CA797 Thesis Design and Research

for F2P 2008

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Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 797 Thesis Design and Research


F2P 2008 MCB


Aitken, Joan Evelyn

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Buy an APA Manual and use it! 


APA (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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Course Description:
CA 797 Thesis Design and Research: With the approval of the Program Director, interested and capable students may elect the Thesis Option to satisfy degree requirements. The six credit hour Thesis Option provides students with the opportunity to explore a topic of interest through as in-depth research project. Students electing the Thesis Option shall adhere to the requirements set forth in the Graduate Schools Thesis Standards and Procedures manual. Variable credit: 1-3 hrs. may be repeated: must total 5 hrs. (Permission Required).

Educational Philosophy:

Educational Philosophy:

Class Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Term 1: 100% of the thesis grade is based on the advisor's evaluation of the proposal/project submitted by week 6 and revised by Monday of week 8.


Term 2: 100% of the project/thesis grade is based on the advisor and committee decision on the quality of the final proposal submitted to the department/graduate school week 5 of term 2.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:




T 1 Wk 1 Abstract

  1. Ask faculty to be on your committee.

  2. Decide the exact topic and title (see APA 1.06 Title Page
    Write an abstract that includes the research question and method.  (see APA 1.07 Abstract of 250 words)

  3. Read some interesting articles about writing research proposals (University of Maryland), click here.

Title Page & Abstract Due

T 1 Wk 2 Problem

  1. Write problem statement chapter essence (APA 1.08), about 5 pages long.

  2. Begin reading and writing the review of literature.  You may need to broaden or narrow your topic.  When the thesis is done, expect to have about 100 sources cited to show you have a comprehensive review.

Chapter 1Defining the problem.


T 1 Wk 3 Lit Review

  1. Conduct review of literature. Library Database Tutorial

T 1 Wk 4 Lit Review

B. Review of Literature: Theory Building (Group according to ideas, NOT according to research articles).
1. Paragraph about first idea from review of literature.
2. Paragraph about second idea from review of literature.
3. Paragraph about third idea from review of literature.


Right now, you need 25 peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles from communication, but you need about 100 when you are done.  No popular press materials.  No websites.  No newspapers.  No magazines.  No books.  Only peer-reviewed journals permitted Everything in the reference list must be cited.  Everything cited must be in the reference list.  Every direct quotation must have a page number cited.  Everything paraphrased must be cited. 

Chapter 2Survey of literature. Due

T 1 Wk 5 Method

  1. Deadline for full proposal submitted to advisor including the method. Take everything you have so far and add: APA 1.09 II. Method, APA 1.13 References. APA 1.14 Appendix (e.g., survey, measure or unpublished test and its validation).

Full Proposal Due, including problem statement and method.

T 1 Wk 6 Proposal

Deadline: Entire revised proposal together and HARDCOPY submitted/mailed to each committee member.  Advisor will forward to the committee.

Revised Proposal Due.

T 1 Wk 7 IRB

Student needs to complete the human subjects certification and IRB proposal.  See tutorial, IRB/

Proposal defense to faculty committee.  Submit your proposal to your committee and receive their written approval. The Committee should consist of a minimum of two approved graduate faculty including the major advisor in the discipline area and one additional faculty member. It is advisable to include additional faculty member(s) from outside the discipline because faculty external to the discipline can bring fresh perspectives or provide valuable assistance in the conduct of research. 

Human Subjects Certification &

IRB application draft due.

T 1 Wk 8 Data

Divide what you have into the chapter format.  Broaden your review of literature to include another 30 peer-reviewed, scholarly references.  Read one a day and integrate the information into your thesis.

Write two or three pages a day and you will have the essence complete in 30 days.

Begin data collection AFTER you receive IRB approval.  The IRB may require changes in your method.


Read APA appendix A, p. 331.

If not already done, complete objective style comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive Exams due.

BETWEEN CA 797 & 798


  1. If you conduct research using human subjects, you need IRB approval. That includes everything, even benign newspaper-reporter style interviews. Even if you are exempt, you must have their approval because only the IRB can decide you are exempt. If using human subjects, complete the training course first. If using human subjects, submit your proposal to the IRB Application.

  2. Collect Data. Once you have a prospectus meeting--collectively or individually--proceed with your data collection as soon as you obtain IRB approval.

  3. Analyze Your Data

  4. Write the Discussion

  5. Check the Thesis requirements and add all the preliminary data.

  6. Format the Thesis according to the guidelines.

  7. Meet regularly with your advisor as you begin analyzing the data and writing up your results, and revising other chapters..

  8. Send a preliminary summary of results and discussion to committee members.

  9. Write the thesis. Remember to complete everything in the APA format.

  10. Contact the graduate school about any questions.

  11. Take your thesis to the Academic Support staff for help BEFORE submitting to Dr. Aitken.



To graduate, the thesis draft needs to be submitted to your advisor week 1 of this term!


If you miss a deadline, you will not graduate this term and will need to enroll in additional hours.

T 2 Wk 1 Draft

Submit final thesis to advisor.  In addition to previous content, this includes the APA 1.10 Results, and APA 1.11  Discussion.

Schedule defense committee meeting.

Have the Academic Support Services staff or someone proof everything before submitting to me.

Thesis Draft Due

T 2 Wk 2 Thesis

A copy of the completed thesis should be submitted to the major advisor no later than six weeks prior to the date of commencement.

Revised Thesis for Committee Due

T 2 Wk 3 Formatted

Meet with advisor to go over any final changes, then revise, and submit to committee.

Formatted Thesis Due

T 2 Wk 4 Defense

Oral defense.

Make needed changes.

Submit to graduate school by final deadline.

Oral Defense Due

T 2 Wk 5 Grad School

Complete essay comprehensive examination.


Submit completed thesis to graduate school.

Submit Thesis to Graduate School. FINAL DEADLINE

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 25


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 25

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog Page 29

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:10/22/2008 2:46:43 PM