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CA 797 Thesis Design and Research
Aitken, Joan Evelyn


Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Course

CA 797 Thesis Design and Research

Semester

F2P 2012 MCB

Faculty

Aitken, Joan Evelyn

Office Hours

Mid-day, I'm often available.

Daytime Phone

See course announcements.

E-Mail

joan.aitken@park.edu

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Prerequisites

You will want to have half the courses for your program complete.

Credit Hours

1


Textbook:
 

The Style Manual for the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership

APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 

READ and KNOW American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Requirements for this program:

 

Expectations of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20.

Compliance checklist p. 20.

Complying With Ethical, Legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.

Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.

Self-plagiarism, pp. 16, 29, 170.

 

For additional information about ethical expectations, see

http://onlineacademics.org/Grad/Ethics.htm


ADDITIONAL SOURCES


Dr. A's writing expectations: http://onlineacademics.org/APA.html

Heffner, (2003). Research methods. All Psych Online. 

There are few areas in education that are covered on the Internet as well as research, so you may find this choice most helpful. Many of the test questions come from Heffner, which is totally available online. http://allpsych.com/researchmethods/researchcontents.html


Additional online books about research
, which you may help you in this course (from http://www.slais.ubc.ca/resources/research_methods/online.htm )
Air University Sampling and Surveying Handbook

Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology: Building a Bridge Between Disciplines: Report of the Advanced Research Seminar on Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology [online book]

Evaluation Cookbook

Good Questions / Better Answers: A Formative Research Handbook for California HIV Prevention Programs [guide to relevant research methods]

How to Use Observations in a Research Project, by Nick Fox
 

Introduction to Data Collection and Analysis [SC101: Deakin University]


Know Your Audience: a Practical Guide to Audience Research

Listener Survey Toolkit

The Little Handbook of Statistical Practice, by Gerard E. Dallal

Marketing Research and Information Systems
, by I.M. Crawford

Methods in Behavioral Research, by Paul C. Cozby [site includes support materials, but not complete text]

The Qualitative Methods Workbook, by David W. Stockburger

Questionnaire Design and Analysis Activities, by Allison Galloway

Questionnaire Design and Analysis: A Workbook by Alison Galloway [excellent source]

Research Methods, 3rd edition, by Anthony M. Graziano and Michael L. Raulin [site includes support materials, but not complete text]

Research Methods Knowledge Base by William M. Trochim [excellent source]

Sampling: A Workbook, by Alison Galloway

Simple Data Measurement: A Workbook, by Alison Galloway

Six Phases of the Research Process, by Marion Joppe

The Whole Art of Deduction: Research Skills for Allied Health Scientists by Rodger Marion


Additional Resources:

 

See Department Guidelines for Thesis Requirements.

 

DEPT. & PARK RULES. The student has the responsibility of finding out and following departmental and Park University rules. You will find those in the graduate catalog. Your advisor cannot over-ride departmental or university rules. The department and university requirements supersede faculty requirements.

 

GRADUATE RECORD EXAM (GRE).  Park University requires that you complete the GRE and submit your scores to the Graduate School.  You cannot graduate from the program without completing this step. See http://www.ets.org/

 

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS. The department or university requires separate comprehensive exams of students who complete a project.  These need to be PASSED at least 8 weeks prior to graduation.  Ask three faculty--probably your committee--to submit questions to Dr. Cohn.  When you are ready to take the exam, you contact Dr. Cohn to schedule the test.  You will have 24 hours to write.  You can use any books or materials, but you canNOT use help from any person.  Here is Dr. Aitken's information about comps http://onlineacademics.org/comps/

 

APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION.  Go to the Park website, find and complete the online form (Application for Graduation), and pay fees for graduation.
 

August Completion or December Commencement Deadline: April 1

 May Commencement Deadline: November 1

 

THESIS OR PROJECT? The thesis should be original research that makes a contribution to the learning in the field.  The thesis will be bound and made available to the general public through the library.

 

TOPIC. Select a topic you love, which you have been studying in the program so far. The topic must relate to human communication or leadership.

