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Thesis and Writing Resources



Fall 2019 Due by Friday December 13


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Graduate Education & Research provides support, guidance, and oversight to students and faculty through the entire thesis process.  Please contact us if you have questions or need any assistance.

Graduate Research Workshops

Research is an essential part of graduate education.  All graduate students should become knowledgeable about research in their particular fields of study and should engage in the process of conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting their own personal research.  To gain a comprehensive overview of the research process and to gain practical experience and tools for effective research, graduate students are encouraged to attend the Graduate Research Workshops. 

Attendance is highly recommended for graduate students in all disciplines.  All workshops are offered on campus in JCKL 1424 and via a distance through ITV.  See menu below for Fall 2019 semester dates.  Register for one or all workshops!  Students who attend the entire series will recieve a Graduate Research Certificate.  

Register Now  


Uncovering the Research Question/Research Problem

  • Overview of academic and professional research
  • Applied development of research questions

   September 3, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   September 4, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

Information Resource Investigation

  • In-depth exploration of the elements of the literature review/resource investigation as related to the research problem/question.
  • Introduction to the exploratory phase of the literature review.
  • Introduction to the various types of broad and focused literature reviews.
  • Overview of the chain of information resources and accessing the resources.
  • Overview of the types and role of various information sources.

  September 17, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   September 18, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

Citing and Citation Management, Part 1 & 2

Part 1 - Plagiarism and Introduction to Citing

  • Introduction to the topic of plagiarism and ways to avoid plagiarism.
  • Introduction to the citation styles used within the disciplines.

   October 1, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   October 2, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm


Part 2 - Citing and Citation Management Tools

  • In-depth exploration of the citation styles.
  • Review of citation management tools available.  
  • Application of APA citation style and others to course content.  

   October 15, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   October 16, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

Research Methods, Part 1 & 2

 Part 1 - Exploring Research Methods
  • Overview of qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research approaches.
  • Introduces students to the correlation between the research question/problem
    statement and the applicable research approaches.

   October 29, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   October 30, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm


Part 2 - Research Ethics and Data Integrity

  • Overview of the role of research ethics and common pitfalls.
  • Introduction to IRB, IACUC, and data integrity including the application process.
  • Practical experience cleaning a dataset.
  • Introduction and intermediate topics related to plagiarism based upon discipline.

   November 12, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:50 pm OR

   November 13, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

Research and Writing Resources

Research Consultation

Librarians are available for consultation in finding and retrieving literature.  Contact Janette Klein at for more information and to set up an appointment.  

The Writing Center

The Writing Center offers writing instruction for all graduate students at all stages of the writing process.  This is a free service available to all UCM students via walk-ins, appointment, or online.  A specific graduate writing tutor is available answer questions, perfect citations, provide a fresh perspective, and explore the conventions of academic writing at the graduate-level.  

Location: JCKL 3160, inside the Learning Commons

Thesis Resources

The fulfillment of a thesis requirement is a distinct advantage to students who plan to do additional graduate study or to work in certain fields of employment. A thesis is the result of research, scholarly, or creative activity that gives evidence of independent, critical, and creative investigation. The thesis demonstrates the ability to define and develop a problem; to understand and synthesize relevant literature; to use appropriate methodology; to analyze and interpret data; and to draw reasonable conclusions based on the investigation.


Graduate Student Responsibilities

The pursuit of a graduate degree infers a high degree of initiative on the part of the graduate student. Graduate students assume responsibility for engaging in intellectual activities at the graduate level, as well as responsibility for complying with all policies and procedures as set forth in the Graduate Catalog, in the Thesis Manual, and in college and departmental regulations.

Requirements will not be waived, and exceptions will not be granted because of ignorance of policies, requirements, or procedures for graduate study at UCM. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to the policies and procedures as stated in the Graduate Catalog and in the thesis manual.

Faculty Responsibilities

A successful thesis experience requires communication, collaboration, and support from multiple people. While a thesis is an individual research project, it is guided by the expertise of faculty who have knowledge of the discipline, theory, and methodology. Students should reach out to additional individuals as necessary depending upon the specifics of their project. The roles below are identified at UCM.

Thesis Chair - The chair of the thesis committee is a program faculty member with full graduate faculty status and is the primary mentor throughout the thesis process from beginning to end. They guide the student through each step and are there to answer questions, provide feedback, and point them towards other people and information as needed. They ensure regular communication between all and that feedback is being provided to the student. They review the final thesis copy and submit their approval to Graduate Education and Research via the Thesis Transmittal Form. They also submit the final letter grade for the thesis course and notification of successful thesis defense to the registrar. It is expected that the thesis chair will be accessible and provide immediate feedback (daily responses to queries excluding weekends and 7 - 10 days for a full draft review) so as not to delay student progress.

