student to demonstrate competency, depth and originality in a broad range of topics. But reaching the point where we could narrow his topic wasnt easy. An undergraduate thesis doesnt necessitate an original contribution in the sense of a Masters or PhD- level one. Or a collated and analysed set of stories about consuming bottled water and the rationales behind them (both of these are Masters theses of two of my students). I think its a testament to his effort that his thesis is already being referenced as a key source for the topic. You should also have covered the literature broadly and deeply enough.