What are the steps in Thesis Writing

the dissertation process a step by step mentored guide and how to make a thesis steps and how to write a thesis statement steps research thesis steps thesis making steps
Dr.JohnParker Profile Pic
Dr.JohnParker,Singapore,Researcher
Published Date:02-07-2017
Your Website URL(Optional)
Comment
Thesis/Dissertation Process: From Proposal to Defense. The Graduate School University of Rhode Island Revised: 11/03/15 INTRODUCTION This is a description of the steps required by the URI Graduate School for the preparation and approval of a thesis or dissertation. The entire process is covered, from the thesis proposal to the defense and publication of the thesis. The appendices contain online resources, as well as sample pages and forms. If you have any other questions, please contact the Graduate School’s main office at 874-2262. For convenience, the document will focus on the thesis format, except when special conditions applying to a dissertation are described. THESIS PROPOSAL PURPOSE A thesis proposal states a problem to be investigated and describes how the research will be performed and reported. An approved thesis proposal, documents an agreement between the student, the academic department, and the graduate school regarding the contents of a satisfactory thesis or dissertation. Approval signifies that it meets the standards of the University of Rhode Island for the desired degree. The preparation and writing of the thesis are of utmost importance and must comply with the agreed-upon research. Although the student is expected to seek guidance in the choice of topic and the method of solving the problem involved, responsibility for the proposal lies with the student who will, as much as possible, work independently and demonstrate the ability to plan and outline an acceptable research project. Adherence to the guidelines given here should assure the student that all information necessary for the satisfactory evaluation of the plans for master's or doctoral research will be included in the proposal. FORMAT The thesis proposal should present the required information concisely and clearly. The ability to describe concisely a research problem and methodology is one of the skills that the proposal process is designed to develop. Therefore, all thesis proposals are limited in length to the signature cover-sheet plus 15 or fewer double-spaced, single-sided, numbered pages in a font size no smaller than 12 point. Proposals longer than this will not be accepted, however, appendices and references are not included in the 15-page limit, and must be numbered separately, using lower-case Roman numerals. Proposals will also be returned for revision if they do not contain the appropriate sections described in the Contents section of this document. 3 CONTENTS Thesis Proposals shall contain the following sections, presented in the order shown: A. Title of the Study This is the title as the student conceives it at the time the proposal is submitted. It should be no more than 100 characters in length. This title must match exactly the title on the thesis proposal approval form. As the research develops, minor rephrasings of the title may prove better suited to the work. In such cases, the most satisfactory one will be used for the thesis, but in no case will a title that deviates substantially from the one approved in the original proposal be approved unless a revised proposal with the new title has already been approved. Any title used must be consistent with the contents and subject of the thesis. At that time a short title of 40 characters or less must be submitted. B. Statement of the Problem Limit the statement, if possible, to two or three sentences, and note in precise language exactly what is to be investigated. To amplify the statement, it is usually desirable to list: • The scope or limitations of the problem; • Either one or more hypotheses the research seeks to test or the objectives expected as a result of the study. Major assumptions that underlie both the study as a whole and the methodology to be followed should be indicated. C. Justification for and Significance of the Study This section of the proposal includes: • A brief statement of the reason for the selection of the problem; • The relation of the principal literature to the proposal; • An explanation of the study’s importance to the advancement of knowledge and its significance to the student. The problem selected should be substantial enough to constitute a good example of a report of a scholarly investigation. Completion of a project or several unrelated projects does not satisfy this requirement. At the PhD level the work should constitute a significant increase in the pool of knowledge. D. Methodology or Procedures This section describes the activities necessary to achieve the objectives. Methods should flow naturally from the problems and objectives, should include: • A research design; • General characteristics of the study population; • Location or setting in which the study will take place, calendar events in carrying out the study; • Sampling design and procedures • Data collection schedule • Brief description of instruments and tools for collecting data (validity, reliability, and pre-testing of the data collecting instruments) • Definition of the most important terms and concepts • Data processing