Thesis Committee - Thesis committee members (typically two) are faculty with either full or associate graduate faculty status (or external to UCM if approved by GER) and provide additional content and/or methodological expertise to support and supplement the thesis chair and the student. They provide feedback on every draft that they receive, participate in the thesis defense, and ensure the final thesis is of high quality. It is expected that thesis committee members will be accessible and provide timely feedback on each draft or query (7 - 10 days) so as not to delay student progress. They may submit their approval of the final thesis via the Thesis Transmittal Form. If not submitted, their approval is implicit and given to the thesis chair.

School Chair - The school chair reviews the defense thesis and provides a quality check to ensure that the research project meets university expectations. It is expected that the school chair will provide timely feedback on the defense thesis (7 - 10 days) so as not to delay student progress. If no feedback is provided within this time frame approval is implicit as is. They may submit their approval of the thesis via the Thesis Transmittal Form. If not submitted, their approval is implicit and given to the thesis chair.

Graduate Education and Research - The Graduate Education and Research (GER) office provides oversight of the entire thesis process from beginning to end and ensures quality and university wide consistency. They provide the structure and the guidance to all involved and are ultimately responsible for all thesis requirements being met. GER approves students to enroll in thesis hours after they submit their prospectus, reviews the defense thesis, and reviews and authorizes approval of the final thesis on the degree audit (completed or not completed) regardless of the grade the thesis chair enters. Quality of theses is identified as Outcome 4, Measure 4.1 of our Higher Learning Commission co-curricular assessment plan. GER is available to answer questions and offers support as needed and provides timely and immediate feedback (daily responses to queries and 7 - 10 days for a full paper review).

Thesis Overview Presentations

Thesis presentations are open to all students and faculty in order to learn about the process from start to finish. This includes a review of steps in completing a thesis, formatting guidelines, review of the thesis manual, writing resources, research funding, and time for Q&A. These presentations are scheduled at least twice every semester. 

On Campus Face-to-Face Presentations
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 12:00 noon
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 12:00 noon
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 12:00 noon
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 12:00 noon
Materials and Recordings for Online and Distance Students
The Google Slides presentation may be accessed any time as well as this recorded voice over Adobe Connect PowerPoint Presentation.

Thesis Manual

The Thesis Manual provides the instructions and the precise formatting requirements for all theses. Please be sure to follow the manual as you prepare your submission.

Thesis Manual

A properly formatted Microsoft Word template is provided below for faculty and students to utilize.

UCM Thesis Template 

Students not as familiar with Microsoft Word may have questions about certain features in order to meet the formatting requirements. Below are instructions for some of the most frequently asked questions.

Page Numbers: Section breaks

Table of Contents: Tab stops, leader dots, and alignment

Prospectus Template

The prospectus must be submitted to and approved by the thesis chair and also Graduate Education & Research before enrolling in thesis hours. The template below provides a basic structure that programs may use. However, due to nuances and personal preferences, thesis chairs may decide to make modifications. The only requirement from Graduate Education and Research is that students work with their thesis chair to complete a prospectus and that said prospectus once completed and approved is submitted via the Transmittal Form.

UCM Thesis Prospectus Template


Be sure you are logged in to your UCM student Google account:

  • Determination of Research and other IRB, and IACUC forms and materials from the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Integrity
  • External Thesis Committee Member
  • Library Electronic Thesis / Research Paper (ETRP) Release Form (pdf / docx) - Publication agreement for inclusion of the thesis in the library digital repository.
  • Transmittal Form - Used by students to submit materials throughout the process: prospectus, defense thesis, final thesis, as well as accompanying documents. Committee members and school chairs also complete this form to provide their approval. The form requires that you are logged in to your active UCM Google account.

Thesis Binding

UCM no longer prints, binds, nor stores physical copies of final theses. However, students who wish to do so for their own use, for family, or to gift to faculty, may contact any of the companies below:

Submission, Approval, and Acceptance Overview and Timeline

A thorough content and format review is completed on every thesis through a collaboration between your Thesis Committee and the staff in Graduate Education & Research. Final approval of the thesis is sent to the registrar by Graduate Education & Research to fulfill this graduation requirement on the degree audit.

Submissions will be reviewed in the order received. Depending upon the number it may take a full week to review each submission and provide a reply.

Your thesis committee and Graduate Education & Research will attempt to work with you year round, regardless of semester beginning and end dates, until your thesis is completed and approved. However, if you have a specific semester that you are hoping to finish by then there are specific timelines to be aware of. Failure to follow the deadlines and timeline below may delay your graduation to a subsequent semester.

