The Senior Thesis - California State University, Northridge

The Senior Thesis - California State University, Northridge

The Senior Thesis: Systems for Survival or The Senior Thesis: It seemed like a good idea at the time Gina Sampson BA(Hons), MA, BEd

The Writing Centre Immaculata Hall 867-5221 http://people.stfx.ca/gsampson What brings you here? What is the one thesis survival question you need answered?

The Graduate/Masters Thesis presents challenges on many levels Intellectual Creative Personal Organizational

"We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us - the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path " Joseph Campbell

Whos here to help? Your supervisor Your peers The Library The Writing Centre The Counseling Centre How your supervisor will help you

Your first and most important support for dealing with all challenges. Some will be very hands on. Some will let you lead. How the library staff can help you

Book an appointment for an individual consultation to plan your research approach. Ask for support using RefWorks. Use Novanet Interlibrary loan. Consult Undergraduate Thesis Collection http://libmain.stfx.ca/newlib/collections/ How the Writing Centre can help you

Create a time management plan. Discuss your ideas. Review and strengthen your writing. Review documenting.

Meeting the Organizational Challenge Organizing your time Organizing your search Organizing your findings Organizing your writing A thesis requires multiple organizational plans.

You need to allow yourself time to create these plans. Can you explain the systems you already use? Time management system Research strategy Strategy for organizing your references Strategy for organizing information

Strategy to guide your writing Plan for revisions and editing The Time Management Strategy TM strategies

Big tasks become manageable when broken into small tasks. Schedule fixed dates first. Plan backwards. Block off thesis time.

Dont wait for feedback to move on. Allow adequate time for revision. Ask you supervisor for input into your TM plan. Sample TM Plan Term 1 Summer Read something -- Get ideas

September Learn RefWorks Create TM plan with supervisor Create research plan with Librarian Create bibliography October Oct 1 Title, outline, bibliography to supervisor

Thesis Fridays/Saturdays November Nov 15 Detailed outline due Thesis Fridays/Saturdays Sample TM Plan Term 2 December Nov 28-Dec 5 Rough Draft Chapter 1 January

Jan 2- Jan 8 Rough Draft Chapter 2 Jan 12 -Jan 16 Rough Draft Chapter 3 February Feb 8- 15 Draft Chapter 4 Feb 15 Complete rough draft to supervisor Feb 22- March 3 -- corrections

March March 5 Final draft to supervisor March 15-30 Final corrections March 31 Thesis Due! Time Management Tools Not all planners are created equal. Use a combination of long term and short term planners.

Daily Plan To Do Lists Post-it Notes Weekly Planner Monthly Planner Four Month Calendar

On line Time Management Tools Rainlendar Customizable Calendar http://vapaa.dc.inet.fi/~rainy/Rainlendar.html Countdown Events

http://www.contactplus.com/products/freestuff/count .htm Online Post-it Software Note http://www.3m.com/market/office/postit/com_prod/ psnotes/

Microsoft Outlook The Research Strategy Research strategy

Work with your supervisor to create a research plan. The library can help as well. This strategy will produce a complete examination of past and/or current academic discussion on the topic. Search within an academic discourse Web of Science

http://libmain.stfx.ca/newlib/ Google Scholar www.scholar.google.com More about research

Research is an organic process new directions grow out of findings. Look from broad to specific. Go back and forth between outlining, writing and research. Consider this when planning your time. The Organizational Strategy

It is crucial to develop a system for recording, integrating, and organizing research findings. Why? What systems have worked for you? How the note card system works

Each card contains only one idea plus bibliographic information. Add a category heading to each card. Add some critical or analytical reflection to each card.

Cards are easily shuffled to outline paper. Source Category Your quotation or paraphrase one idea per card

Bottom or back of card Your reflection, questions, etc. Advantages of using a note card system for note taking

Easily integrate information from multiple sources Ideas do not get lost or forgotten

Facilitates critical thinking Facilitates paraphrasing Easy to maintain organization Highly visual and kinesthetic Not technology dependent portable Possible Disadvantges

All that writing? Transporting? Try using PowerPoint instead Gives you the flexibility of note cards in an electronic format

You can even print the slides ( in handout format) and cut them to give you the advantages of note cards. Sample Note Card Note taking using PowerPoint Jacobs 2003 DQ High ability/learning disabled (LD) students

perceive themselves as deficient more frequently in academic areas, which most likely increases their motivation to avoid school tasks. Para Gifted/LD students are critical of their own performance and this can lead to underachievement

self esteem Compare Burns 1997 for suggestions about classroom strategies to deal with this. Is it possible that LD & G students have lower self

esteem than LD students in general? Organizing Bibliographic Material What is RefWorks RefWorks is web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to: Organize your research

Include citations while you write your paper Build a bibliography in a variety of formats Import references from many data sources Create bibliographies in different document formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.) http://libmain.stfx.ca/newlib/ Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.

- H.H. Williams Additional Resources University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/honors.html Simon Fraser University MS Word and the Thesis

http://www.lib.sfu.ca/researchhelp/writing/thesesform atting/WorkshopPlan051.pdf PurdueUniversity http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/dec/essay.dissertation. html

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