 

COMMITTEE. You will present your thesis and defend your work, perhaps with other enrolled students during a meeting set up by the department.  This meeting can be conducted by teleconferencing for distance students.

 

Your thesis needs to be completed and your committee needs to be on-board .


The Master’s Thesis will address an appropriately phrased research question of interest to the student. The student may seek to answer a question through one of the following.

1. A strategy for solving a specific communication problem
2. A communication environment
3. An investigation of theoretical or experimental issues
4. Test of a specified hypothesis
5. A case study of an organization
6. A quantitative, experimental study
7. A qualitative analysis of some texts
8. Field research and analysis of observations made
9. A historical study of some “communication events” or person(s)
10. A critical analysis of some “communication events” or texts
11. A theoretical essay, critiquing current theory and/ or directed towards developing new theory
12. A theoretically informed and data-driven case study of some “communication problem” and interventions attempting to solve it
13. A theoretically informed and data-driven proposal for a new curriculum or training program to meet a specific need

The subject of study may come from two general sources:

1. The communication environment, with which the student has first-hand experience.

2. A traditional research investigation of a particular aspect of corporate or organizational communication or leadership.In some cases, the subject may be a combination of the two sources.

 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


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). The Thesis will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis and requires an oral defense.

Class Assessment:

IMPORTANT THESIS INFORMATION

Work in the eCollege course shell: http://parkonline.org/  All assignments are due by Sunday night of the assigned week in the eCollege dropbox. Assignments are not accepted by email because it is too unreliable.

Grading is based on submission of quality work in the course dropbox, meeting deadlines, and faculty approval.

Term One: The thesis proposal is due week 5.  The revised thesis proposal needs to be sent to your committee by week 7. IRB submission, if required, is needed by Monday of week 8.

Final Term Enrolled: The final thesis is due to your advisor week 1 of your final term.

Weekly attendance is based on your activity in the eCollege course and direct communication with your professor.

Departmental Requirements

Consult the Graduate Catalog and Graduate School Procedures. These requirements are the ones that must be followed.

Supplemental help is available for the thesis: http://onlineacademics.org/CA797/

Grading:

DURING THIS PROCESS, please DO NOT FORWARD MY EMAIL OR ANYONE'S EMAIL!

Read this information carefully and follow it. Please do NOT send daily, or multiple daily emails to your advisor or anyone else on campus. If you have a problem, telephone me.

For the student, you may feel frustrated at times, but you have a better chance of success if the faculty, IRB, graduate school, and director of the library has a positive attitude toward you. As in any organization, some parts of this process require knowledge and diplomacy of organizational politics. I know campuses where students have to wait 6 months for faculty to read theses. At Park, I've seen faculty give students responses in just weeks, which is amazing compared to what I've seen elsewhere. If you don't hear from someone in a reasonable time, do not say "did you get my email?" but send your email with attachments again as a "friendly reminder."

Organize yourself! Be efficient on the front end when you have control, so there is plenty of time near your graduation date (when you have no control).

SUBMITTING ASSIGNMENTS TO YOUR COMMITTEE

  • Send your committee versions along the way. Make sure you attach the thesis file with each communication with your committee.

  • Begin the file name with your last name and include the version at the end, such as

  • YourlastnameFirstNameProjectProposalDate.doc AitkenJoanFinalProjectApril12012.doc

  • Only use a single, .doc or .txt file.

  • Make sure the version changes each time, including when I add comments.

  • In color hghlights, indicate additions and changes in your draft.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Term 1

Timeline will vary according to your overall schedule and the type of project. Below are general guidelines.

Please do NOT sign up for this course unless you have completed a major paper on the topic and received advisor approval in advance.

  • Set your own timeline by looking at your projected graduation date and figuring time backwards.

  • Receive advisor approval on the idea.

  • Revise your proposal from CA 516 and CA 517.

  • Revise you review of literature (cite and reference about 50 scholarly communication sources).

  • After receiving advisor suggestions, edit, then send your proposal to your committee.

  • Keep moving, with NO PROCRASTINATION.

