Presentation on theme: "Surviving the Thesis PS4019/4507: Youve read the book, youve seen the movie, now… experience the real thing."— Presentation transcript:
Surviving the Thesis PS4019/4507: Youve read the book, youve seen the movie, now… experience the real thing
How is it assessed? How and when do I start the process? Searching for Literature How should I begin writing-up? When should I finish? The Finished Product What is APA format ? The Poster Session I sleep, drink, eat my thesis
How is it assessed? Poster Presentation = 5% (Date in Elphinstone Hall usually mid-February) Thesis = 95% Double-marked by two people (your supervisor and one othernot nominated by him or her!) Submission Date: Friday April 30th 2009 for Single Honours Students and Friday 7 th of May 2009 for Joint Honours Students No extensions Penalty of 3 CAS marks for late submission and 1 CAS for each additional day.
Assessment When assigning a mark, supervisors will mark the written thesis on its merit however they will reflect upon the following: The Idea Theoretical Content Experimental Design Data Analysis and Interpretation - Discussion
Assessment Supervisors will also reflect upon: Recruitment Testing materials Length of testing Ability to manage workload Ability to plan work
Assessment Criteria (Thesis Handbook): Literature Review 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good How relevant? Critically appraised? Effectively linked to project? Hypotheses Stated
Assessment Methodology 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good Appropriate? Justified? How well reported? Allow for replication?
Assessment Results 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good How clearly presented? Appropriate Statistical Analysis? Analyses conducted properly? Analyses reported properly?
Assessment Discussion 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good Adequate summary of findings? Results interpreted properly? Proper discussion of implications? Aware of limitations of the study?
Assessment References 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good All references cited? Citations presented properly?
Assessment Overall 1 = very low/poor; 5 = very high/very good Clearly written? Presentation? Coherence? Adds to existing findings? Comments
Assessment University Common Assessment Scale 20, 19, 18 = 1 st Class 17, 16, 15 = Upper Second Class 12, 13, 14 = Lower Second Class 9, 10, 11 = Third Class 8 or Below = Fail Thesis = 2 Units of Assessment
How & When do I start the process? l Yesterday l Meet your supervisor ASAP l Negotiate l How much direction do you want? l How much direction does he or she want to give you? l Read specific research studies
Starting the process l Open a file (and keep a backup). Keep brief notes on the studies you read. What did the authors do, find, and conclude? Is this study relevant to your project – in what way? Keep and update notes on the thesis, record points that you want to make, literature that you wish to include, etc. l Building Blocks for the literature review and Introduction
Searching for Literature l Electronic databases (e.g. PubMed, MetaLib, Google Scholar) l Each record has journal, authors, author addresses, abstracts, abbrev. ref lists l Interlibrary loan – ask supervisor l Contact the authors and ask for a reprint? l Find an authors homepage and download l Where possible, avoid secondary sources, use books carefully, include primary sources.
How should I begin writing-up? l Variation amongst supervisors - some will request a literature review before testing l Method section first? Good for morale. l Results Section l Return to literature Review or Notes collected during the early stages of the process l Discussion l Abstract l References
When should I finish? l Data collection: Every project is different – Poster Session – February l Supervisor should comment on only one draft- -section by section or the complete work – but not on the discussion. l You can discuss your discussion with your supervisor!
When should I finish? l Not against the rules to ask friends for comments on clarity etc. (but do NOT plagiarise) l Do not underestimate the time needed for Tables of Contents, Checking References, Formatting, Acknowledgements, Appendices, Packaging
The Finished Product l See Marking Criteria l Look at Thesis Guidelines Handbook l Losing and Gaining Altitude l Guiding the reader – subheadings and linking sentences
The Finished Product Maximum length=9000 words (Joint Research Project: 5000) Other student theses on a similar topic? Dont be too ambitious!
The Finished Product l What about the different sections of the thesis – how long? l Look at your Method and Results Sections – are these written as clearly and as succinctly as possible? l Introduction and Discussion l References do not count in the word count l As your supervisor
What is APA format? l A very specific set of rules regarding headings, section names, style and references l Any APA journal in our library l The publication manual (a copy to look at in the office and copies in heavy demand) l Look at the sample paper! Copy the style
The Poster Session l Middle of February l Follow Guidelines in Thesis Handbook. l Six sheets of A4. Big Font. Simple and easy for colleagues to read and understand the gist of your thesis l Use Figures--learn how to import them into word from Excel or SPSS. l Concise and precise – difficult. Essential details only.
I sleep, drink, eat my thesis l It is a big piece of work=2 units l Generally speaking, prepared work grades are better than examinations… l It doesnt have to cure any major diseases l It doesnt have to break new ground in contemporary psychology l Aim for adequacy! Then exceed your aim