procedures and procedures of data analysis as appropriate E. Resources Required The last part of the thesis proposal is a statement of the resources needed for the successful completion of the study and an indication of their accessibility to the student proposing to use them. Books, letters, manuscripts, raw data, technical reports, laboratory equipment, and existing and proposed measuring 4 devices, as well as other facilities, are all possible aids to and resources for research and should be included as they pertain to the solution of the problem under investigation. F. Literature Cited in the Proposal The most persistent difficulty with thesis proposals is lack of evidence that a search of the literature took place in framing the problem to be studied. The absence of evidence that the scholarly literature in the field has been consulted might be due to one or more of the following reasons: 1. That it was omitted because the student was not aware that it was required; 2. That the student was unfamiliar with the library as a resource in developing the research proposal; 3. That, having searched the literature of the field, the student found that the problem was unique, and therefore, could not be documented. If so, it is important to note where the literature stops and the proposed research starts, itself an intriguing scholarly problem. 4. That the thesis problem has been provided “ready-made” as a spin-off from a larger study, so that no literature search appeared to be needed. One might question the wisdom of thus isolating the student from the scholarly literature, however valid and important the research topic. RESEARCH INTEGRITY To ensure all requirements for compliant and ethical research are adhered to, training and other requirements listed on http://web.uri.edu/researchecondev/office-of-research-integrity/ should be observed. • Graduate students that matriculate in 2014 or after and are in majors with a research thesis or dissertation are required to complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) education. • Research Involving Human Subjects, including the use of questionnaires to collect data, must be pre- approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to insure it meets University and Federal guidelines. • Research Involving Vertebrate Animals must be reviewed and pre-approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). These approvals (RCR, IRB, IACUC) must be obtained during the thesis proposal process, and must be obtained prior to submission to the Graduate School. SUBMISSION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL Thesis proposals should be submitted before substantial research has been completed. Typically, it should be submitted before or during the first semester in which the student registers for research credits. In all cases, however, the proposal must be submitted at least one semester before the semester in which the thesis itself is to be submitted and defended. The thesis proposal approval form (found on the Graduate School website) must be signed by the members of the student’s thesis or doctoral committee, who thereby approve the proposal for forwarding to the department chairperson or graduate program director to the Graduate School. This approval form should be signed and submitted electronically as specified in the instructions on the form. However, hard copies of the proposal are not 5 being accepted electronically at this time. The Graduate School requires that three hard copies of the proposal be submitted. The proposal is not considered successfully submitted until the Graduate School receives these paper copies. The Dean or Associate Dean of the Graduate School is charged with responsibility for review and approval or rejection of all proposals. Proposals that do not meet the standard of the Graduate School will be returned to the student for revision and resubmission. Once approved, one copy of the approved proposal is sent to the department and the original plus one copy is retained in the student’s file at the Graduate School. The student is notified via e-mail once their proposal is approved. REVISED PROPOSALS If, as the research proceeds, a significant change in subject or methodology becomes necessary, a revised proposal should be submitted. Sometimes an abbreviated format can be used for such changes. The student or major professor should contact the Graduate School for assistance in such cases. SET-UP OF THE DEFENSE To set up the defense, the request to schedule an oral defense form (found on the Graduate School website) must be signed by the entire oral defense committee. This form should be signed and submitted to the Graduate School electronically as specified on the form. However, the hard defense copy cannot be submitted electronically at this time. Please print this form and bring it to the Graduate School along with 1) A yellow binding receipt signed by Enrollment Services and, 2) The number of unbound copies of the thesis necessary for the chair of your defense committee, and any other members of the defense committee who have requested a paper copy of your thesis. Each copy must be in a separate manila envelope with a copy of the full title page taped to the front. (At least one paper copy is required). The student is responsible for asking each member of the defense committee if they would like a hard copy or an electronic copy of the thesis (or both). The electronic defense copy must be the same as the paper defense copy and the student is responsible for e-mailing the electronic copy to the appropriate committee members. The set- up is considered successfully submitted on the date that we receive all the required items; sufficient number of paper defense copies, the yellow binding receipt and the fully signed request to schedule an oral defense form. PREPARATION OF THESIS ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION Beginning with the Spring semester, 2011, all theses and dissertations will be submitted online. The uploaded documents must be in pdf format, with fonts attached to the file. This way, the document will be unambiguously represented by the uploaded file. The submission process is initiated on the web page 6 http://www.etdadmin.com/uri. The electronic and hard copies will be identical, except for the Approval Pages. The difference will be described in the section “Order of Elements”, under the heading “Approval Page”. Standard and Manuscript Format The thesis may be in either of two general formats: Standard or Manuscript. STANDARD FORMAT If a thesis is not being prepared for publication in a specific journal, then the standard format should be used. The work will contain a single theme which may be organized into chapters and which must include a bibliography at the end that includes all the literature consulted in the work. The use of appendices is discouraged in the standard format except when it is necessary to explain essential elements in the main body of the thesis or dissertation. Examples would be: The student would provide equations in the main body, but place a lengthy digital computer program in an appendix. The student might describe an instrument's use in the main body but place manufacturer's drawings and specifications of the instrument in an appendix. The student may give the primary tabulated results in the main body, but relegate extensive tables of raw preliminary data to an appendix. Appendices appear at the end of the text, before the Bibliography. A Bibliography must also be provided which contains ALL the literature used for the entire work. The Bibliography must have complete citations to all works used; no abbreviations are allowed. MANUSCRIPT FORMAT Manuscript format should be used when a thesis is being prepared for publication, or if it is already under review or if it has been published. A thesis in manuscript format contains one or more themes which may be organized into chapters (or manuscripts) which when combined constitute the entire work. The use of chapter headings is preferred. The manuscript(s) should avoid extreme brevity and be understandable, even if this necessitates some condensing of the work afterward for submission to a scholarly journal. Although the information and material in a manuscript(s) may be identical to the material submitted to or published in a journal, the examining committee may require changes. A thesis 7 or dissertation using the Manuscript format often contains appropriate appendices needed for detailed and ancillary information required by the University, but not usually presented in a published paper. Each manuscript should be preceded by a page describing its publication status, co-authors, and the intended journal. Two examples are given Appendix 3. This page will be listed in the Table of Contents as the beginning of that manuscript. Each manuscript should also contain its own Abstract, Preface, and References, as they appear in the version already published, or to be submitted for publication. A Bibliography containing all the literature contributing to the entire work may be added at the end, but it is not required by the Graduate School. The recommended organization for the manuscript format is as follows: Title Page (Not numbered) Approval Page (Counted but not numbered) Abstract (For the entire thesis or dissertation, counted but not numbered) Acknowledgement Dedication (optional) Preface Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables Manuscript(s) Appendices (typical) A. Introduction and review of the problem B. Details of methods, instrumentation, techniques, etc. C. Speculative discussion D. Theoretical implications The Preface should alert the reader to the manuscript format and contain other introductory remarks. It must indicate the publication status of the chapters. The Abstract should summarize the entire thesis, including manuscript(s) and appendices. Each manuscript should contain its own List of References or Literature Cited section. Except for the text portion of a thesis written in the Manuscript form, the requirements and guidelines on thesis preparation as outlined in the Graduate School website shall govern. The student and their major professor decide which of the two formats should be used. The major professor also supervises the preparation of the thesis. Regardless of style and format all theses must be prepared in accordance with accepted standards of academic integrity, including proper citation and attribution of all material which is not the original product of the writer. 