  • WEEK 6 TERM 1 DEADLINE: Send your final proposal to me (Joan Aitken). There's no latitude on this requirement. If you cannot meet this deadline, drop the course and select a different advisor or different capstone option. No incompletes for any reason. My experience says an incomplete means you will not be able to do this capstone option. If I don't receive a final proposal by week 8, you will receive an "F" in the course.

  • If you are using a pre-published measure in your thesis, obtain author approval to use the measure or pay the required fees to use the measure.

  • If using SurveyMonkey.com, put the measure in SurveyMonkey.com

  • By Week 8 of term 1: Ask faculty to be on your committee and email your proposal to faculty committee.

Term 2
  • WEEK 4 DEADLINE: Complete an IRB application if you are using human subjects and obtain their approval.
  • Enhance your review of literature while you wait for the IRB. If you are not enrolled in other courses, enroll in one hour so you can use the Park library databases. Hopefully you are able to use some assignments for other courses to add content to your review of literature.
  • If you are using archival data (e.g., websites, a speech text, films), begin your data analysis by applying your method.
  • Send your committee an update on your progress.
Term 3
  • Collect data.
  • WEEK 6 DEADLINE: Send your committee a summary of the data you have collected. This can be table form.
Term 4 or next to last term.
  • Analyze data and write the final thesis.
  • Convert your proposal to a thesis by going through and changing the tenses.
  • After receiving advisor suggestions, edit and send your proposal to your committee.
  • WEEK 6 DEADLINE: Send your draft to your committee. The thesis must be COMPLETE before you enroll for your last term. The 8-week sessions move very quickly, especially when you don't have the discipline of weekly class assignments.

Term Graduation

  • WEEK 1 DEADLINE: Resend your draft to your committee (give them a minimum of two weeks to read your work before your defense). Highlight changes in color so they know what they are receiving. Schedule your oral defense and prepare a PowerPoint, which you send to committee members. For the PowerPoint for the defense, use a small .ppt file, with the text outline of what you plan to say in the defense. Avoid pictures, although you may use charts.

  • Week 3 (or earlier): Send reminders to your committee the day before the meeting. Defend your thesis.

  • Week 4 (or earlier): I will notify the Graduate School and Registrar of successful defense.

  • Week 5-6: Make any final changes required by your committee.

CA797 IMPORTANT GRADUATE THESIS INFORMATION

Make sure you complete all admission and graduation requirements before beginning this course: http://ourwayit.com/DoIt/

Make sure you have taken care of all admission and graduation requirements. Admission requirements were due within 60 days of beginning the program.

Grading is based on submission of quality work, meeting deadlines, and faculty approval.

Weekly attendance is based on your direct communication with your professor. Send a progress email each week and phone regularly.

Consult the Graduate Catalog and Graduate School Procedures. These requirements are the ones that must be followed.

Supplemental help is available for the thesis: http://ourwayit.com/CA797/

Is Dr. Aitken the right thesis advisor for you?

Dr. Joan E. Aitken: joan.aitken@park.edu

I have expertise in Communication Studies, including research in interpersonal, educational, organizational, public, Internet, media, and intercultural communication. Leadership studies can be a broad field that fits into communication studies.

My expectations for students selecting the thesis option:

  1. Submit a completed proposal by week 6 of your first term or drop the course.

  2. I do not give the grade of "incomplete" for any reason. If you cannot meet the deadline, then you have a procrastination problem that makes this capstone with me a poor choice. Please select a different advisor or different capstone option.

  3. I do not allow students to enroll in continuous enrollment and fade away. Do not enroll in your last hour until your work is done.

  4. Set a clear timetable and follow it. No procrastination.

  5. Be responsible for yourself and meet the deadlines without prodding.

  6. Send an update of your work to your committee member each term.

  7. Only research clearly relevant to human communication will be acceptable.

  8. Do a thesis if you want to do original work and publish your work through our library.

  9. You cannot switch to a different advisor or the reflection option if the going gets tough. Make sure you want to do the thesis option before you enroll.

  10. Many of my students use the survey research method or content analysis method. I've seen some students give up during the IRB process, so IZ am an advocate of using content analysis.

