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The Honors Thesis Proposal Checklist for Revision © The Learning Center @ Rod Library 2018
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Consider Audience Expectations Consider both expert & non-expert readers. Both expect �An explicit purpose expressed early �All customary sections in customary order �Analytical emphasis , not source summary & quotation �Integration of analysis and source support �Smooth connections built into content and organization �Translations for highly specialized words and concepts
�Imagine yourself in a dialogue with your readers Where will they have questions? Disagree? Feel confused? Feel impatient? Feel dissatisfied by the amount of detail?
Use Conventional Thesis Structure I. Introduction II. Problem or Creative Challenge III. Purpose (states how you will answer I your major question) IV. Hypothesis (quantitative studies only) V. Literature Review VI. Research Methods/ Description of Creative Process VII. Definitions VIII. Significance IX. Findings or Performance Critique � Proposal/Recommendations XI. Expanded Discussion of Significance XII. Summary/Closure End of Proposal
Exceptions to Conventional Structure �Historiographies �Econometric analyses �Literary analysis �Others? �All of these special formats still attend to problem, purpose, and significance!
Move from Interesting Topic to Focused Research Question �To avoid studies that are too broadly-conceived to be meaningful �To avoid studies that aren’t feasible to conduct in the timeframe/with the resources you have �To avoid studies that appear to lack significance �To ground your project in an observation of a problem
Work with a Plan and a Timeline
Sample Planning Outline � 1. Research Questions A) Are sinkholes of concern to groundwater quality in the Waverly Quadrangle? B) To answer this question, more fundamental issues must be addressed first: � Where are the sinkholes in the Waverly Quadrangle? � What are the relationships between superficial geology composition, bedrock, and hydraulic gradient with the formation of sinkholes? � What are the land use practices in the areas surrounding the sinkholes? C) In attempt to address these issues, this thesis will analyze the characteristics of sinkholes to better understand what factors lead to their development in the Waverly Quadrangle. To do this, four sinkhole sites have been chosen to have soil samples taken for use in particle size analysis. In addition, analyses of various spatial and geological characteristics will be done using geographic information system (GIS) tools. � 2. Research Statement A) The findings of this study will describe and discuss: � The particle size analysis results from the four sampled sinkholes � The spatial distribution of sinkholes in the Waverly Quadrangle
Describe the Problem Where is it found? Who is affected? What are its primary symptoms? For performances, what is the primary artistic challenge? Consider real life as well as describing gaps in the existing literature. Use the problem statement to convince your readers why the project deserves your attention and theirs.
Types of Problems �Action problems What is wrong? What is failing? What is unknown? �Conceptual problems �Conflicts in values or beliefs
State Purpose Clearly/Directly �Expresses how you will attempt to solve some part of the problem and suggests the method you’ll use to do it. �States what you will do/where/how/, involving what population, audience, location, or body of literature.
PURPOSE STATEMENT EXAMPLES �EXAMPLE 1 With a variety of differing opinions about the best course of action with regards to clinical approaches (Kraemer, Noda, and O'Hara, 2002; Millon, 1991), the question needs to be asked to determine what best suits professionals working in the field. �EXAMPLE 2 This thesis will provide an analysis of some aspects of gravitational microlensing and the quantitative descriptions used to model the astrophysical systems involved. The relationships between the equations used to model events and the light curves produced will be investigated. �EXAMPLE 2 In Context of Problem Some objects appear close together in the sky but do not interact with one another, such as when they are in a similar location but one is much farther from the Earth than the other. Multiple images formed in strong gravitational lensing may be mistaken for unrelated objects, or the reverse.
