Assignment: Application Week 1 writing
· Course Text: Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2018). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
o Chapter 1, “The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Questions”
Writing a Capstone: Things You Should Know
Pick a topic you are passionate about. You will spend a great deal of time reading, researching, thinking, writing, and talking about your capstone project, whether you write a thesis or complete an organizational change project. To pick a topic that you are only vaguely interested in is like marrying someone you only kind of like. Do not do it. It is true that your “idea” may change as you write, but the general area should be one in which you can answer “yes” to questions like: Are you passionate about this? Do you enjoy talking about your topic area to others? Do you honestly want to become an expert in this area? Do you think you can study this and still be interested in it a year from now? Have you been interested in this area for sometime?
Journal and brainstorm about your capstone. Buy a journal, the kind that is bound so that you are never tempted to tear out a page. Brainstorm, journal, doodle, make “to do” lists in this book. It will be very handy to have a living piece of your own personal history of the capstone. This method may work well for you, whether it is because you need one place to keep track of all you have done (or need to do) or because you actually come up with pretty good ideas while brainstorming. During a moment of writer’s block, you can thumb through this book and either find some mundane task you can do while waiting for your creative juices to flow, or read some of your own ideas to get yourself going (you might be amazed to “rediscover” so many of your own ideas this way).
Maintain regular contact with your chairperson. Many graduates claim the best advice they ever got in graduate school was to regularly schedule meetings with their thesis chairperson or capstone mentor. The capstone course will support you in this endeavor. Weekly postings will force you to write or accomplish something at least once a week. Having regular contact with your chairperson has been shown to impact degree completion; therefore, the course is set up to require weekly participation and interaction with your capstone chairperson.
Have realistic expectations about contact. You must have contact with your capstone chairperson while at the same time respecting the commitments and competing responsibilities that faculty members have. Remember, your chairperson is a resource that will gladly guide you; however, do not take up their time in the name of wanting to prove you are working on your thesis (unless you tell them otherwise, they will assume you are doing just that). For example, do not submit a poorly written paragraph just for the sake of having some “interaction.” Rather, you can report briefly what you have accomplished and keep your chairperson abreast of your progress. For example, you could inform the chairperson in the weekly discussion that you did more research this week and that you think your first chapter should be ready for review in about two more weeks. Or, you can share an exciting study you read and how you think it might fit in with your design that you are still hammering out. Or you may be completely at a loss when writing the design and analysis sections of your project. Maintain contact, and when you need extensive feedback, be patient and know you will get it as soon as possible.
At all times, be honest. Your chairperson wants you to succeed, and if you are not honest about your progress or lack thereof, it will be difficult for the chairperson to assist you. In a land-based program, a chairperson has the benefit of regular departmental events during which the “absent” student is noticed. The lack of face-to-face contact makes it difficult for chairpersons to follow the progress of individual students. If you are having serious problems, please let your chairperson know about them.
Make lists. Research on the subject of degree completion suggests lists are helpful for time management. You should consider keeping a list of things you need to do to complete the capstone. Keep this list handy in your journal; this way you will have a history of things you have done as well as things still yet to do. Crossing items off of your list is satisfying, and getting to see pages of tasks accomplished is a great way to see how much work you have actually done (and there will be times when you need to remind yourself of simple facts like this).
Have a plan. Have a plan for completing your capstone. It is important that you think about a plan, and write it down. The take-home message here is that you must be self-disciplined; this is difficult to do without a plan.
Research takes longer than you think. Be aware of this fact. Next, work to accept it. Undertaking and completing a capstone will probably be unlike any other task you have done. Do what you can to ward off disappointing thoughts if things do not move along like you thought they would. You have a plan, but, as John Lennon so succinctly put it, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” Thus, if your capstone has gone through 11 revisions (and you only planned for three), take a deep breath and know you are not alone. Remember that once you think your document is perfect, it will go through at least one more revision. Also, just because your chairperson approves your completed capstone does not mean it is complete; you may still be asked to make final revisions when it goes through academic review.
Reduce other responsibilities as much as possible. Many land-based graduate students are full-time students. Sure, they may teach and hold research assistantships, but these jobs are qualitatively different from having a career. In addition to working, many distance learning students have families. If it is possible to arrange for a reduction of responsibilities, do it. Writing a capstone can be stressful, and this stress is a burden that will be shared with those close to you. It is in everyone’s best interest for you to finish your thesis in a timely manner. Find out if it is feasible to arrange for a reduced workload and/or reduced childcare responsibilities. This can be the difference between writing a capstone in two quarters versus four (or more!). In some cases it is even the difference between finishing and not finishing the degree.
Application Week 1 writing Assignment
Expect good days and bad. Writing the capstone project can be a difficult stage in your academic career. Some days you will feel pride, a sense of accomplishment, and passion for your research; other days, you may feel anxiety, insecurity, or even boredom. Talk to others in your same situation (use the Discussion board, Class Café, or e-mail). You may also want to spend some time on a favorite hobby (all work and no play is no good). The bottom line is that these feelings are normal. You need to remember that. Further, because you do not write your capstone in a bubble (although you may feel like you are alienated from the world around you), other life stresses may exacerbate the “capstone blues.” Things like divorce, a health crisis, or death in your family can have a large impact on your progress. If you find you are overwhelmed, seek professional assistance for managing the stress in your life.
