Pursuing Masterís Theses, Graduate Projects or Papers
Listed below are some of my general expectations, requirements, and recommendations for graduate students interested in pursuing masterís theses, projects or papers under my supervision. These are not meant to override departmental, college and university requirements and university requirements will always supersede the requirements mentioned in this document. Please feel free to contact me if you need any additional information or clarifications.
- Prerequisites: Before starting on your thesis, project or paper, make sure you have completed your deficiency courses, if any, and have completed at least one semester of full course work in the department. You must be in good academic standing and must not be on probation. It is preferable (but not necessary) that you have taken at least one course from me so that you are familiar with my report writing expectations.
- Topics: Contact me if you are interested in pursuing theses, graduate projects or papers in information systems, project management, optimization, simulation, environmental management systems and related topics. For other topics, please contact faculty specializing in those.
- Proposal: After choosing a topic and deciding on a problem for your thesis or graduate project, you will have to prepare and submit a formal proposal and get it approved before proceeding with your work. I will provide you with a sample proposal for a thesis or project. For a masterís paper, a formal proposal is not needed, but you will have to finalize the topic and get it approved, before pursuing with the topic.
- Literature Search: When conducting literature search, write down the bibliographic details of the source and the date it was located or accessed. Whenever possible, print a copy of the source or at least its cover page with the bibliographic details.
- Academic Integrity: Information obtained from other sources should be cited properly in your work. If the information is used directly, it should be included within quotes and cited appropriately. If the information is paraphrased, it should still be cited properly.
- Citation styles: You must be familiar with APA citation style for citing sources in your work. You can find more information about the APA citation style online or in manuals of style. There are also citation generators online which will output a citation in APA format for the given bibliographic details.
- Writing Requirements: Writing a good report is not a simple task and it may take several drafts to prepare a decent report or paper. You should be prepared to seek the assistance of the Writing Tutor provided by the college or the writing staff available at NIUís Writing Center. Check the Graduate School's website for thesis requirements.
- Sponsored Projects: Students working on sponsored projects with internal or external funding may have to fulfill additional requirements imposed by the sponsors.
- Duration: Completing a graduate thesis may usually take at least two semesters and a graduate project may take at least one semester. You should be prepared to devote the time necessary to fulfill the requirements and expectations of your thesis, project or paper and meet regularly with me and update me on the status of your work.
- Changing Advisor: After you have started on a thesis, project or paper with a faculty and would like to switch to another faculty, you must inform both faculty in a timely manner about your desire to change advisors. This is especially critical if your work is being funded by a sponsored project.
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