Concisely Summarize your Methods or Theoretical Framework Classify your General Approach: Quantitative: measurement, experiment, quasiexperiment, etc. Qualitative examples: Case study, ethnography, interview, historiography, literary analysis, philosophy, performance A Resource to Help You Describe What Your Approach Is: �John W. Creswell, 2008, 3 rd ed. —Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage Publications, Inc. $43/Amazon. com 2 nd ed. , 2003: UNI Stacks H 62. C 6963 2003
Summarize the Problem or Major Question & Purpose Statement in the Introduction First 2 -3 paragraphs Sets the Scene Gives Context (demonstrates your preliminary review of relevant literature) Establishes Central Problem, Creative Challenge, or Question STATES PURPOSE IN FUTURE TENSE
Craft a Partial Literature Review Worth Reading Keep control of your sources! �Avoid total domination by citation & summary or extreme quotation �Avoid total domination by your own agenda/opinion �Avoid “piling on: ” information without integration (connection, transition, integration into larger purpose)
�Use specific/concise headings (use your planning outline as a guide) �Use topic sentences to begin paragraphs, not citations �Build effective transitions that blend source summary, analysis, quotation
LITERATURE REVIEW EXAMPLE 1: WHAT’S THE POINT? Chapter 2: Review of Literature Epidemiology Dallam (1997) reported that 750 per 100, 000 people in the general population self-injure, which is similar to Favazza’s (2002) estimate of 1, 000 per 100, 000. ------[more source statistics cited]----The numbers vary because self-injury is under-reported, often misdiagnosed, and difficult to define (Scripps, 2010).
LITERATURE REVIEW EXAMPLE 2: WHAT’S THE POINT? Teenage Parenthood and Romantic Relationships Introduction------------------ Divorce is common among teen mothers who choose marriage. Long-term follow-up of women who give birth as adolescents suggests that their marriages are unlikely to be successful (Furstenberg, Brooks-Gunn, & Morgan, 1987). Seventeen years after giving birth as teens, 80% of mothers had been married at some point; however, only one-third were currently married. Two thirds of first marriages (not necessarily to the father) had failed. Cooley and Unger’s research (1991) indicated that teen mothers who do marry are frequently divorced with a five-year time frame. This research suggest that the likelihood of divorce is higher among former teen mothers than among women who were not teen mothers. This is not to say that teen mothers’ romantic relationships with the fathers of their children are always short-lived. It has been suggested that 89% of teen mothers remain with the father one year after birth, and two thirds indicated they are with the same partner after two years (Toledo-Dreves, Zabin, & Emerson, 1995). Yet, other research reports that their relationships are less enduring. Larson and colleagues (1996) found that 60% of teen mothers were with the father of their child one month after birth, but this percentage dropped to 37. 6% at 18 months. A study of African-American urban adolescent parent couples indicated that only 8% had married 18 months after the birth of the child (Rivara, Sweeney, & Henderson, 1986 ). In fact, onethird of these fathers were having sexual relations with another woman during pregnancy.
The Proposal is a. Plan. It will NOT include �An exhaustive literature review (unless required by your faculty adviser) See http: //writing. wisc. edu/Handbook/Reviewof. Literature. ht ml for help �Research findings �Discussion of results or analysis �Discussion of limitations (problems that arose, generalizations you can’t make) �The full creative project It CAN include a description of possible approaches if final decisions haven’t been made.
Offer Closure While Looking Ahead to the Full Study �Suggest the possible significance of doing this research or performance (how is it important? To whom? ) �Summarize the timeline and process for completing the research
Explaining Significance: Why your Research Matters �To your field of study or performance �To practical reality �To you (some areas permit more personal reflection/application) �Make your argument clear and convincing for all of your major audiences, not just specialists
Control your Document at the Sentence Level Expect to revise & proofread multiple times on your own and according to feedback you receive from readers, for �Consistency and accuracy with quotation, citation, and formatting style �Tight, clear sentences not laden with fat or jargon �Precise word choice �Appropriate level of formality (see “Common Problems”) �Grammatical sentences �Accurate punctuation , word use, spelling, capitalization, numerical style, etc.
Review Citation Style for Completeness, Accuracy, & Consistency �Proofread in-text citations, References or Works Cited list, title page, and anything else with specific formatting guidelines �Style reviews require great attention to detail! �Use your Manual! APA (6 th ed. ), MLA (8 th ed. ), Chicago (16 th ed. ), others Variations include date/no date, presentation of author names, order of information, capitalization, etc.
KNOW YOUR STYLE: They’re not all the same! APA/MLA In-Text Citation Basics APA: Author-Date System As Turgen (2007) explained, . . . *Cite page number for direct quotes only. *Use past tense when discussing source material. MLA: Author-Page System As Turgen explains, “. . ” (255). Some authors argue that Web-based marketing strategies target teenagers in unethical ways (Turgen 255 ). *Cite page number for all source material. *Use present tense when discussing source material.
Draft, Revise, Edit, Proofread, Repeat • Do them all, as many times as necessary, for Quality Control.