Chico Distance & Online Education

Graduate Studies Master’s Thesis/Project Writing Workshop Series

Printer-friendly version

Carson Medley, Thesis Editor and Advisor for CSU, Chico Graduate Studies, presents a series of extensive writing workshops for master’s degree candidates who plan on writing a master’s thesis or project. The workshop series addresses specific components of the master’s thesis and projects as well as general writing and organizational strategies. The workshops cover all aspects of academic writing and research and can benefit all students, regardless of academic discipline.

Graduate Studies Master’s Thesis/Project Writing Workshop Series

Workshop 1: Paragraph Island
Workshop 2: Crushing the GRE (or Getting a 4)
Workshop 3: The Hero’s Journey - How to Write a Statement of Purpose
Workshop 4: How to Write (or Start Thinking About) a Thesis or Project
Workshop 5: I Have This IDEA
Workshop 6: My Only Problem is That I Don’t Have a Problem at All
Workshop 7: Zen and the Art of Questioning
Workshop 8: Put Up Your Dukes - The Oral Defense
Workshop 9: It Was Not a Dark and Stormy Night - Writing the Introduction
Workshop 10: The Story of the Squirrel Who Gathered Too Many Nuts: Understanding the Literature Survey & Writing the Literature Review
Workshop 11: How I Flew to the Moon and Proved It Was Made of Blue Cheese: Writing the Methodology Section

Videos

Workshop 1: Paragraph Island

Paragraph Island Carson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

Carson Medley breaks down the inner workings of the paragraph. He reviews syntax and discusses the role of punctuation – chiefly, the comma, the semicolon, and the colon. He also discusses the “SEE” paragraph. Finally, Carson explores the art of “Revision for Concision” and illustrates ways to edit and put a nice shine on each paragraph. Presentation time: 53 minutes | View Now   

Workshop 2: Crushing the GRE (or Getting a 4)

Crushing the GRE (or Getting a 4)Carson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

This GRE writing workshop covers all aspects of the Analytical and Argumentative Writing portion of the GRE. Carson Medley explains how to write for this particular audience, how the scoring guide works, and looks at prompts, benchmarks and comments. Finally, he provides tips designed to assist with the specific and arduous task of writing for a standardized test. Presentation time: 48 minutes | View Now   

Workshop 3: The Hero’s Journey - How to Write a Statement of Purpose

The Hero's Journey - How to Write a Statement of PurposeCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

It’s important for students to put their best foot forward when applying to graduate schools, and one of the keys to that is writing a strong statement of purpose. Carson Medley teaches students the art of writing an essay for graduate school admission, a letter of intent that will make the student stand out from all the other applicants. Presentation time: 49 minutes | View Now

Workshop 4: How to Write (or Start Thinking About) a Thesis or Project

How to Write (or Start Thinking About) a Thesis or ProjectCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

This workshop introduces students to the culminating activity of their graduate education – the thesis or project. Carson discusses the difference between a thesis and a project, and helps students decide which option is best for their personal interests. This workshop goes into the history of, and reasoning behind, the thesis. It also includes a breakdown of the thesis/project into its five sections. Presentation time: 49 minutes | View Now

Workshop 5: I Have This IDEA

 I Have This IDEACarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

Carson Medley discusses the critical point of coming up with an idea to turn into a thesis or project. He talks about where researchable ideas come from and how to turn the idea into a thesis or project. Theses and projects by CSU, Chico students that have won awards are analyzed. Carson provides tips on how to write a research proposal. Presentation time: 45 minutes | View Now

Workshop 6: My Only Problem is That I Don’t Have a Problem at All

My Only Problem is That I Don't Have a Problem at AllCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

Carson Medley teaches students how to find the problem, the issue – the conflict – around which to build their thesis. The research problem of a thesis applies to a special and specific kind of problem that is unlike any other problems. Carson helps students strategize ways to detach themselves from the problem, on the surface, and conceal how it relates to their personal or social values. Possible solutions to the chosen problem will drive the thesis through to completion. Presentation time: 51 minutes | View Now

Workshop 7: Zen and the Art of Questioning

Zen and the Art of QuestioningCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

Alternatively titled, “Which Came First – the Answer or the Question?,” this workshop addresses what the presenter describes as “the most important, and least discussed aspect of the thesis: the research question that is so enthralling that the graduate student has no problem living with it for at least the next year of her/his life.” The focus of the workshop is to teach students how to master the art of questioning and to illustrate how these questions will lead to a thesis. Presentation time: 45 minutes | View Now

Workshop 8: Put Up Your Dukes - The Oral Defense

Put Up Your Dukes - The Oral DefenseCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

A major step for a graduate student to earn his or her master’s degree is the oral defense of the master’s thesis. Carson Medley’s goal for this presentation is to demystify this process and expunge fears the student has about it. He first recommends a specific academic writing guide, “Stylish Academic Writing.” He then covers many aspects of the oral defense, including how to schedule, the expected format, common questions, how to practice, and more. Presentation time: 34 minutes | View Now

Workshop 9: It Was Not a Dark and Stormy Night - Writing the Introduction

It Was Not a Dark and Stormy Night - Writing the IntroductionCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

Carson Medley breaks down and thoroughly discusses all the points that must be addressed in Chapter 1 of the Master’s Thesis. These components of the first chapter are introduction and definition of the problem, need for the study, purpose of the study, definitions, limitations, and the research question. Presentation time: 45 minutes | View Now

Workshop 10: The Story of the Squirrel Who Gathered Too Many Nuts: Understanding the Literature Survey & Writing the Literature Review

Video Image: The Story of the Squirrel Who Gathered Too Many NutsCarson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

In this presentation, Carson Medley explains that “literature,” in terms of the literature review and survey aspect of the master’s thesis, refers to any collection of materials on a topic –  a peer-reviewed journal, book, article, video clip, etc. He states that the goal of the review is to show the student has “studied existing work in the field with insight.” (Hayward and Wragg, 1982) Medley defines the required annotated bibliography and provides guidelines on how to format it. He then provides organizational and writing strategies used to produce a strong literature review. Presentation time: 45 minutes | View Now

Workshop 11: How I Flew to the Moon and Proved It Was Made of Blue Cheese: Writing the Methodology Section

 How I Flew to the Moon and Proved It Was Made of Blue Cheese: Writing the Methodology Section

Carson Medley
Thesis Advisor, CSU, Chico Graduate Studies

A big part of the master’s thesis is the student’s research design, or methodology. Carson Medley identifies, explains, and presents the rational for each design/methodology type: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. He also covers such research considerations as key questions, setting, population sample, variables, and validity and reliability He completes the workshop by reminding students of ethical issues in writing. Presentation time: 36 minutes | View Now

Tags:
Accessibility Accommodations: If you need special disability accommodations for accessing any information on this website, please contact Regional & Continuing Education. For accommodations for an event, workshop, or online or on-campus class, please contact the CSU, Chico Accessibility Resource Center.