COM 495 Hugh McCarney
Spring 2008
B 213

Fax: 837-8912

Useful Links

Thesis Index APA Style (Documentation) APA Form (Paper layout and conventions) Library Card Catalog Google Human Subjects Certification WestConduit OpenCLose

Presentation Schedule

American Psychological Association. (1983). Publication manual of the APA (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author [Latest edition preferred] A summary is available on line at Writer's Workshop at UIUC.

The Communication Department's faculty believe that seniors in the major should demonstrate the ability to synthesize research, apply important theories in the discipline, and demonstrate competence in communication skills, including writing and speaking. Therefore, we require all majors to produce a thesis, which can be defined as an independent research project that involves the identification of a question; the gathering of data, the use of those data to support a conclusion, and a discussion of the implications of the conclusion. Regardless of the form of the application (see below) we require all majors to present the project in the form of a 25-40 page paper, and a 20-30 minute oral presentation.
If you are a student with a disability, please make an appointment with Deborah Cohen at the Disability Services Office located in the Student Center, room 207 (837-8946). She will write an accommodation letter that you will need to bring to me. Once you have your letter, please come by my office to speak to me about your accommodations and any other concerns you may have such as medical emergencies, arranging a note-taker or arrangements in case the building must be evacuated. Please bring me your accommodation letter as soon as possible, even if you think you may not need to use your accommodation.
Assigned work is due on Wednesdays at the beginning of class: 11 AM
Week of 1/21 Introduction
1/28 APA, Documentation and Plagiarism,
Formats, Human Subjects Form and Certification
Thesis Archive
Topic Statement Due
2/4 Research Workshop--Library
Working Bibliography Due
Copy of Human Subjects Certificate due

Literature Review Due
2/18 * CONSULTATIONS Methodology
2/25 * CONSULTATIONS Prospectus draft
3/10 * CONSULTATIONS Last date prospectus will be considered
3/17 Spring Break
4/14 *
4/21 * PAPER DUE by 11:00 Wednesday

4/28 *
5/5 *



All thesis papers will be submitted by 11:00 A.M. on April 21. Specific details about the paper are given below.

Presentations: You must make an oral presentation based on your work in order to complete the course. The order of presentation will be the reverse of the order in which the proposals are approved. The presentation schedule is filled from the bottom up; that is, the first proposals accepted will be the last people presenting. The only way to change the presentation date is to find someone who will agree to swap with you. Please inform me of any such agreements. ATTENDANCE AT ALL PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR CLASS IS REQUIRED. Absences during the presentation period require a doctor's note, and missed presentations will not be rescheduled without one. Because of time constraints, some presentations may be scheduled before the papers are submitted.


The instructor will be available during office hours and class time for the duration of the consultation period. Preference is given to people who make appointments. If you can't keep an appointment, have the courtesy to cancel it. Consultations are also available via e-mail and telephone.

Basic Requirements of the Course

You will have about ten weeks to complete your work.
In general, the people who are most successful in this course consult regularly with the instructor.
You may withdraw from the course without penalty at any time before you submit the paper. All submitted papers will be graded, and a final grade will be given, even if the paper is failing. If you do not submit either a prospectus or a paper by their respective deadlines you will be withdrawn from the course. There will be no incompletes.

The Project
The following steps are required to design and complete the research project:

The Paper
The Paper will be 20-40 pages, word-processed and double spaced, and WILL follow APA style, from the title page to in-text referencing, to page numbers, etc. (See links at the top of the syllabus). I will evaluate the quality of the content, APA format, and writing, including clarity, organization of ideas, spelling and grammar. (You will receive a copy of the evaluation sheet before you begin work.) You will submit one digital copy of the final version of your paper for evaluation. You will submit a corrected digital copy before your final grade for the course is submitted to the Registrar. The digital copy must be submitted as an attachment to an email message, and be in Microsoft Word.

The parts of the paper are as follows (the format may vary somewhat, depending on the type of research, but these are the essential ingredients):


The oral presentation provides a forum in which you can share your work with classmates, faculty, future Senior Thesis students, and others. It also provides evidence of the quality of the preparation and performance elements of your public speaking skills.

The format is as follows:

This syllabus was prepared in consultation with Communication Department faculty.

Sample papers