Graduate Thesis/Practicum Guidelines & Info
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The University of Manitoba (U of M) requires that all theses and practica reasonably conform to the specifications provided in this document. Departures from these norms may render a thesis or practicum unacceptable for either the Libraries of the U of M or Library and Archives Canada. Theses/practica must be submitted as one (1) digital version submitted as an e-thesis at the MSpace website and one (1) single-sided paper copy in unbound form. Multimedia material on a CD ROM may accompany the paper copy.
A thesis is a formal comprehensive, written dissertation describing original research on a chosen subject. This work may include, but not be restricted to:
An essential feature of PhD study is the candidate’s demonstration of competence to complete a research project and present the findings. The thesis must constitute a distinct contribution to knowledge in the major field of study and the material must be of sufficient merit to be, in the judgment of the examiners, acceptable for publication.
The practicum differs from the thesis in its emphasis on the application of theory; however, it is similar in scope, span, and rigor. The weight of work required for the practicum is equal to that required for the Master’s thesis. In general, the practicum takes the form of an exercise in the practical application of knowledge and skills. It usually involves the careful definition of a problem, the application of appropriate knowledge and skills to the problem, and a report of the results in a manner suitable for evaluation by an examining committee.
Theses/practica will vary depending upon the discipline/department. Each student must familiarize themselves with FGS and departmental regulations regarding the thesis/practicum.
Research Ethics Board Approval
The approval from a U of M Research Ethics Board (REB) may be required prior to the student proceeding with the information gathering procedures for the thesis or practicum. The original letter of the approval from the REB should be kept by the student. A copy of the original should be submitted to FGS at the completion of the thesis/practicum. For further information on ethics refer to: http://umanitoba.ca/research/ors/ethics/
i) Prefatory Pages
a) Title PageThe title must be a meaningful description of the content of the research. The author’s name should be in full, identical to the name under which they are registered and be consistent on all other documents. The title page should contain the following information: the title of the thesis or practicum, the name of the University, the degree for which the thesis or practicum is submitted, the name of the department, the full name of the author, and the copyright notation ©. This universal copyright symbol must be included on the title page.View sample
b) AbstractThe abstract is expected to provide a concise account of the thesis or practicum. Although 150 words for Master’s theses/practica and 350 words for PhD theses are the maximum lengths, abstracts should generally be shorter than this. An abstract contains a summary of the statement of the problem, method, results, and conclusions.
c) AcknowledgementsThe content of this single page is left to the discretion of the author. The page may make reference to the student’s advisor and advisory committee members and other people who have provided invaluable assistance to the student throughout their thesis/practicum development. Financial assistance received to conduct the research should be included here.
d) DedicationA page pertaining to dedication is allowed.
e) Table of ContentsThe Table of Contents must list and provide page references for all elements of the thesis and practicum. The numbering and format must be identical to the way the material appears in the text. Page numbers should be right justified (view sample page 24).
f) List of TablesThe list of tables follows the Table of Contents and should follow the same format. This list includes the number of each table, their title, and their page number.
g) List of FiguresThe list of figures follows the List of Tables and should follow the same format as the Table of Contents. The list includes the number of each figure, their title, and their page number.
h) List of Copyrighted Material for which Permission was ObtainedIn some cases, students include images, photos, tables, etc., from copyrighted sources for their thesis/practicum. Written permission from the copyright holder(s) is required. In cases where the student has obtained permission from a number of copyright holders, a separate page listing all sources is needed. The page follows the List of Figures page and should include: the title of each copyrighted item, its source, and the page number in the thesis where the material can be found (see also "Permission to Use Copyrighted Material p.9).
ii) Thesis Format
a) Style ManualsSelect a standard style manual that has been recommended by your department. Manuals recommended by the Faculty of Graduate Studies include but are not limited to:
Always use the latest edition available. If there is a conflict between the instructions in this booklet and the style manual chosen, the former should be followed.
- American Psychological Association, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association;
- Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations;
- The Modern Language Association of America, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers;
- University of Chicago Press, The Chicago Manual of Style;
b) SpellingAmerican, Canadian or British spelling is acceptable, but one style must be used consistently throughout the document.
c) FormatDouble space all text material; footnotes and long quotations may be single spaced. The entire thesis or practicum must be in the same text font, style, and size. Font size should be 10-12 characters per inch and no less than 12 pt Times Roman. Full justification of the text is not required.
Characters not available with standard software, such as mathematical equations or complex tabular matter may be neatly executed by hand with black India ink.
d) MarginsIt is imperative that the specified margins be observed throughout the thesis or practicum. Leave at least a one and one half inch (1.5”) margin from the left hand edge of the paper to allow for binding. Leave a one (1) inch margin at the top, bottom and right hand edges to allow all the text to appear within the Microfiche frame and to enable the binder to trim edges. These margins apply to all illustrative material, all appendices, diagrams, maps, photographs, charts, tables and computer printouts.
e) Page NumbersEach page in the thesis and practicum must be numbered consecutively. Illustrative pages must also be numbered. Roman numerals should be used for the prefatory pages. The remaining pages of the thesis/practicum, beginning with the introduction (Chapter One) should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.
iii) Paper and Print Quality
a) PaperWhite Bond Paper, 8.5 x 11, with a hard, bright and even surface must be used. Dot matrix-type computer paper is not permitted. Acid-free paper (archival or permalife paper) is preferred.
b) Acceptable Forms of ReproductionCopies of the thesis/practicum should be submitted in good, clear type on one side of the paper only. Original copies must be of high quality to allow for accurate reproduction. The digital version copy may incorporate the use of colour and multimedia files.
iv) Footnotes, References and Appendices
Follow the instructions in the style manual recommended by your department. No matter which style manual you use, it is important to be consistent in the format selected.
v) Figures, Illustrations, Photographs and Design Drawings
a) Illustrative MaterialAll illustrative material should be consistent throughout the thesis. All figures, illustrations, photographs and drawings must be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals and be accompanied with a title. The material should appear as soon after as it is mentioned in the text. All original materials should be of high quality, with sharp and clear images.
b) Layout of Tables and FiguresEach table and figure has a number and title. The number and title appear at the top of the table or figure. They must conform to the margin requirements of the thesis or practicum. If the table or figure is oversized, it is recommended that they be reduced in size in such a way that they remain clearly legible. The title of the table or figure should be as short as possible and indicate the major focus of the material within the table or figure.
c) Oversized Pages and Design DrawingsOversized pages should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. An alternate layout or a photographic reduction of the material should be attempted in order to accommodate the standard size of page. Ensure the size of the font remains legible after reduction of the material. Facilities for reducing illustrative material are available at the Campus Copy Centre, 118 University Centre.
If the charts, graphs, maps, tables, or design drawings cannot be reduced to the size of an 8.5 x 11 size, they should be carefully folded into the document. The fold should not extend the full width of the page in order to avoid damage to the material when the edges are trimmed by the binder.
vi) Additional Materials
a) Consent and Access to Information FormsSample copies of consent forms that were used to obtain consent from participants to take part in the information gathering procedures for the thesis or practicum must be included in the Appendices.
In some cases, approval from an agency or institution or corporation may have been required before the information gathering procedures could proceed. The original approval form for access should be retained by the student with a copy provided to FGS upon completion of the thesis/practicum.
b) Electronic Materials Accompanying the Paper ThesisTheses that are compound documents (e.g. text on paper accompanied by electronic material) must be submitted with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper explaining:i) The nature of the material on the accompanying CD ROM;
ii) The software that was used on the accompanying CD ROM. The software used must be one or a combination of those recommended by the Libraries;
iii) Written permission letters for any previously copyrighted images, data, video, animation, graphics, or sound on the accompanying CD ROM (see section 2.6 (d)); and
iv) Written permission letters or a license for any application on the accompanying CD ROM allowing it to be copied or installed on a reader's machine.
c) Use of Copyrighted MaterialIf the thesis or practicum includes copyrighted material, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder. FGS has developed this form that can be utilized when requesting the use of copyrighted material.
In some cases, copyright holders prefer to use their own permission forms and/or will provide their permission electronically. Both of these are acceptable by FGS.
Images or more than a reasonable extract (according to the Copyright Act) of another person’s work must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright holder(s). Obtaining the permission may take a considerable amount of time; therefore, this must be taken into consideration when meeting a thesis submission deadline. A reference to written permission having been obtained must be included under the image or text. The reference should also include the date the permission was granted, and the name/title of the copyright holder(s). The original form(s) signed by the copyright holders should be retained by the student with a copy provided to FGS at the completion of the thesis/practicum.
The thesis/practicum cannot be accepted by FGS if permission has not been obtained. It is important that the student and their Advisor ensure that the permission has been granted. In some cases the copyright holder cannot be located or the cost is prohibitive to using the text or image. In these situations the text or image may have to be omitted from the thesis/practicum.
Subsequently, information on where the reader can locate the image or text should be included, such as the URL, title of book/journal, volume and issue number, page number, publisher, and date of publication. A description of the purpose or significance of the text or image should be provided.
