1 DISSERTATION GUIDELINES Center for Psychological Studies Nova Southeastern University May 2011
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INITIATING THE DISSERTATION PROCESS... 1 II. DEVELOPING AND WRITING THE DISSERTATION PROPOSAL... 2 III. DEFENDING THE DISSERTATION PROPOSAL...4 IV. CONDUCTING THE DISSERTATION RESEARCH...5 V. WRITING THE DISSERTATION... 5 VI. TYPING THE DISSERTATION... 7 VII. DEFENDING THE FINAL DISSERTATION... 8 VIII. BINDING AND SUBMITTING THE DISSERTATION... 9 IX. UPLOADING YOUR DISSERTATION TO UMI... 9 X. DEGREE APPLICATION... 9 XI. SAMPLE FORMS AND PAGES Prospectus for Dissertation Dissertation Committee Approval form Research Completion Form Sample Title Page Sample Dissertation Approval Sheet Sample of Table of Contents Sample Abstract Sample of the Format... 18
3 1 I. INITIATING THE DISSERTATION PROCESS The dissertation is the culmination of the Ph.D. student's research training and the student's entry into a research or academic career. It is done under the supervision of faculty, but it is to be substantially the student's independent, original work, properly citing ideas or quotes from other sources. It is to be a study of publishable quality. Like all published studies, it can answer only certain questions, but can demonstrate the student's scholarship, research acumen, and writing ability, all of which are predictive of subsequent research competence. Registration for Dissertation In order to register for Dissertation, the student must complete a Prospectus signed by a Chairperson. In addition, the Dissertation Committee Approval form must be submitted prior to registration. This form may be obtained from and, when completed returned to, the Academic Affairs Office for review. The student is to enroll for six credits in each of two semesters. If dissertation is not complete, the student must register each fall and winter semester for one credit of Continuing Dissertation until complete. Dissertation Committee Doctoral Program Dissertation Committees require approval by the Director of Academic Affairs (DAA) and the Dean in accordance with the Center for Psychological Studies (CPS) policy. For this to occur, the DAA will forward the completed Dissertation Committee form to the Dean for approval. A dissertation committee will consist of three members, two of whom must be full-time faculty of the Center. Each committee member must be approved on the basis of eligibility and expertise in the topic area. Doctoral dissertation committees must be chaired by an eligible fulltime Center for Psychological Studies faculty member. Each member is reviewed by the Director of Academic Affairs, based on information provided in updated faculty curriculum vitae and periodic surveys conducted on faculty research activities. Eligible faculty members are those who possess expertise in dissertation area of study, have served previously on a dissertation committee, and have a record of scholarly research. The third member may be full-time or approved part-time faculty from the Center or an approved full-time faculty from another university center or regionally accredited university. Members must possess an earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution, and be an active scholar with demonstrated capabilities for research/scholarship and for directing independent research. A member from outside the full-time faculty may be added with the Committee chair's endorsement and the DAA s approval. When a student requests a committee member who is not a full-time faculty member at CPS, they must submit the proposed member s curriculum vitae outlining qualifications and recent publications and/or research pertinent to the proposed study. The DAA reviews these credentials for approval to serve as a member of the dissertation committee. Eligibility for participation on student dissertation committees includes:
4 2 Research congruent with the proposed project Publication within the five years Previous experience directing research activities Previous experience serving on dissertation committees* *Applies to eligibility to chair dissertation committee Any changes to the committee membership while the dissertation is in progress must be approved by the DAA and the Dean. There are no exceptions to these policies. The student should discuss first with the chair and then with committee members procedures to be followed. Early discussions and drafts may involve only the chair or some or all committee members. The student should ascertain expected turn-around times (which may vary with time of year) for each committee member to return drafts. II. DEVELOPING AND WRITING THE DISSERTATION PROPOSAL After the formation of the dissertation committee, the student must develop a formal dissertation proposal. While different committees may function in slightly different ways, the student should first discuss the research problem for the dissertation with the committee chairperson and the committee members. The student should confer with the committee as to how to proceed with the proposal. Dissertation proposals should contain at least three major sections. These are: I. Statement of the Problem II. Review of the Literature III. Method With the committee's approval, these may be written as the first three chapters of the dissertation. Alternatively, they may be written as a proposal rather than in chapter form. Students should discuss with their committee which approach to use. Proposals must be written in APA style in accordance with the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (i.e. double-spaced draft format except for references). Statement of the Problem The first section of the proposal should provide the introduction to the problem to be addressed by the dissertation research. The problem statement should cite relevant literature as necessary to support the existence of the problem plus pertinent background information. At the conclusion of the problem statement, the reader should have a clear understanding of the problem to be addressed by the dissertation.
