page last updated 5/19/18   clarification of grading rubric for final paper


► ► ►    the   R e s e a r c h    T h e s i s (P a p e r)




     First-Submitted-Draft : Due dates: Written Component { HARD COPY} = 4/25/18 - 3:30 class [additional options negotiable]_

                                                                                                 Oral Component    =  _4/30-through- 5/7 [as listed on course calendar]___


      FINAL Draft :  Due date:  Written Component = _no later than exam date {Tues 5/15/18 @  10:10-12:10}  /  earlier submission also encouraged  



      Written & Oral Components : Overview

You will be Investigating (i.e. conducting original research), composing and presenting a _15-20 pp. (minimum) scholarly paper

 {supported by approximately 15 academic sources}.  The page count does not include the title page {even though, technically, it is page 1}. Remember, writing is not a finite event; it's a PROCESS.


At the end of the semester, you will be reporting on your findings in an oral presentation in which you summarize how you conducted your study and your findings and the implications for future research.





►►►Rationale - Similar to a journal article, this thesis paper primarily summarizes (1) your semester's investigative focus, (2) the procedures you used to carry it out  & (3) the findings that resulted from your research.  It is also a demonstration of "everything" that you have learned as a college student and as a Communication major in terms of synthesizing material and presenting it in an organized , professional, yet audience-centered format & manner.   ADVICE ADDED 3/15/18: You are aiming for a research thesis, not a term paper.  It may seem counter intuitive to what you have done in many of your past courses,  but, a single investigative study is usually more valid if it increases its data collection on a focused area rather than trying to examine all (or many) of the relevant factors within the topic.




    This paper should contain the  standard parts of a scholarly "research" report (see pp. 15- 17         {Frey =  pp. 66- 69 & also Chap 15 [381-396]  } 


    Be sure that you have used correct APA format throughout the paper [especially for formatting, section headings & for citation technique] as well as in the Bibliography/Works Cited section.   Papers with substantial APA errors will not pass. 


    Although you will need a title page and page numbers, since this submission is not going to an external publisher,  it is not necessary to include a "Running Head" on each page-- although you can if you want to.


    The paper should be typed/printed, double spaced and use a standard font/margins  (e.g.   Times New Roman , 12 pt.).

     NB: Remember,  the Literature Review/annotated bibliography  that you did early in the semester is NOT the same format as the Literature Review that goes into the part II of your paper. Refer to other scholarly journal articles as your model for how to write the final, narrative review-of-the-extant-literature.


     NB: You certainly are aware of the implications of academic integrity and of the need to cite sources WITHIN the body of your Thesis paper.  Be sure to reference the source of any material you may be quoting or any proprietary concept you may be using.  For a paper of this type, it is  also important to beware of "incremental plagiarism."

click for "Summary: Departmental 'Senior Seminar Grading Criteria'"




►►►Suggested Procedures - Refer to the Frey, et al Chapters  3 & 15  - especially pp. 66- 69 &  Chap 15 [381-396]   to be posted in eReserves - also accessible via Blackboard ]





►►►Presentation guidelines & timing

 In addition to submitting a written thesis/paper to the Professor, each individual will receive   10  minutes [S18]{orig = 10-15}   to present his/her findings to the class.  Presentation content areas should include these 6 items: [ use explicit MAIN TOPIC HEADINGS in your oral structure to denote each of these 6 sections of your presentation]

           1- An explanation of where your current project falls within the larger Body of Knowledge.


           2- The details of and the rationale underlying your (i.e.  the researcher's) choices of method &

              measurement and how closely the actual research investigation  corresponded to the

               original plan -including the rationale for any changes made, as applicable ).


           3- A specific, but succinct, summary of how the research was carried out. [ e.g. where, with whom, 

                        how, instruments used, coding used, what  aspects of what underlying theories ]


           4- A discussion of what (if any) special investigative "challenges" and or limitations were encountered

                & whether or  they affected the study's outcomes. 


         5- Your specific "findings" = a summary of what your research revealed . [e.g. was your hypothesis

                       proved/disproved /or/  what is the evident answer to your research question. ]


         6- Your "Conclusions" = an analysis of the significance & or implications of your findings [e.g.  insights into communication and/or

                        communication behaviors / possible directions for future research in Communication fields, /  suggestions for  changes in policies & procedures] 



*All presentations should make use of effective Oral Presentation technique [as you learned in COST1600]. This means you should be focused, prepared, audience-centered,  rehearsed , professional & extemporaneous


*If you want to use any visual aids besides a computer projector or a VHS/DVD-TV, be sure to let me know ASAP. Also, computer "dongles" & projection capabilities  have been available most of this semester, but it's always a good idea to have an alternate plan ready, just-in-case.


* Presentation dates/slots can be requested in advance. Slots will be finalized in class no later than 4/25/18.



  ►►►Grading Considerations & Rubrics added 5/19/18

- The First-Submitted-Draft will receive written feedback and a "HYPOGRADE" a hypothetical, nonbinding indication of the grade that would be given to this submission.


- The FINAL draft, will be graded according how closely it satisfies these criteria ( NB: #1 is a Mandatory factor and a Final Thesis Paper CANNOT pass without meeting that requirement.) A,B,C,D, grades will be assigned based on how made other criteria are met and at what level of quality.


__ ORIGINAL RESEARCH  - Student has carried out original research via an appropriate methodology.
__  METHODOLOGY - Student understands & has correctly utilized the methodology procedures with zero/minimal threats to validity)
__ WRITING CLARITY - Student has used clear (scholarly) writing skills
__ APA STYLE SHEET - Student has consistently adhered to APA formatting for all factors (layout, headers, citations, references, running head, etc.)
__ CORRECTIONS - Student has applied changes recommended by Professor & Peers




acknowledgement:   Dr. Nyberg