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Intro to thesis research


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Discussion of how to get started on a Master's thesis.

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Intro to thesis research

  1. 1. Dr. Reva NarasimhanGraduate Coordinator, MathematicsKean University
  2. 2.  Do some preliminary reading and Google Scholar What is Google Scholar? Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadlysearch for scholarly literature. From one place,you can search across many disciplines andsources: articles, theses, books, abstracts andcourt opinions, from academic publishers,professional societies, online repositories,universities and other web sites. Google Scholarhelps you find relevant work across the world ofscholarly research.
  3. 3.  How do I access full-text articles from Googlessearch through Kean University? Here are thesteps (modified from Tulane Library handout): Step I: Click on the link to „Settings‟ at the topright of the Google Scholar home page. You canfirst log in to your Kean Google email account ifyou want your settings to be saved (highlyrecommended). Step II: On the left, click on „Library Links‟. Set upa link to Kean University by typing KeanUniversity in the Library Links textbox and click„Find Library‟. Check the Kean University linksand click on „Save‟.
  4. 4.  Step III: From the ‟Settings‟ page researchers may also seta link to Import citations from Google Scholar intoEndNote or other citation software under „BibliographyManager‟. Begin by clicking on the link to „Search Results‟on the left menu. Use EndNote as your bibliographymanager. Be sure to click „Save‟. You can get FREE accessto EndNote - you must sign up from Kean campus initially,but can then access anywhere for up to 12 months. Clickhere for more details. Step IV: Conduct a search in Google Scholar rememberingto use + signs before all of your terms and quotes aroundphrases. Step V: On the results list, click on an article title to see ifit is available full-text in Electronic Journals. Follow thedatabase links to locate the full-text of the article or a PDFcopy.
  5. 5.  You can add this citation to a file where you keep track of bibliography. In the thesis itself, cite ONLY papers you end up using in your thesis A bibliography manager like EndNote is optional Pick a style and stay consistent
  6. 6. Web Page for Math Grad Program: on “thesis guidelines”And then•Click for past thesis titles from this program.You can view the thesis with a Kean library barcode.
  7. 7. Heres a brief outline of what your thesis should contain:(This is fairly general. You should consult your programcoordinator for specifics.)1. Introduction.• Introduces the topic in broad terms.• States how you came to be interested in the topic.• Briefly summarizes the context and significance of theproject.• Creates reader interest in the project.• End with overviews of chapters to follow
  8. 8. 2. Statement of problem or question.• Frames the problem or question that your thesiswill be addressing.• The problem is an issue that arises out of thescholarly literature, theory, or practice thatnecessitates further study.• Answers, plainly and clearly, the question “whydoes this research need to be conducted?”• What specifically will this project contribute tothe field? How will it address the questions orgaps in scholarship that you identified in yourliterature review? Why is it important to do?
  9. 9. 3. Literature review.• Relates the proposed project to specific questionsand areas of inquiry within the field.• Situates the project within the “conversation” of afield. Who in the field would be interested in readingyour thesis?• Explains how your project will extend, revise, orcomplicate what is already known.• The literature review should be relatively brief, andshould cite/incorporate only the most appropriatesources for establishing the work that‟s been doneon the subject.
  10. 10. 4. Your original contributionsThis will be the main portion of your thesis.Provides a clear and succinct synopsis of the project.Identifies and defines the central concepts of the study.Identifies the method of study.Clearly lays out your contribution to the field5. Explanation of limitations.What is your project not addressing and why?What are some of the weaknesses of your approach to the topic?6. Conclusion7. Bibliography.(Adapted from University of Idaho guide)