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
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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