LING-400 Senior Honors Thesis Seminar
Fall for 2017-2018
Ling 400 is required for all linguistics majors writing a senior honors thesis. Master's-level students writing a thesis are invited to join the seminar by registering for Ling 500. The goal of this course is to provide additional support and guidance as you write your thesis. Your thesis mentor will be responsible for overseeing the content of your research and for evaluating your final paper. In this class, the instructor and your peers will provide guidance and feedback on the research and writing process, helping you to get organized, break down the project into manageable stages, avoid mistakes, present your work clearly, and keep on schedule as the year progresses. Using a textbook, published models, peer review, and workshop-format discussions of preliminary work, we will discuss both progress and problems at each stage. The seminar will meet "half-time" (approximately every other week) during the fall and spring semesters (see provisional schedule below). Undergraduate students will receive 3 credits for Ling400, with an IP grade for the fall to be replaced with a letter grade upon successful completion of the all course requirements in the spring. Credit for Ling400 will count toward Linguistics major requirements. Ling500 is a no-fee, noncredit course for graduate students. It will appear on your transcript, with a grade of either Satisfactory or Not Satisfactory, but will not count for your GPA nor accrue credits toward the degree.
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 2008. The Craft of Research, 3rd Edition. University of Chicago Press.
In addition to the text, model (published) research papers on topics similar to those being pursued in this class will be posted on the BB website. You will be expected to read relevant portions each week, and come to class prepared to discuss them. You will also participate in reading and commenting on the work of other students.
Assignments and grading:
You will not be graded on the final content of your thesis for this course. At the end of the semester, your mentor will decide whether or not your work meets the requirements for an acceptable thesis. In this course, your grade will be based on participation, ability to give and receive constructive feedback, presentation of your work, and handing in drafts on schedule.
1. Attendance and participation in class discussions (20%). Come to each class having completed the required reading and prepared to discuss the day's topic. If you must miss
class due to an illness or other emergency, please contact me, in advance if possible.
2. CITI training course (10%).
3. Handing in drafts on schedule (30%). You are expected to in hand in substantive working drafts of the different parts of your thesis by the dates specified. Failure to do so will not only lower your course grade, but will also preclude any benefit you would have received from peer review and discussion.
4. Peer review (20%). You are expected to make timely and constructive comments on the work of the other students in the course.
5. Final presentations (20%). You will make a final 20-minute presentation of your research – invite your mentors, fellow students, and friends to hear and celebrate what you've been doing!
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
SEMESTER 1: Planning Your Research
Becoming a Researcher
Defining the research problem Positioning the problem: the literature review
Ethics of research; Working with human subjects
Arguments and evidence; Making a claim and supporting it; Hypothesis testing
Data analysis strategies
STER 2: Reporting Your Results
Organizing and reporting your findings
Creating informative tables and graphs
Writing the conclusion: what have we learned? where do we go from here?
Giving and receiving constructive feedback
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: