PREREQUISITE: Open to students admitted to fourth year of an honours program in any discipline and with permission of the instructor of the course and of the department of the intended concentration.
COURSE RESOURCES: click on the links provided to navigate to sections of this page
|Date||Description of Activities|
|Early-to-Mid September (arranged by e-mail of registered students)||
Introduction to the course; Review of requirements and marking scheme; Review of content of the thesis proposal; choosing a second examiner.
Note: normally, by this point, the student has a thesis supervisor who has agreed to supervise an honours thesis.
||Submission of thesis proposal (to be submitted to your supervisor and the course coordinator) Review of any problems. Proposal seminar will be setup with Supervisory Committee (supervisor and committee member) for November.|
||Rough draft is due; Set up date and schedule for poster presentations during ENSC501/502 – Mini symposium|
||ENSC501*/502* - Mini symposium (i.e. Seminar (ENSC501) or Poster (ENSC502))|
|Monday of the last day of class (at the latest)||Final thesis due
Thesis examination. Consists of a 5-minute presentation follow by questions from the Examination Committee. The order of questions will be: committee member, supervisor, and course-coordinator(optional).
Thesis Submission to Library - Based on comments on your final report by your examining committee, corrections should be made and approved by your supervisor. You will then need to submit a PDF of your report to QSpace at (https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/ldap-login).
Name your file according to the following convention: ensc_502_lastname.pdf
Please ensure that you have accepted all changes and comments on your document prior to creating your pdf file. Otherwise these may show up in your submission.The course coordinator will be notified via qspace to approve your submission.
MARKING SCHEME: Thesis proposal (10%); Proposal Seminar (10%); Poster Presentation (20%); Written Thesis (35%); Thesis Defense (10%); Laboratory Mark (15%)
Thesis proposal (10%) – Evaluated by your supervisor and the course coordinator
Please provide the name of the professor who will act as a supervisor and the name of a second examiner. If you elect to have co-supervisors, a second examiner is not necessary. Your thesis proposal should follow the format given below:
Proposal Seminar (10%) – Peer evaluation, supervisory committee and course coordinator
A seminar on your proposed research will be presented to your class and supervisory committee and any other interested parties. In your seminar you should provide the relevant background information and your research plan, and the expected significance. Seminars will up to15 minutes long with 5 minutes for questions. Your committee members will give you constructive feedback on your presentation. All presentations should be in PowerPoint.
Poster Presentation (20%) – Peer evaluation, supervisory committee and course coordinator
In mid March, each student will present a poster outlining the important features of her/his research. The poster will be part of the ENSC501/502 Research Symposium. Students will have the opportunity to outline the significance of their poster in a 2-minute presentation to the combined ENSC 501/502 class (the intent is to encourage other students to come and visit your poster).
Thesis (35%) - Evaluated by your supervisory committee and the course coordinatorThe final thesis must be no more than 40 pages (and no less than 30 = 10-15,000 words), excluding figures, tables and appendices. Please double spaced your text, with the exception of the references, and use a 12-point font. The thesis is restricted to a maximum of 10 Figures and/or Tables. Please use 3-cm margins, and proper SI units for abbreviations for common units. For consistency with other theses, page numbers should be in the top right corner of each page. Captions for tables must be above each table and should be in sufficient detail so the Table is understood without reference to the text. Similarly, figure legends should be on the same page as the figure, and should also be of sufficient detail to explain the figure without reference to the text. Figures must be of a high resolution and to the highest professional standards. Your thesis should follow the format of a scientific paper, except that it should have a more developed introduction and literature review. Your thesis should include the following major headings:
Each member of your examining committee will receive the final copy of the thesis along with an evaluation form. The thesis will be evaluated with respect to the writing style, analysis, interpretation of results and overall organization. Each committee member will assign a grade and make comments on the aspects of the thesis. A final grade will be determined by the coordinator based on performance and input from your examination committee.
Thesis Defense (10%) – Evaluated by your supervisory committee and the course coordinator
The thesis defense will take place after the complete thesis has been read in April. You will be expected to present a brief seminar (4 min. maximum) on your research followed by 20 minutes of questions on the thesis from your examination committee. Each exam will last a total of 30 minutes. You will have to demonstrate that you know and understand the relevant literature, that you can defend the conclusions you have reached and that you understand and appreciate the methods you have used and the limitations of those methods.
Laboratory mark (15%) – Evaluated by your supervisorCHOOSING A SUPERVISOR
The choice of a supervisor should be based on the topic of the project that you wish to pursue. Supervisors or co-supervisors are normally chosen based on their expertise in an area from faculty within the School of Environmental Studies (joint, seconded, or cross-appointed faculty), or from willing supervisors from other relevant departments. We have cross-appointed faculty with many departments and schools here at Queen’s.
Your supervisor(s) will be responsible for:advising and directing the student in the formulation of your initial thesis proposal; providing feedback and grading the student’s initial research proposal; giving advice and grading the student’s proposal presentation; reading, commenting, and grading the student’s rough draft; and grading the student’s poster presentation, thesis, and thesis defense.
It is the student’s responsibility to set up meetings with their supervisors. These meetings will vary in length depending on their overall involvement and expertise. It is strongly suggested that meeting(s) take place prior to handing in your thesis proposal, as well as after your proposal has been graded. These meetings allow for informal feedback on the quality of your work and the direction that your project is taking. It is also suggested that you meet with your supervisor(s) on a relatively regular basis (e.g., monthly, or at a minimum bi-monthly) to discuss your progress, and to provide a mechanism for discussion.
CHOOSING A SECOND EXAMINER
The second examiner should be chosen for their expertise and should be a faculty member in the School of Environmental Studies, or another appropriate department. This person should be selected based on discussions with your supervisor or the course coordinator. If you are being co-supervised, there is no need for an additional examiner.
The role of the examiner is to: attend and grade the student’s proposal seminar if possible (October); comment on the student’s poster presentation (if possible) (mid March); grade and comment on the student’s thesis and thesis defense (early April).