5 3 Review of the Literature This section should critically review the literature relevant to the dissertation problem. The extent of the review is in part determined by the committee, but all relevant research directly bearing on the dissertation problem should be included. Every effort should be made to include the most recent relevant literature. Historic literature should be included to the extent that it is directly relevant. At the conclusion of the literature review, there should be a statement to the effect: The problem addressed by the proposed research is This statement should be followed by either the specific research hypotheses or by the research questions. Hypotheses in null form are not appropriate. Method While all aspects of the proposal are important, the method section is critical since it presents the details of the research process. While the exact content of this section will vary as a function of the nature of the particular research, generally the method section should include the following topics: 1. Subjects or participants (numbers, characteristics, population sample, selection criteria, etc.) 2. Measures (detailed descriptions; if tests are to be employed, include indices of reliability and validity). 3. Treatments (if independent variable(s) is/are manipulated) 4. Procedures (give sufficient detail for an independent researcher to replicate the study). 5. Analyses (describe the proposed analytic process whether graphical, statistical, or other). In general, the student should assume that the readers of the proposal are knowledgeable psychologists, but ones who may not be experts in the particular area addressed by the proposal. It is desirable for the student to have run pilot studies as part of the proposal. The purpose of the pilot work should be to familiarize the student with the subject characteristics and the methods and to demonstrate the feasibility of the procedures. It is not uncommon for proposals to be modified after running pilot studies.
6 4 III. DEFENDING THE DISSERTATION PROPOSAL The dissertation proposal must be defended successfully no later than October 1 of the year preceding the start of your internship. Students who entered the program in 2007 or prior to 2007 are exempt from this requirement. The following guidelines are to be observed in the defense process both for the proposal and the final dissertation: 1. The student must secure the approval of all committee members to schedule a defense and identify a time agreeable to all of them. 2. The final version of the proposal must be distributed to the Committee at least two weeks prior to the defense. 3. An official notice of the defense must be posted two weeks prior to the defense. The student should provide the information to Word Processing, which will secure a room, do the posting, and distribute an abstract to the faculty. 4. A formal defense must involve a public in-person presentation open to all faculty and students of the School of Psychology. Others may attend at the discretion of the dissertation chair. The study is described in detail, and then the committee addresses questions to the student. At the chair s discretion, others in attendance may be recognized to ask questions. 5. After the presentation, the psychology faculty present and the committee will remain in the room for discussion. All others, including the dissertation student, will be excused. Faculty will be polled for comments. Any decision about modifications remains with the committee members. 6. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to see that any modifications agreed upon by the committee are accurately recorded. 7. If the defense is successful, a memo from the chair must be written to the Dean of the School of Psychology stating that the proposal has been accepted, with copies to the Director of Academic Affairs and the student. 8. A file copy of the proposal with any modification should be maintained by the Dissertation Chair. 9. If the written document and/or the defense are not acceptable to the committee, the student must make all requested revisions in the proposal and schedule a new defense repeating the above steps.
7 5 IV. CONDUCTING THE DISSERTATION RESEARCH Following a successful proposal defense, and prior to submitting the proposal study to the Institutional Research Board for approval, the student must complete CITI training. (See IRB guidelines and forms on the CPS homepage sites of interest.) If the IRB requires any changes, the student must present these to the committee for its approval. The student should allow sufficient time for IRB approval before beginning the research. Following a successful proposal defense and IRB approval, the student may begin the research, incorporating any modifications resulting from the defense. It is important that the student follows proposed procedures to the extent possible. In the event that procedures must be modified, such changes should be cleared with the student s committee in order to avoid problems with the final defense. The student s Dissertation Chair is responsible for monitoring the use of research data to protect the originality of the dissertation. The Dissertation Chair is also responsible to approve or disapprove requests by others in or out of the school to use the student s data prior to publication of the dissertation by the University; that is, when bound dissertation is submitted to the library and made available to the public (see student Handbook for full policy). V. WRITING THE DISSERTATION The student must adhere to the following guidelines in preparing the completed dissertation. It must be written in the style specified by the American Psychological Association and this document. For the most part, the guidelines in this document have been adapted from the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It is the student's responsibility to see that the dissertation is in the proper format. Looking at previous dissertations usually will be helpful, but the final authority will be the most current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The student should read the section in the Publication Manual on dissertations. Note that most of the Publication Manual guidelines are for submitting a manuscript to an editor, whereas the dissertation is a final publication, like a book. Drafts to the chair and the committee should be double-spaced and need not follow all of the guidelines below; however, the final copy distributed to the committee and the approved version to be bound must adhere to all of these guidelines. The guidelines in this document supersede those of the Publication Manual on a number of points, consistent with the dissertation's being a final publication. The dissertation should consist of the sections shown in Table 1. Variations from the above five chapters are permissible but should be cleared in advance with the student's committee.
8 6 Table I Sections of the Dissertation Title Page Approval Page Acknowledgments Table of Contents List of tables List of figures Abstract Chapter I: Statement of the Problem Chapter II: Review of the Literature Chapter III: Method Chapter IV: Results Chapter V: Discussion References Appendices Acknowledgments This section should note anyone who has contributed to the formulation and conduct of the dissertation, including faculty members and other students. It also should acknowledge any permission granted to quote from published works or to use unpublished measures or protocols. Note that CPS follows the APA guideline of requiring permission to quote 500 words or more (Cumulative words if more than one quote from a single source). In such cases, the student must secure and show to the dissertation chair letters of permission received from the copyright holder (publisher or author). Title and Abstract The title of the dissertation should describe the Study and contain the appropriate key words. The number of words in the title should not exceed 15. The maximum length for a dissertation abstract is 350 words in keeping with the guideline of Dissertation Abstracts International. Abstracts should adequately summarize the problem, method, results, and the conclusions.
9 7 Figures, Table, and Footnotes These are to be placed at the appropriate point in the text within the body of the dissertation (not at the end). Short tables may appear on a page with some text. Each long table and each figure are to be placed on a separate page immediately following the first reference to them. Large tables should be typed on larger paper and reduced to the proper size by photocopying. Figure captions are typed below the figure, or in some cases, on the preceding or facing page (it is preferable to have captions on the same page). Footnotes to the text are typed at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced; footnotes should be used sparingly, if at all (See Publication Manual). Appendices Although space usually limits the use of appendices in journal articles, the need for complete documentation often dictates their inclusion in a dissertation. The following materials are appropriate for appendices: verbatim instructions to subjects, consent forms, and instruments scales or questionnaires developed for the study (not previously published ones). Other materials may be included as necessary, to explain the study and to permit independent replications. If possible, merge word-processed files for these documents into the dissertation; if original materials are used, page numbers must be typed onto them. Margins VI. TYPING THE DISSERTATION The left-hand margin must be one and one-half inches; the top, side, and bottom margins must be a minimum of one inch. The top margin on the first page of a new chapter may be larger than other margins. It is essential that the margin requirements be carefully observed because some of each margin is trimmed in the binding process. Fonts Do not use script or other unusual font types; these do not reproduce properly. Use Times New Roman 12-point font. Use italics instead of underlining for book titles, etc. Use bold for all headings. No corrections are permitted on the printed pages: any pages requiring corrections must be retyped and reprinted. The final appearance must be clean and professional. Spacing and Justification As per the APA Publication Manual guidelines, double-spacing is required throughout the final version of the dissertation. Long quotations should be indented five spaces. Full justification should be used to provide a professional-looking document. Single-spacing can be used for table titles and headings, figure captions, references (double-spacing is required between references), footnotes, and long quotations.