Find a buddy. As psychologists, we all have the common knowledge that social support is important in all aspects of life. A spouse, child, or cat can be your cheerleading squad (and you should enlist their support), but you will need a graduate school “buddy” in addition to family, friends, and / or pet support. This buddy will preferably be someone in your program with whom you have developed a relationship with while taking classes; perhaps it is a person you meet in the capstone course. In a land-based program, students often form these buddy-type relationships due to proximity. While a distance-learning environment does not afford such luxuries as sharing a student lounge, there are many things you can do to make this buddy relationship work. Find someone that you enjoyed conversing with in the Discussion areas of past courses. The value of this can not be underestimated. Sometimes all you need is another set of eyes to validate your work before sending it off to your chairperson, or you may want to bounce what you think may be a semi-crazy idea off someone before approaching your chairperson with it. A peer is an excellent resource in these types of situations.
Learn to accept criticism of your work. Let’s face it, you are getting your M.S. degree. Thus, you more than likely have a touch of the trait called “perfectionism.” Don’t be surprised when the close-to-perfect draft you submit comes back with a lot of changes in some color. Your chairperson and academic reviewer know what they are doing. Have faith that their comments will make your capstone the best it can be. There may be times you disagree about something you think is critical to your project. If this happens, think about the suggestion or concern, do some more reading and reasoning, and if you still feel strongly about your original plan, then respectfully present your reason(s) for not wanting to make the suggested changes. If you go through this process you will likely find that either your chairperson or academic reviewer was right, or you simply did not explain your reasoning well enough the first time for them to understand what you wanted to do (or what you meant). Your capstone will go through many changes.
Adopt a motivational technique that works for you. Maybe it is a quote. For example, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” Paste it next to your computer; look at it and repeat it often, especially if you ever feel like you are never going to finish. Other quotes you might find worth repeating frequently are: “Rome was not built in a day” or “An elephant can be eaten one bite at a time.” Other examples of motivational techniques may be visualizing how things will be different once you have your degree (a new job?), or visualizing what it will feel like at graduation. Application Week 1 writing Assignment.
Talk to others about their capstone presentations. It will take the “mystery” out of the presentation and help you psychologically prepare for the big day. Ask others how the oral presentation went and what they learned from the process of getting prepared.
Important information for writing discussion questions and participation
Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.
Contact me if you have any questions.
Important information on Writing a Discussion Question
- Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
- There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
- Include in-text citations in your response
- Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
- Follow APA-7th edition
- Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor
- A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
- Each response needs at least ONE reference with citations—best if it is a peer reviewed journal article
- Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
- Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
- Follow APA 7th edition
- Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
- Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
- Here are some helpful links
- Student paper example
- Citing Sources
- The Writing Center is a great resource
Welcome to class
Hello class and welcome to the class and I will be your instructor for this course. This is a -week course and requires a lot of time commitment, organization, and a high level of dedication. Please use the class syllabus to guide you through all the assignments required for the course. I have also attached the classroom policies to this announcement to know your expectations for this course. Please review this document carefully and ask me any questions if you do. You could email me at any time or send me a message via the “message” icon in halo if you need to contact me. I check my email regularly, so you should get a response within 24 hours. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours and need to contact me urgently, please send a follow up text to.
I strongly encourage that you do not wait until the very last minute to complete your assignments. Your assignments in weeks 4 and 5 require early planning as you would need to present a teaching plan and interview a community health provider. I advise you look at the requirements for these assignments at the beginning of the course and plan accordingly. I have posted the YouTube link that explains all the class assignments in detail. It is required that you watch this 32-minute video as the assignments from week 3 through 5 require that you follow the instructions to the letter to succeed. Failure to complete these assignments according to instructions might lead to a zero. After watching the video, please schedule a one-on-one with me to discuss your topic for your project by the second week of class. Use this link to schedule a 15-minute session. Please, call me at the time of your appointment on my number. Please note that I will NOT call you.
Please, be advised I do NOT accept any assignments by email. If you are having technical issues with uploading an assignment, contact the technical department and inform me of the issue. If you have any issues that would prevent you from getting your assignments to me by the deadline, please inform me to request a possible extension. Note that working fulltime or overtime is no excuse for late assignments. There is a 5%-point deduction for every day your assignment is late. This only applies to approved extensions. Late assignments will not be accepted.
If you think you would be needing accommodations due to any reasons, please contact the appropriate department to request accommodations.
Plagiarism is highly prohibited. Please ensure you are citing your sources correctly using APA 7th edition. All assignments including discussion posts should be formatted in APA with the appropriate spacing, font, margin, and indents. Any papers not well formatted would be returned back to you, hence, I advise you review APA formatting style. I have attached a sample paper in APA format and will also post sample discussion responses in subsequent announcements.
Your initial discussion post should be a minimum of 200 words and response posts should be a minimum of 150 words. Be advised that I grade based on quality and not necessarily the number of words you post. A minimum of TWO references should be used for your initial post. For your response post, you do not need references as personal experiences would count as response posts. If you however cite anything from the literature for your response post, it is required that you cite your reference. You should include a minimum of THREE references for papers in this course. Please note that references should be no more than 5 years old except recommended as a resource for the class. Furthermore, for each discussion board question, you need ONE initial substantive response and TWO substantive responses to either your classmates or your instructor for a total of THREE responses. There are TWO discussion questions each week, hence, you need a total minimum of SIX discussion posts for each week. I usually post a discussion question each week. You could also respond to these as it would count towards your required SIX discussion posts for the week.
I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!