  11. Select a narrow and do-able project.

  12. I prefer phone conversations to multiple emails.

  13. I am committed to prompt responses. If you don't hear from me in a couple days, contact me again. If you don't have my home phone number, just ask. Feel free to call me to brainstorm, discuss problems, or any time I can help.

  14. I want to help you finish a high quality thesis as efficiently as possible.

  15. Work efficiently and commit to graduation on time!

  16. You need to have the final draft of your thesis complete BEFORE enrolling in the final term before graduation. I can't say this enough, have back at least one of the five credit hours for enrollment in your final term so that you don't have to pay extra. I do not believe in paying for continuous enrollment. Get your thesis done.

See Department Guidelines for Thesis Requirements.

DEPT. & PARK RULES. The student has the responsibility of finding out and following departmental and Park University rules. You will find those in the graduate catalog. Your advisor cannot over-ride departmental or university rules. The department and university requirements supersede faculty requirements.

GRADUATE RECORD EXAM (GRE). Park University requires that you complete the GRE and submit your scores to the Graduate School. You cannot graduate from the program without completing this step. See http://www.ets.org/

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS. The department or university requires separate comprehensive exams of graduates. This exam is different from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and required to show your learning in this MA program. Comps need to be PASSED at least 8 weeks prior to graduation. Here is Dr. Aitken's information about comps http://ourwayit.com/comps/

THESIS OR PROJECT? The thesis should be original research that makes a contribution to the learning in the field. The thesis will be bound and made available to the general public through the library. If you plan to do research on human subjects, please do the thesis option.

TOPIC. Select a topic you love, which you have been studying in the program so far. The topic must relate to human communication or leadership.

COMMITTEE. You will present your thesis and defend your work, perhaps with other enrolled students during a meeting set up by the department. This meeting can be conducted by teleconferencing for distance students. Most students have a committee of 3 faculty members, usually at least two are from our department. Faculty from other departments, part-time faculty, faculty at other universities can make excellent committee members.

Application for Graduation Deadlines

APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION. Go to the Park website, find and complete the online form (Application for Graduation), and pay fees for graduation. http://www.park.edu/grad/faq.aspx#faq37

August Completion or December Commencement Deadline: April 1 <!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->

May Commencement Deadline: November 1

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK

Buy an APA Manual and use it!

Buy and use the APA manual!

The APA manual contains all the information you need about what goes into the thesis and how to write. For my summary on writing, see my APA Style Requirements. For my summary on formatting and organization, see below.


APA (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Thesis Organization

Use this format beginning with your proposal. Leave parts blank that you have not completed.

Blank page or copyright page
Abstract
Approval page
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations (if figures/graphs/etc. are used) List of Tables (if manuscript has tables)
Acknowledgments (if used)
Preface (if used)
Dedication (if used)
Abstract.

See Appendix A, p. 331 APA Manual.

Chapter 1: Defining the problem. (5 pages)

  1. Introduction – This is the background to the problem.

  1. A brief history of interest in the area.

  1. Specify unresolved issues, theoretical questions, and/or social concerns.

  2. Rationale for the study.

Chapter 2:Survey of literature. (30-50 pages)

  1. Review of the Literature -- This is a survey of the theory and research related to the problem. It should provide the following:

  1. Define key variables.

  2. Critique and summarize prior research. This is a review of how the variables have been

studied and includes results, conclusions, and weakness.

  1. Establish the basis for your study, which isolate issues that merit further research.

Chapter 3: Problem Statement. (5 pages)

  1. Problem Statement -- Drawing from the literature review of 20-50 sources, explain the ideas you plan to investigate. Include the following:

  1. Identify variables (dependent and independent variables).

  2. Delineate the research problem to explain the relationships expected among variables (research questions or hypotheses).

Chapter 4:Method (5 pages)

  1. Method

    1. Describe why the research method (e.g., survey research) is used.

2. Instruments or measures

    1. Operational definitions of dependent and independent variables

    2. Instrument – rationale for the measure to be used (e.g., questionnaire, focus group, interview).

  1. Participants and procedures

    1. Selection of subjects (i.e., who and how to get them -- sampling procedure).

    2. Explain how materials will be distributed.

    3. Describe how data will be collected.

    4. Describe how data will be analyzed.

Chapter 5: Results (5 pages). Just the facts.

