Evidence of the ability to conduct and report research activities is a requirement of all graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. This requirement is known as the Writing Requirement and may be satisfied by 1) writing a thesis, 2) writing a seminar paper or 3) with department and advisor approval, completing six additional course credits.
The guidelines provided in this document refer to behavioral science and educational research. Master’s students may elect to complete non-written projects as well. Humanities projects including text analysis (e.g. Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Giovanni’s Poetry) and creation (e.g. original poetry) may be alternatives. Master’s students may also elect to create a writing project (e.g. develop an instructional unit). Humanities projects may constitute a master’s thesis. An instructional unit is usually a seminar project only.
A thesis is more extensive than a seminar paper, but less so than a doctoral dissertation. A thesis or seminar paper may follow historical, descriptive, experimental, single subject, or qualitative research designs. A seminar paper has a narrower focus on a topic than a thesis and is often “library” or “action” based research.
The student choosing the thesis option selects a thesis committee comprised of three graduate faculty members, one of whom is the thesis advisor. The student choosing the seminar paper option is supervised by one graduate faculty member who is typically the student’s program advisor.
The thesis option requires an oral examination over the student’s thesis and is conducted by the thesis committee. Students writing the thesis do not take the written comprehensive examination. Students writing a seminar paper do not have an oral examination and do write the comprehensive examination.
For full documentation on Thesis and Seminar Paper Standards and The Manual of Policies and Procedures to Review Research Involving Human Subjects, please contact the Counseling Psychology Office at 608.342.1252.