SPSS Tutorial Psychology 501

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					    Thesis Format Tutorial
           Psychology 501
Tuesday, February 12th, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
 Components of an honour’s thesis
 Turning your thesis in
 Your defense (what to expect)
 Preparing for your defense (useful tips!)
 Group activity
Components of an Honour’s Thesis
 Basics to keep in mind:

   50-page limit
   Follow guidelines in 5th ed Of APA
   Publication Manual.
   Document should be written in 12 pt. font,
   Margins:
      left: minimum 1.5”
      all other margins: 1”
 Title page (see example in hand-out)
 Preliminary pages:
     Abstract
      short and concise (max: 120 words)
     Contributions Page
       optional (but it’s nice to include them)
       only include acknowledgements in FINAL copy
     Table of contents
     List of tables and figures
     List of appendices
       label alphabetically (e.g., A through Z)
 Introduction
     Start with centered title of thesis
   Overview of relevant literature
         Thorough – but not exhaustive!

   Describe rationale for current study
         Discuss with reference to previous literature.

   Describe specific hypotheses
         …and the reasons behind them!
 Method
  Participants
       recruitment procedures
       major demographic characteristics (e.g., age,
       any other characteristic pertinent to your results

  Materials
       scales, testing procedures, specialized equipment
  Procedure
       detailed account of steps in your study
 Results

   Report results of statistical analyses

   Figures and tables – very helpful!
   Describe – but don’t interpret – your
 Discussion
   Re-visit hypotheses
        Were they confirmed? Disconfirmed?

   Interpret your findings
        Ask (and answer) “why” questions…

   Discuss implications of your results
   *Comment on limitations of study
   Discuss directions for future research
 Finally…
   References (see pages        28, 215-282 in APA

   Appendices
        Face sheet from ethics clearance package!
        Include materials that you couldn’t describe
        adequately in your method section
        DON’T include:
           copyrighted materials
           individuating info. about participants
Handing Your Thesis In (Round 1)
 7 calendar days before your scheduled
 defense, go to the undergraduate office:
   Bring 3 copies of your thesis (4 if you were co-
   Drop copies and evaluation forms off in faculty
Your Defense (What to Expect)
 Present
      supervisor
      chair (one of the section coordinators)
      external
 You’ll be introduced, asked to leave
 10 minute presentation of thesis
 Round 1 of questions
 Possibly, Round 2 of questions
 You’ll be asked to leave for a few minutes
Handing Your Thesis In (Round 2)

 7 calendar days after your scheduled
 defense, go to the undergraduate office:
   Turn in revised version of thesis
   $10.00 binding fee
 Pick up, and complete, the TA evaluation
 Preparing for Your Defense

 Know your results!

 Fine-tune your presentation.
     Practice…a lot! In front of supervisor, lab, friends

 Know literature you cited.
 Anticipate possible questions
 Your defense presentation
   Keep in short (max: 10 minutes)
        Brief overview of background literature,
        research question, methodology, findings

   Take minimalist approach with text
   Include figures to depict results
Any Questions?
 Remember, you can always come to see
 Feel free to approach me outside of class
 Otherwise, please e-mail me
 ( to arrange an
• Should be available until April 13th.

• If things change, another graduate student
  will temporarily take my place.
Practice Exercise

 Split into groups of 4 or 5.
 Each person should give a brief
 description of research project, along with
 actual or anticipated results.
 Compile two lists of possible defense
      General questions (that anybody could get)
      Questions specific to each project

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