Submission of Prospectus

In order to set the groundwork for a successful thesis, Graduate Education & Research ensures all students begin with two tasks: the development of a prospectus and initial contact with IRB/IACUC. 

The thesis prospectus is a detailed plan on what the student wishes to research. It typically includes a draft abstract, overview, literature review, and methods section. The prospectus serves as the official agreement between the student and the thesis committee. The prospectus must be approved by the thesis committee and then submitted to Graduate Education & Research. 

The determination of research begins the human subject review process. The student should complete the Determination of Research form with the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Integrity (OSPRI). OSPRI will indicate via a response letter if an IRB/IACUC application will be needed, and if so how to proceed to obtain approval before collecting data.

The prospectus and OSPRI Determination of Research response letter should be submitted from your student UCM Google account to Graduate Education & Research via the Transmittal Form. Graduate Education & Research will then allow students to enroll in thesis hours. All students working on a thesis must be current students with an active UCM Google account. If not current, students should contact Graduate and International Student Services to be reinstated and if need be enroll in GRAD 5001 (Graduate Continuous Enrollment).

Due prior to the enrollment in thesis hours

Submission of Defense Thesis

In order to ensure the successful completion of a thesis, Graduate Education & Research ensures all students complete two tasks immediately prior to the defense: submission of the defense thesis and documentation that IRB/IACUC policies were properly followed.

A defense is scheduled when the thesis chair believes the thesis is done and it's time for the student to present their findings. The defense thesis is the near final paper that is 99% complete and only requires minor edits. IT IS THE VERSION THAT IS PROVIDED TO THE THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND THE SCHOOL CHAIR BEFORE THE DEFENSE. To ensure a complete approach to thesis review, quality assurance, and proper formatting, Graduate Education & Research will provide feedback after the defense date has been scheduled.

Per federal guidelines and for documentation that proper research protocol were followed, students will also submit the approval letter from the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Integrity (see IRB/IACUC forms) which would have been obtained prior to conducting the research. (Where applicable. If the thesis did not require IRB/IACUC approval then the Determination of Research letter will suffice.)

The defense thesis, with the IRB/IACUC approval letter, should be submitted from your student Google account to Graduate Education & Research via the Transmittal Form. After Graduate Education & Research reviews the thesis, a copy with suggested corrections will be sent back to the student and committee members for final editing.

Due by 5 p.m. on the Monday before finals week (Monday, December 2)

Thesis Defense

The thesis defense is a two-part process involving a public defense and a committee examination. The public defense is typically a one hour presentation that is advertised and open to the public that includes a questions and answer component. The committee examination is typically an oral examination centered around your thesis topic and is always conducted by your approved thesis committee. Your thesis chair will work with you and let you know when you are ready to defend.

A thesis defense must be scheduled with your committee and completed before your degree will be conferred. The thesis committee then votes on whether or not to accept the thesis.

Graduate Education & Research is not involved in the defense though we are notified by the faculty when it is completed.

Due by 5 p.m. on the Friday before finals week (Friday, December 6)

Submission and Acceptance of Final Thesis

In order to finalize the successful completion of a thesis, Graduate Education & Research is the last step and ensures all students complete two tasks: submission of the final copy of the thesis, which requires our approval, and the library publication agreement.

Following the defense, a final copy (pdf) approved by your thesis chair and incorporating all revisions, corrections, and feedback from the thesis committee and the school chair must be submitted to Graduate Education & Research for university review, approval, and degree clearance. This final version must be clear of errors and strictly follow the thesis manual formatting guidelines. IT IS THE FINAL VERSION APPROVED BY THE THESIS CHAIR, THESIS COMMITTEE, AND THE SCHOOL CHAIR.

Additionally, the Library Electronic Thesis / Research Paper (ETRP) Release Form (pdf / docx) is required to be submitted at this point for inclusion in the library digital repository. The sharing and dissemination of findings is an important part of the research process.

The corrected final thesis, with accompanying library publication agreement release form, should be submitted from your student Google account to Graduate Education & Research via the Transmittal Form. Graduate Education & Research will notify the student, thesis committee chair, school chair, and registrar of final approval.

Due by 12 noon on the last day of finals week (Friday, December 13)

If Graduate Education & Research finds that additional corrections are needed it will be sent back to the student as many times as necessary. Please be aware that if multiple revisions and resubmissions are required to correct mistakes this may draw out the process and possibly degree completion. Students have up to 7 days after the end of the semester in order to submit corrections. If the thesis is not completed and approved by that point, we will continue to work with you on revisions and your graduation will be moved to the next semester.


Graduate Education & Research
Ward Edwards 1900
Tel: (660) 543-4729


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