Chapter 6: Discussion (10-30 pages). See the APA manual.


References (Only peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles in APA style)
Appendices
Vita

No incompletes. If you don't plan on meeting deadlines, you will want to use a different advisor or a different capstone option.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS need to have passed your comps BEFORE your final term.

At most universities, they are given MONTHS to do this, so even two weeks to read your thesis is an unrealistic expectation. Make sure you warn the committee of your deadlines in advance, and you will want to send materials as you go along so there is less for them to read and respond to at the end. If you wait too long, you may not be able to graduate. During holiday times, between terms, and summer, please do not expect faculty to read, correspond with you, or meet.

Please be sure to send an electronic copy of each chapter to each committee member as soon as it is done. Tell them you just want them to see your progress, and you welcome any suggestions or corrections.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PAGE
Of course you can say whatever you want, but usually people thank each committee member in the first paragraph. Then they thank key family and friends in the next paragraph (e.g., for their support, proofing of the manuscript). I've seen thanks to other university people who have helped, like a librarian. Don't thank the the company where your research was done, but if you thank someone from the company, do so in generic terms to no one can they they were part of the study. It's considered bad form to thank pets. (grin)

DEDICATION

Again you can say whatever you want, but for an author's first book, the dedication is traditionally to parents. Some people select their significant other. It's considered bad form to dedicate to animals, causes, or things.

IRB NOTIFICATION OF CONCLUSION OF RESEARCH

You are required to notify the IRB that you finished by contacting

Dr. Cohn of the IRB saying something like this.

This email is notification that my research on human subjects entitled _____________ , tracking number __________________ is completed. I have finished collecting collecting data. Thank you for your help with this work.

Binding

Make sure your advisor has four copies of the signature page on 100% cotton for the oral defense meeting.

Your advisor will send you changes to your thesis after the committee meeting for the oral defense. Go back and REREAD THIS PAGE, particularly being careful to comply with the Park Procedures listed on this page. You have to proof your final version carefully because no one will proof it for you. You may want to hire a proof-reader to double-check everything. You need to make sure everything is correct and in proper order. Then send an electronic version to the Director of the Graduate School with the email copied to your advisor.

Contact Dr. Schultis and do exactly what she says. No arguments. She is an important and well-respected person at this university. Be respectful!

Dr. A. Schultis

Director of Library Systems

Park University Library

8700 NW River Park Dr.

Parkville, MO 64152-3795

ann.schultis@park.edu

ph: 816-584-6704

fax: 816-741-4911

She will probably tell you something like the information below.

Houchen Bindery was used in 2008 and 2009. http://odp.houchenbindery.com/

Print your copies of your thesis on high quality bond--acid free paper--and mail to Dr. Schultis with a check.

Be sure to include a copyright page, if you plan to obtain a copyright.

Where to go for printing?

I recommend you go to some place like Office Max or Kinkos and talk to them about making your copies. You want acid free paper because you don't want pages to yellow. But someplace I went said all their paper is now acid free. Make sure you ask about the acid free part. Tell them you're having a thesis bound and ask for their advice about a good quality paper. 100% cotton is hard to work with, too thick, and very expensive, and I don't think you'll be happy with it. There's no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on this, you just want a nice copy that will last. Then you deliver or ship them to Dr. Schultis.

How many copies?

One for the library.

One for the department.

One for you.

Aitken does not want/need another hardcopy, so don't have one printed.

Check to see if the Director of the Program (Dr. Noe) wants one.

The only professionally bound copy you absolutely MUST have is the one that you give to the library.

Finish on time!

Aitken's Homepage http://ourwayit.com/

Guidelines for Students http://ourwayit.com/Guidelines.html

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Take care of all application and graduation requirements.  The proposal must be submitted to the committee by the end of term one.

Prior to the final term, make sure you have completed everything you need--and have your committee's agreement with your thesis--IN ADVANCE of the final term of enrollment.