10 8 Pagination Two sets of page numbers are to be used in the dissertation. The preliminary pages (from the title page up to the body of the study) should be numbered with lower case Roman numerals (as is common in books). The second set of numbers begins with the first page of Chapter I and continues throughout the study, references, and appendices. These numbers are Arabic. Every page of the study must be assigned a number even though that number may be suppressed on some pages. In the set of Roman numerals, the title page is given a number but does not appear. Thereafter each preliminary page must show Roman numerals centered at the bottom of the page. In the set of Arabic numerals, no number appears on the Abstract but is printed on all subsequent pages in the upper right corner. Headings Printing There are five levels of headings. All headings should be bolded. (See sample p.16): Upper-case: centered Upper and lower-case: centered Upper and lower-case: italic, centered Upper and lower-case: italic, left-justified Upper and lower-case, indented paragraph heading followed by period: italic Laser-jet quality printing is required. VII. DEFENDING THE FINAL DISSERTATION It is advisable that the student maintain frequent contact with the committee chairperson and with the committee members throughout the dissertation process in order to obtain ongoing feedback regarding the research. With the consent of the chairperson, the final defense may be scheduled. All defenses must proceed according to the same guidelines as listed for the proposal defense with the following substitutions: 1. If the committee accepts both the dissertation and the student's defense of it, each member will sign the dissertation approval sheet. The sheet should be dated the day of the defense. The approval sheet should be held by the chairperson of the dissertation committee until all revisions, if any, are completed. At that time, the chair should date and sign the final approval section of the approval sheet. This will constitute the official date of completion of the dissertation. 2. When the Chairperson of the dissertation committee is satisfied that all revisions (if any) have been made and that the dissertation is ready for binding, he/she will submit a research completion form with an attached abstract to the Academic Affairs office.
11 9 VIII. BINDING AND SUBMITTING THE DISSERTATION It is mandatory that the dissertation be reviewed for appropriate form by the Office of the Dean prior to submission for binding. The Dean's Office will also provide the name of the binding company approved by the school. It is the responsibility of the student to pay for preparation and binding the dissertation. The following are instructions for the binding process: 1. The dissertation must be bound in dark blue. 2. The title and author's name is to be printed on the front of the bound copy. 3. The word Dissertation and the author s last name must appear on the spine. 4. A gold line should appear at the top and bottom of the spine. 5. Bond paper, with minimum of-25% rag content, must be used for the original copy and for photocopies. Strathmore bond (or equivalent) 20 lb. paper should be used. This paper quality is necessary for the printing in the dissertation to be durable. 6. Three bound copies are required. The original is submitted by office of the Dean to the library and one copy each is distributed to the Chairperson of the Committee and the Dean of the School of Psychology. IX. UPLOADING YOUR DISSERTATION TO UMI In addition to the three copies submitted to the office of the Dean, students are required to submit their dissertation to UMI (Dissertation Abstracts International). A standard fee for the archiving of the dissertation is applied to all submissions. After the bound copies are received by the office of the Dean, students will be sent electronically the authorized copy of their dissertation. They are required to submit their dissertations to UMI (Dissertation Abstracts International). See their website for information: Upon receipt of the bound copies and proof of submission to UMI, degree application will be approved and released. X. DEGREE APPLICATION 1. The Online Application for Degree/Diploma must be completed:
12 10 2. Before submitting you degree application, you need to make a payment. For more information about the standard payment, go to: 3. All financial obligations to the university must be paid before the degree is conferred. 4. Remember, the receipt of the bound copies and the submission of your dissertation to UMI must be confirmed before applying for your degree.