8 THESIS FORMAT Regardless of the format, a thesis must adhere to the following guidelines. PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS Font size Must be at least 10 point. We recommend 12 point. Typeface of an unusual or large format is not allowed. The only exception to this requirement is the use of special symbols required for scientific or mathematical expression, figures, graphs, and charts. One font size must be used throughout the thesis/dissertation including titles, and headings. Spacing The entire thesis is double-spaced. However, figure text, captions, long quotations, and footnotes may be single-spaced. Reference and bibliographic entries may also be single- spaced within each citation, but must be double-spaced between each entry. Sections/Chapters All major sections, such as chapters, acknowledgements, appendices, etc. , begin on a new page. Paper 8. 5 x 11" white acid-free, 20-pound (or 24-pound) paper. Unbound. Only one side of the paper may be used. Off-white or colored paper is not allowed. Margins At least 1½" on left and 1" on all other sides. Margins may be greater than these specifications. We recommend the left margin be 1.7 inches (this is due to possible shifting of text during printing or copying). The entire thesis must follow these specifications. Page Numbering Must be consecutive throughout. Do not number the title page, approval page or abstract page(s). Preliminary page counting (only) begins with the first "Abstract" page being counted as ii. Actual pagination numbering begins with the first page after the abstract. Text begins with "1" (Arabic numeral). All pages except title page, approval page, and abstract must be numbered. Additionally, all tables and figures must be numbered consecutively as they appear throughout the thesis. Placement of Page All preliminary page numbers are placed at the bottom of the page, centered, ½" from the Numbers bottom. Numbers within the text may be placed in one of two locations. Whichever location within the text is chosen, the location must remain consistent throughout the document. If numbered at the top, numbers must be at least ½" from the top of the page and at least 1" from the right hand edge. If numbered at the bottom, at least ½" from bottom of page and centered. No dashes are allowed around page numbers. Headings No running headings are allowed. ORDER OF ELEMENTS For a thesis in Standard Format, the elements must appear in the following order, and follow the indicated numbering scheme: 9 Preliminary material is numbered in lower case Roman numerals, starting with the Approval Page. However, the Approval Page and the Abstract do not have page numbers on them. The elements must appear in this order: 1. Blank Page 2. Title Page 3. Library Rights Statement (only in the “Original Copy”) 4. Approval Page 5. Abstract 6. Acknowledgements (optional) 7. Dedication (optional) 8. Preface (optional) 9. Table of Contents 10. List of Figures 11. List of Tables The main text is numbered in Arabic numerals starting with 1 on the first page of the text, and ending with the last page of the Bibliography. These elements must appear in this order: 1. Text 2. List of References (optional) 3. Appendices (optional) 4. Bibliography 5. Blank Page (not numbered) DESCRIPTION OF ELEMENTS Title The Title Page must conform to the Title Page sample included in Appendix 3. It must be double spaced. No bold face or italic fonts are allowed. It should follow the basic page layout and spacing as the sample. Approval Page The Approval Page must conform to the Approval Sample Pages included in Appendix 3. It must be double spaced. No bold face or italic fonts are allowed. It should follow the basic page layout and spacing as the sample. One acid-free page with the original signatures of the official committee, plus the Dean of the Graduate School, is required for each thesis (this is known as the "Original Copy"). Check with Graduate School to determine who is officially designated to sign the Approval page. The Dean signs the Approval Page after the thesis is taken to the Graduate School. No extra signatures are allowed. You will need to provide a line for each core committee member (usually each thesis has 3 core committee members, plus the Dean of the Graduate School). No white-out is allowed on the Approval Page. The three other copies may be photocopied from the "Original Copy," although Copy 1 must be on acid-free paper. The electronic and hard copies of this page will differ in that the hard copy will be signed by the committee members and the Dean of the Graduate School, while the electronic copy will have their typed names. 10 Note: The date on your Title Page and Approval Page must be the year of your official graduation. (Graduation year is the year in which your diploma is conferred.) Please be sure your Approval Page is executed properly Errors on this page have caused serious problems in the past, including failure to graduate on schedule. Abstract Immediately following the approval sheet, each copy of the thesis must contain an abstract which will contain a definite statement of the problem involved in the thesis, a description of the methods used in the development of the thesis, and a summary of the results of the findings reported in the thesis. Table of Contents Wording in the Table of Contents must be exactly the same as the chapter or text headings. Page numbers must be accurate. All items following the Approval Page must be included in the Table of Contents. Illustrative Material All