Class size and its affect on student achievement

Introduction

Part of the requirement for the Masteras Degree in Childhood Education from Long

Island University at Riverhead is the successful completion of a faculty approved thesis/project.

The purpose of this short paper is to give the reader additional information and guidelines to

facilitate the satisfactory completion of this requirement. In addition, wherever possible, this

paper may serve as an example of how the thesis/project document should be formatted

following American Psychological Association (APA) style guidelines.

The Layout of the Thesis/Project Document

The following sections briefly explain the parts that are typically included in the

thesis/project document. However, the actual layout of each individual thesis/project may vary

depending on type of research being conducted, the purpose that the document may eventually

serve, and individual advisement received from the faculty sponsoring committee. Additional

details about the formatting of these sections is available within the Publication Manual of the

American Psychological Association (2010 & 2001).

The Title Page

The title page includes four elements: title, running head, author byline, and institutional

affiliation. The title of the paper should a?summarize the main idea of the manuscript simply and,

if possible, with stylea? (APA, 2010, p. 23).

Sponsoring Committee Page

This page is not numbered and is inserted following the successful completion and

faculty acceptance of the thesis/project. A blank copy of this page is available as a Word

document within the Teachers Resources folder on our Blackboard contents page. This document

THESIS GUIDELINES 3

should be personalized, printed out, and brought to the final class meeting where it will be signed

by the faculty to signify successful completion of the thesis/project.

Acknowledgements Page

This separate page allows you a space to recognize and express thanks to those who may

have supported you throughout the process of writing your paper. It follows the Sponsoring

Committee page, but should be numbered as page two. Inclusion of an Acknowledgements page

is optional.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents should be completed last and include the name of the sections

within the paper along with the page number where each section begins. It is recommended that

you create this page near the end of your writing, but without the actual page numbers that can

be included later.

Introduction

Your introduction should explain how you became interested in the topic, a brief

discussion about the specific problem(s) in the field of education that attracted your interest, and

how this led to your research question(s). Therefore, your research question(s) should also be

included here. This portion of your paper is usually not very long (one to two pages).

Review of the Literature

a?A a?review of the literaturea is a classification and evaluation of what accredited scholars

and researchers have written on a topica? (Taylor, 2008a, Abstract section, para. 1). Therefore, the

intent of the literature review for our course project is to provide an overview of the research that

has been conducted on the topic that you are investigating. The review should be organized in a

manner that best matches the themes or categories that you discover while searching through and

THESIS GUIDELINES 4

reading the documents related to your topic. Your review may be a combination of the

summaries of the issues or theories that are written in your own words, paraphrasing of the

works that you review, while including direct quotations from the authors of the research. It is

important, however, that the information be properly cited using APA style guidelines and that

you use a neutral voice within your writing. Therefore, it is best to let the research speak for

itself and not include your judgments or personal opinions about your finding while writing this

section of your paper. Taylor (2008b) advises that

a literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing

one piece of literature after another. Its usually a bad sign to see every paragraph

beginning with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into

sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. You are not

trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the

guiding concept of your thesis or research question. (Final Notes section, para.1)

Implications

The implications section is where you discuss the relationships of the findings that you

have presented in your review of the literature. This is done through inference, association, or

necessary consequence of the relationships you have found within your literature review rather

than making direct statements or suggesting conclusions based upon potential, causal

relationships. In effect, you are summarizing the potential outcomes that are suggested, inferred,

or implied from the literature you have reviewed and how these incomes may or may not be

related.

THESIS GUIDELINES 5

Applications

The applications section is where you articulate how your findings (outlined in the review

of the literature and discussed in the implications section) may be related to the pedagogical or

curricular aspects of the classroom or school. While you do not repeat or summarize the

literature review here, you do make reference to various studies in a more global sense in order

to support your thinking. Another way to approach this section is to consider how the

implications you have discussed in the previous section may be implemented or applied within

classrooms and/or schools.

Conclusion

The conclusions section is where you wrap up your literature review findings that you

discussed in the implications and applications sections of your paper. While a portion might be a

brief summary of the previous sections, the conclusion section is really your opportunity to

interject your thoughts and to make suggestions for further research in the particular area of

elementary education that you examined.

References

As outlined in the course syllabus, a?a guideline for a novice researcher is that the average

page of typed text (c. 250 words) should have at least 2-3 citations per paragrapha? (Schultz &

Costa-Saliani, 2010, p. 6) which works out to be around ten to 15 citations per page of the

literature review. The reference section is where you give the details about the citations that are

made throughout your paper. This section should follow APA guideline regarding style and

formatting. While the citation entries should have a double space between them, it is allowable

for the purposes of this course to use single space formatting within the reference itself. Please

see the Reference section of this paper for an example of this formatting.