13 11 1. IX. SAMPLE FORMS AND PAGES PROSPECTUS FOR DISSERTATION Student must present this completed form when FIRST registering for Dissertation. All subsequent registrations will fall under this Prospectus. This does not replace the DISSERTATION COMMITTEE APPROVAL FORM required by the Dean's Office. (See Dissertation Guidelines) DESCRIPTION: NOTE: It is assumed you will be the Principal Investigator (PI) of a research study, which requires IRB approval. Check below as needed. I will be PI, I will not be PI of a research study. Explanation: I acknowledge that I am responsible for securing approval if I am the PI signing below. Student (Please Print) Signature Date Supervisor (Please Print) Signature Date
14 12 DISSERTATION COMMITTEE APPROVAL FORM (Sample) Date I have successfully completed (Name of Student) all the necessary requirements in order to formulate my dissertation committee. The dissertation title is: My proposed dissertation committee is as follows: Chairperson Each of the above faculty members has agreed to serve on my dissertation committee. Student's Signature Approved: Karen Grosby Dean cc: Student Dissertation Committee Members Director of Academic Affairs
15 13 RESEARCH COMPLETION FORM The supervising faculty member must properly date and return this form with the grade for a final research course (directed study/dissertation). If it is the last requirement, date of final approval becomes the date for the student's completing the program. This is an important date; for students who have completed all their requirements this date marks the transition to postdoctoral experience. PSY.D. DIRECTED STUDY STUDENT NAME: (Please print) DATE OF FINAL APPROVAL Abstract must be attached, which will be forwarded to the Dean's office. It must include the title and student name. PH.D. DISSERTATION STUDENT NAME: (Please print) DATE OF FINAL APPROVAL: (This must be the same as the final approval date on the dissertation signature page.) (Student is still responsible for submitting bound copies.) Faculty Name (Please print) Signature Directed Study/Dissertation Title: (Please print)
16 14 SAMPLE TITLE PAGE CHANGES IN COGNITION FROM ELABORATIVE STRATEGIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY by Jane Psychologist A Dissertation Presented to the School of Psychology of Nova Southeastern University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY 1998 (suppress page)
17 15 SAMPLE DISSERTATION APPROVAL SHEET This dissertation was submitted by Jane Psychologist under the direction of the Chairperson of the dissertation committed listed below. It was submitted to the School of Psychology and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. Approved: Date of Defense Karen Ellis, Ph.D., Chairperson Sigmund Rogers. Psy.D B.F. Lacan, Ph.D Date of Final Approval Karen Ellis. Ph.D.. Chairperson (Roman numeral page #)
18 16 SAMPLE OF TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES... LIST OF FIGURES... ABSTRACT... CHAPTER I: STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM... Attitude Change... Theory and Laboratory Research... Clinically Relevant Research... Simulation: Constructing Scenarios... Theory and Laboratory Research... Clinically Relevant Research... Purpose of the Study... Hypotheses... CHAPTER II: METHOD... Subjects... Measures... Treatments... Procedure... CHAPTER III: RESULTS... Descriptive Statistics... Treatment Effects... CHAPTER IV: DISCUSSION... The Hypotheses... Limitations of the Study... Findings Relative to Previous Research... Implication for Practice and Future Research... REFERENCES... APPENDICES... A. Client Consent Form... B. Cognitive Elaboration Measures... (Roman numeral page #)
19 17 (suppress page # on this page) SAMPLE ABSTRACT CHANGES IN COGNITION FROM ELABORATIVE STRATEGIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY by Jane Psychologist Nova Southeastern University ABSTRACT (Maximum 350 words)
20 18 (Arabic page #) SAMPLE OF THE FORMAT (Note 5 levels of headings) CHAPTER I (Level 5) Statement of the Problem (Level 1) Research in social psychology has validated the efficacy methods of changing cognitions and attitudes and provided support for theoretical models of the process. Clinicians have always promoted cognitive and attitudinal changes during psychotherapy and developed various techniques to do so. What is now needed is clinical research to validate the efficacy of well-specified interventions to change cognitions and attitudes. Attitude Change (Level 2) Research on attitude change has been accumulating for 50 years. The relevance of persuasion and attitude change to psychotherapy has been asserted and clinically relevant research conducted for 30 years. Theory and Laboratory Research (Level 3) Early work.(level 4) The first systematic program of research on attitude change was based on learning theory, while more recent work is based on cognitive theory.
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