graphs, figures, charts, diagrams, computer printouts, photographs, and illustrations must be clear and legible. Clear permanent color or black and white reproductions are acceptable. Photographs should be permanently attached to acid-free paper. Computer-generated illustrations are acceptable if they are clear. The illustrative pages must meet all margin requirements. All illustrations must be located on the right-hand side page of the thesis. Captions Captions for illustrative materials (figures, tables, charts, graphs, photographs, drawings, etc…), may be placed on the illustration page. Captions may also be placed on the page facing the illustration. If the caption for an illustration is placed on the page facing the illustration, the caption must be on the left-hand side page (the other side of the page will be blank). The page must be numbered consecutively following the format used throughout the text, centered (on the bottom) or in the upper right hand corner, according to the rules for the location of page numbers. The blank side is not numbered. Oversized Materials Oversize pages must be folded smaller than the regular 8½ X 11 sheet to avoid possible loss of data when bound. Fold in a minimum of ¾" from all outside margins. Lists of Tables and/or Figures Lists of Table and/or Figures (if used) follow the Table of Contents page. Page numbers (as they appear in the text) should be given for each table or figure. 11 List of References A List of References is not required by all disciplines, but if used appear at the end of each chapter. This "List" is confined to those works mentioned in the chapter or manuscript in order of their appearance. It is located at the end of each chapter or manuscript. Even if you use a "List of References" at the end of chapters or manuscripts, you MUST provide a complete Bibliography at the end of the thesis. Appendices Appendices are not required by all disciplines, but if used appear at the end of the thesis text, before the Bibliography. Appendices are numbered consecutively as part of the text and are listed in the Table of Contents. Bibliography Every thesis in Standard Format must contain a Bibliography which lists all the sources used or consulted in writing the entire thesis and is placed at the very end of the work. The complete citations are arranged alphabetically by last name of the author. Individual citations are not numbered. No abbreviations in titles of published works will be accepted. The full title of a book, journal, website, proceedings, or any other published work must be italicized or underlined. Citations must follow standards set by the style manual that the student is using. The bibliography for URI theses is not broken into categories. Web Page Citation If a thesis contains citations to a web site, following the author and title attribution, the entry must also include the complete URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the web site and the date the web site was accessed. SUMMARY OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS The following documents are required by the Graduate School for Master’s Theses: Two hard copies of the thesis They should be on acid-free paper. They will contain at least one Approval Page requiring only the Dean’s signature. You may submit more than 1 signed Approval Page. The Dean will sign all of them. You should specify the disposition of the extra ones. The two copies should be in plain manila envelopes with a “Short Title Page” taped securely to the front of each envelope. The Short Title Page contains your thesis’ short title (40 character strict maximum, including punctuation and spaces), with your name and your advisor’s name. The format of this page isn’t critical. The short title is used mostly for filing, but it should still be descriptive and “make sense”. In the past, the Graduate School forwarded two additional copies to the student’s academic department. The student should now forward these copies directly to their department without Graduate School involvement. Electronically submitted copy 12 A PDF version of the thesis or dissertation must be uploaded via the ProQuest web site http://www.etdadmin.com/uri, and be approved for upload by the URI administrator via that web site. The formatting process is iterative. The formatter will communicate with the student via email. If you wish to work on your thesis or dissertation up to the deadline, please be aware that you may have to communicate with the formatter online for a few days. Library Rights Statement Library Rights Statements are available in the dissertation and thesis templates. The final submission must include an original signed, dated, copy of the Library Rights Statement. Additional Documents for Dissertations Doctoral dissertations require the items described above, plus the following documents: Commencement Survey The commencement survey is available online (http://www.uri.edu/gsadmis/documents/commencementQuest.pdf), and must be completed to prepare for the commencement ceremony in May. It solicits information which will be printed in the commencement program. You must complete it whether you plan to attend the ceremony or not. Survey of Earned Doctorates The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is a federal agency survey conducted by NORC for the National Science Foundation and five other federal agencies (National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). We no longer accept paper versions of the Survey of Earned Doctorates. We feel that the student’s data security is improved this way. We will require you to complete the survey online at https://survey.norc.org/doctorate/showRegister.do. Access is password protected, so you may exit the survey and complete it later. After completing the survey online, you will have the option of printing a confirmation of completion. We ask that you provide this paper confirmation with the final copies of your dissertation. 