Keith Fulton has been collecting tips from all the suggestions made in past thesis/project submissions.
To help students with the thesis submission process I am supplying the following guidelines to each student. Being on several (15 to 20) papers each semester makes it very difficult for me to keep track of the progress and feedback of each student.
Based on my needs and the feedback of students, I have developed these submission requirements. To help your committee keep track of your submission and to help you get timely feedback, please follow these requirements in the future:
1. Name your submission with your name and the version date, for example Fulton Thesis Version 10052010. This way we know we are all reviewing the same version. If you make any changes, update the version date.
2. When you supply us with a new version, please provide a summary of the changes.
3. Always put your name and the word thesis in your subject line (Fulton Thesis Update 06252010). This helps get it through the spam filter and helps me find it. If you do not get a response within three days, it is fine to send the message again or ask for confirmation that we received your submission or question. We receive papers every week and each committee member has their own method of prioritizing papers.
4. Any time you send a request or have questions, please attach the latest version (yes, every time). I often work on multiple computers and may not have access to the current file. Please include it with every message. Let me repeat that , if you send a follow up, just attach the latest version…every time.
5. If you have obtained IRB approval, please state that in your messages. If you do not know what IRB means, please study the thesis guide. This is required for any type of survey and it will save us asking you each time we read the paper. A simple "I have IRB approval" is fine. Note that if you do any kind of survey without IRB approval your paper will be rejected.
6. These things will help us to serve you better as we are each on multiple committees and it does get hectic. Please do not plan your work based on the University submission dates. We simply cannot handle the load the last four weeks and your paper may not be reviewed if we all cannot get to it. Please target a date well in advance of the University submission date. I suggest you target one month in advance to have your paper approved. Each semester some papers are returned as we could not get through the backlog in the last few weeks. In addition, sometimes we are on vacation or out of town and cannot review anything so please plan accordingly. For example, my wife's birthday is October 7 so we usually go on vacation the last week of September or early October.
7. I prefer that you submit one Word document as your submission. A Zip file can be a problem and PDF files do not allow me to provide you feedback in the document. I do have Word 2007 so that format is fine for me, but others may still have an older version of Word. Check with them before submitting papers for review.
8. When you revise your paper, please include a brief description of the changes. This will allow me to quickly review the changes and give you feedback without needing to read the entire paper.
9. Plagiarism – the basic guideline is that if you copy more than three consecutive words from another author’s work it must be quoted. Please search the CSUDH website and the Internet for Plagiarism and learn how to use the work of others, especially from the Internet. We will submit your paper to an outside service (www.turnitin.com) that will check for plagiarism. Your paper will not be accepted if there is a negative report.
10. Here is some great advice to prevent plagiarism, “Take notes on your reading, and then write your identification from your notes with your book closed!” This is from: http://www.csudh.edu/bdeluca/WritingGuidelines/StyleGuidelines/Plagiarism.Idents.htm Please read this information to save yourself the problems created when you directly copy other people’s work.
11. Before you submit a revision, please review each section in your paper against the thesis guide and APA Manual to make sure it meets the requirements. For example, you should know the maximum number of words in the Abstract and the content for the literature reviews. If it is a project, please make sure it can be a stand-alone document and is in Appendix A as described in the thesis guide chapter 3. If I find basic errors that you should have corrected based on the thesis guide, I will move your paper down the priority list. It is your responsibility to STUDY the thesis guide and the APA Manual so your committee does not have to correct these basic requirements. There is a checklist in the thesis guide that you should use before each submission.
12. Send everything from your CSUDH account and copy all three committee members on everything. My email is email@example.com.
13. Review the checklist in the thesis guide before each submission.
14. When mailing anything, please use the US Postal service and do not require a signature for delivery. This will provide the fastest turnaround for you.
15. If you are using multiple names in the CSUDH system, please make sure your committee is aware of the names and consistently use the same name in your communications with the committee.
16. If you doing a work related project make sure the company is prepared to allow you to submit the paper. Your paper will be available on the Internet and some companies do not want their information shared with others. You should get approval from someone higher than your direct supervisor. Sometimes supervisors change and the new person will not allow the student to submit the paper (sadly, this does happen).
17. One last thing, please end all your messages with your complete name. This makes it easy for me to identify you and your paper. If you have any questions, please send them to the entire committee so we are all coordinated with your questions.
If you have suggestions or comments to improve this process please let Keith know.