If you do not complete the thesis on time, you will have to pay for and enroll in one additional credit hour each term until the thesis is complete. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
The student must take responsibility for completing work, submitting weekly updates to the advisor, and communicating with the committee.

There is a fee for binding the thesis.  The student is responsible for contacting the library and bindery to complete the submission on time.

Honest, ethical, and original research is required.

Talk to your advisor about the exact content and organization of your thesis.  Below is an example.

Author's Responsibilities

 

The author is responsible for:

  1. Ethical research.

  2. Collection of data.

  3. Writing content.

  4. The correct presentation of the content, references, and illustrative materials of the manuscript.

  5. Making sure the format of the finished document meets university standards.

  6. The appropriate arrangement of the parts of the manuscript as specified in this guide. Sentence structure, paragraphing, punctuation, spelling, accuracy and citation of

  7. Correct quotations, with exact page numbers.

  8. Proofreading the manuscript.

  9. Seeing that the bibliographic citations conform to the appropriate standard. Contacting the School of Graduate Studies Thesis Research Assistant to check the manuscript's format.

  10. Being aware of, and meeting, all departmental and School of Graduate Studies' deadlines for submission of Thesis for approval.

  11. Getting copyright permission for any copyrighted material included in the manuscript.

Thesis Organization

 

Blank page or copyright page
Abstract
Approval page
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations (if figures/graphs/etc. are used) List of Tables (if manuscript has tables)
Acknowledgments (if used)
Preface (if used)
Dedication (if used)
Abstract.
 

See Appendix A, p. 331 APA Manual.

Chapter 1: Defining the problem. (5 pages)

  1. Introduction – This is the background to the problem.

  1. A brief history of interest in the area.

  1. Specify unresolved issues, theoretical questions, and/or social concerns.

  2. Rationale for the study.

Chapter 2: Survey of literature.  (30-50 pages)

  1. Review of the Literature -- This is a survey of the theory and research related to the problem. It should provide the following:

  1. Define key variables.

  2. Critique and summarize prior research. This is a review of how the variables have been

studied and includes results, conclusions, and weakness.

  1. Establish the basis for your study, which isolate issues that merit further research.

Chapter 3: Problem Statement. (5 pages)

  1. Problem Statement -- Drawing from the literature review of 20-50 sources, explain the ideas you plan to investigate. Include the following:

  1. Identify variables (dependent and independent variables).

  2. Delineate the research problem to explain the relationships expected among variables (research questions or hypotheses).

Chapter 4: Method (5 pages)

  1. Method

    1. Describe why the research method (e.g., survey research) is used.

2. Instruments or measures

    1. Operational definitions of dependent and independent variables

    2. Instrument – rationale for the measure to be used (e.g., questionnaire, focus group, interview).

  1. Participants and procedures

    1. Selection of subjects (i.e., who and how to get them -- sampling procedure).

    2. Explain how materials will be distributed.

    3. Describe how data will be collected.

    4. Describe how data will be analyzed.

Chapter 5:  Results (5 pages).  Just the facts.

Chapter 6:  Discussion (10-30 pages).  See the APA manual.


References (Typically 100 peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles in APA style)
Appendices
Bio

 

 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

TERM 1 SCHEDULE

WEEKLY REQUIREMENTS

DEADLINES

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.

Due

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.

 

Submit IRB application after committee's approval.

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. Usually students continue to work on the literature review as they work on the project and continue to plug in sources.  Reading will give you ideas about your findings.  I don't count pages, but typically the total length of a thesis is 100 pages or more, with 100 cited peer-reviewed references. 

  10. Write the thesis. Remember to complete everything in the APA format.
  11. Contact the graduate school about any questions.

  12. You may want to take your thesis to the Academic Support staff for help BEFORE submitting to Dr. Aitken.

Comprehensive Exams due.

TERM 2 SCHEDULE

WEEKLY REQUIREMENTS

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

THESIS DEADLINES

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

CRUCIAL DEADLINE
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

CRUCIAL DEADLINE Week 5

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 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 21-22

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools. Park University 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 26

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Copyright:

This material is protected by copyright and cannot be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:10/3/2012 7:55:42 PM