Duplicating and Binding
On-campus facilities for reproduction of theses/practica are available at the Campus Copy Centre, 118 University Centre.
The student is responsible for the binding of any personal copies, or those required by their Advisor or Department. The student may use the Campus Copy Centre or another source for binding.
Some theses or practica will contain too many pages to be bound in one volume. In such cases, each volume must have its own prefatory pages. Both volumes must contain the Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, and List of Appendices for the entire thesis. The page numbering of the body of the thesis must flow consecutively from Volume 1 to Volume 2. The Appendices and References should appear at the end of Volume 2. The title page of each volume should indicate the volume number of the specific volume and the total number of volumes that comprise the thesis or practicum, for example Volume 1 out of 2 volumes.
A doctoral thesis may comprise a collection of papers, which are about to be published or have been published. This type of thesis must have been approved by the advisory committee and must comply with the following regulations as well as departmental supplementary regulations. The number of papers that comprise a ‘sandwich thesis’ will be determined between the student and the advisory committee.
The collection of papers or articles must contribute toward the overall theme that represents the thesis work. There must be an introductory and a concluding chapter that provide the following information: the overall theme of the thesis, a description of the theme that is threaded throughout the works, the context for the works, a description of the commonalities or connecting concepts across the papers or articles, and the overall implications of the findings in the collection of papers or articles. The concluding chapter should also include a discussion on how the thesis, with its findings, provides a distinct contribution to knowledge in the research area. The thesis cannot just consist of several papers or articles bound within the one document.
The nature and extent of the student’s contribution to each of the papers or articles must be specified. This is particularly important when the papers or articles are multi-authored.
The entire thesis should be assigned sequential page numbers. The papers or articles, whether they have been published or have been submitted but not-yet-published, should be in similar format and font as the introductory and concluding chapters of the thesis.
A list of references should be included at the end of each unpublished paper. If the paper has been published, the references will be self-contained in that article.
Written permission to include published works or works submitted for publication must be obtained by the student from the copyright holder. If the material has been co-authored, the student must obtain written permission from the co-authors. The original signed approval letter from the copyright holder(s) should be retained by the students with a copy provided to FGS upon completion of the thesis/practicum.
Canada’s Copyright Law states, “The author and first owner of any paper, dissertation, or other work prepared in school courses and degree programs is the author of the work, i.e., the student preparing the paper, dissertation, etc” (Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd ed. Lesley Ellen Harris, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001, p. 88).
“Written documents, whether prepared for internal or external purposes whether in draft or final form, whether in print or in digital form, are protected by copyright. In fact, each draft of a document may be separately protected by copyright. This includes papers and dissertations, and other school assignments assigned by students as part of the course or degree work” (Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd ed., Lesley Ellen Harris, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001, p. 59).
Students at the U of M have sole copyright ownership over their document that is submitted as a requirement of an academic program. However, the physical document submitted by the student to the U of M becomes the property of the University. Upon completion and approval of the thesis or practicum by the examining committee, the student completes a Thesis/Practicum Copyright License Form. This form grants the University a license to reproduce the student’s thesis, or parts of it, for academic purposes based on certain terms and conditions.
In 1970 the Board of Governors and Senate approved a policy on accepting research grants from outside agencies. This policy defined the right of agencies to defer release of information and thus ensure freedom of publication for research findings of University personnel. Occasionally, the University may also wish to restrict the release of a thesis/practicum pending patent application. This policy statement parallels the previous one in that it defines the right of the University to defer the release of a thesis/practicum and thus ensures freedom of publication for the research findings of a graduate student.
This situation may arise in two circumstances which are defined below and both of which are governed by the same set of regulations.
1) When a research project is known to contain patentable items as defined in the research contract, it is the responsibility of the advisor to provide the student with written information on the restrictions of publication prior to the start of the thesis/practicum research.
If the student agrees to carry out the research, then the regulations given below will apply.
2) Where a patentable item is found during the course of research, then the advisor and the student may make application for patent rights through the University Patent Committee. The Dean of FGS will receive the approved thesis and copies of it as required by the Faculty regulations. On written joint request of the advisor and the student, the Dean of FGS will keep the thesis and copies of it in his/her office for a period up to one year.
The Academic Schedule in the Graduate Calendar provides dates by which theses/practica must be submitted to FGS in order to be eligible for graduation for a specific session.
Following the approval of the thesis/practicum by the examining committee and the completion of any revisions required by that committee, the thesis, and where applicable, the practicum, must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies as follows:
The e-thesis is the official copy. Students are encouraged to review the e-thesis submission requirements prior to creating a digital version. Electronic multimedia files or accompanying files that are part of an e-thesis should be posted to MSpace as separate files.