13 APPENDIX 1: SAMPLE PAGES A sample of Title Pages, Approval Pages, and a Library Rights Statement follow. They can be found online at http://www.uri.edu/gsadmis/formatting.html. Note that slightly different wording will be used for dissertations and theses. Both versions appear online. Also, be sure your Approval Page has the appropriate number of lines. Pages that follow are: • Dissertation Title Page • Thesis Library Rights Statement (thesis – replace “thesis” for dissertation) • Thesis Approval Page (4 Signature Lines) • Dissertation Title Page, Joint URI/RIC Program in Education • Dissertation Approval Page, Joint URI/RIC Program in Education • Manuscript Introduction Pages (2 versions) • Checklist for Final Submissions 14 AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF THE VIBRATION, NOISE, AND DRAG OF A CYLINDER ROTATING IN WATER AND CERTAIN POLYMER SOLUTIONS BY JOHN CAMERON BRADY A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND APPLIED MECHANICS UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 2003 15 This form will only be used in the paper version, and not in the online version. It should be completed at the time of defense. Library Rights Statement I. Public Access to Your University of Rhode Island Thesis/Dissertation The University of Rhode Island requires all doctoral dissertations and master’s theses to be submitted in print form, as well as deposited electronically via ProQuest’s Dissertation Publishing service. After you submit to ProQuest, ProQuest delivers to the University Libraries of an electronic copy of each dissertation or thesis. The University Libraries will deposit this copy into DigitalCommonsURI, the University’s digital repository, making it openly available via the Internet. The Libraries will also catalog and make available printed copies of your work. If you do not wish your dissertation or thesis to be available immediately in DigitalCommonsURI because you are planning a patent application or formal publication, please choose one of the embargo (delayed release) options. Please indicate your preference for public access to your thesis/dissertation: __ immediate release __ 6 months __ 1 year __ 2 years Major Professor signature in acknowledgement of this decision: ________________________ Note that you will need to select this option electronically when you submit your document to ProQuest. A permanent embargo is not permitted; therefore, you are advised to omit from your work any information that must never be made public. II. Non-Exclusive Thesis/Dissertation Distribution License In presenting this thesis/dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Rhode Island, I agree that the University Libraries shall make it freely available for inspection. I hereby grant the University of Rhode Island an irrevocable, non-exclusive right to reproduce, display, and distribute my dissertation in electronic format, as well as the right to convert, migrate or reformat my dissertation, without alteration of the content, to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation and/or continued distribution. It is understood that any copying or publication of this thesis/dissertation for financial gains shall not be allowed without my written permission. I represent and warrant that my manuscript is my original work, does not infringe or violate the rights of others, and that I have the right to make the grant conferred by this non-exclusive agreement. Whenever possible, I have obtained permission of the copyright owner to grant to the University of Rhode Island the rights required by this Agreement. I represent that I have fulfilled any right of review or other obligation required by contract or agreement with any agency or organization that has sponsored or supported my research. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of my manuscript in future works I may create. Student signature: __________________________________ This form will only be used in the paper version, and not in the online version. It should be completed at the time of defense. MASTER OF YOUR DEGREE THESIS OF YOUR NAME APPROVED: Thesis Committee: Major Professor__________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND YOUR YEAR OF GRADUATION (e.g., 2007) (INSERT TITLE) By (INSERT AUTHOR’S NAME) A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND AND RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (INSERT YEAR) DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DISSERTATION OF (INSERT AUTHOR’S NAME) APPROVED: Dissertation Committee Major Professor ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ RIC: ________________________________________________ Dean, Feinstein School of Education – RIC URI: ________________________________________________ Dean, The Graduate School - URI