The paper copy will become a circulating copy. Multi-media material on a CD-ROM may accompany the paper copy. Where possible, the contents of the official electronic version should be replicated in the paper copy.
Both digital and paper copies of the thesis/practicum are required for the University Library and remain the property of the University of Manitoba.
The advantages of electronic submission include:
Both the digital and paper version must conform to the specifications outlined in this guide.
The electronic version must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) which can be done at one of the Libraries labs on campus. Students can request the Library to do the conversion for them at no charge.
Once the thesis/practicum has been converted to PDF, students contact the Library to receive authorization to submit the file to MSpace (Wendy.Prystenski@ad.umanitoba.ca, ph: 204.510.8063).
To submit an ETD or learn more about ETDs visit the MSpace website
The paper version must be submitted as single-sided, unbound, and enclosed in an envelope or folder. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure there are no missing pages.
Thesis/Practicum Submission Checklist
i) Collections Canada (formerly: Library and Archives Canada)
After the thesis or practicum has been approved, FGS will submit the paper version of the thesis/practicum to the U of M Libraries which then sends it to Collections Canada. The following will be conducted by Collections Canada:
Collections Canada guidelines are on their website.
- The thesis or practicum will be published by Collections Canada. The current service provider is ProQuest Information and Learning. ProQuest will digitize your thesis/practicum and reproduce it on preservation quality microfiche. A copy of the fiche will be sent to the U of M Libraries. Collections Canada will receive two MICROFICHE copies for the purposes of interlibrary loan;
- The thesis/practicum will be catalogued and the bibliographic record will be available on the Theses Canada Portal;
- The bibliographic record will be listed in Canadiana, Canada's national bibliography, published by Collections Canada and the citation and abstract will appear in Dissertation Abstracts International, published by ProQuest Information and Learning;
- The thesis or practicum will become part of the Collections Canada collection of more than 220,000 theses (2002);
- The microfiche version will be available on interlibrary loan from Collections Canada;
- print, electronic or microfiche versions of the thesis or practicum will be available for purchase from the authorized agent of Collections Canada, ProQuest Information and Learning;
- upon expiration of the contract between the Collections Canada and ProQuest the electronic version of your thesis/practicum will be made available on the Theses Canada Portal.
- Access to theses/practica submitted electronically will be provided through BISON, the Libraries’ catalogue or directly through MSpace, and will be open to the world. MSpace theses will also be searchable via Collections Canada, Google and Google Scholar.
ii) Dissertation Abstracts International
The abstract of not more than 150 words for Master theses/practica and 350 words for PhD theses submitted as part of the thesis or practicum is sent to the publishers of Dissertation Abstracts International by the U of M Libraries. The abstract is printed in this work and the availability of the thesis/practicum on microfiche at Collections Canada is announced.
An authorization to reproduce copyright material beyond brief excerpts must be obtained from the copyright owner and submitted with the thesis or practicum. Such permission letters should not only allow inclusion of the material in the thesis or practicum but should specify the use made of the thesis or practicum by Collections Canada as worded in the Non-Exclusive License to Reproduce Theses.
FGS provides a form that students can use to request permission.
Collections Canada copyright information is listed on their website.
Plagiarism or any other form of cheating in academic work is subject to serious academic penalty including suspension or expulsion from the faculty or university. To plagiarize is to take ideas or words of another person and pass them off as one’s own. Plagiarism applies to any written work, in traditional or electronic format, as well as orally or verbally presented work. It is not necessary to state the source of well known or easily verifiable facts, but students are expected to appropriately acknowledge the sources of ideas and expressions they use in their written work, whether quoted directly or paraphrased. This applies to images, diagrams, or statistical tables, as well as to written material, and materials or information from Internet sources.
To provide adequate and correct documentation is not only an indication of academic honesty but is also a courtesy which enables the reader to consult these sources with ease. Failure to provide appropriate citations constitutes plagiarism. When in doubt about any practice, ask your advisor or professor and refer to the Student Advocacy website.
The Student Advocacy Office, 519 University Centre, 204.474.7423, is a resource available to students dealing with Academic Integrity matters.
The maximum length of time for completion of the program of study, including the course work and thesis or practicum is between two (2) and six (6) years for a Masters degree and seven (7) years for a Ph.D.
The duration of time from initiation of the thesis or practicum proposal to the oral examination will vary. Six months to one year is not uncommon as the length of time to complete a thesis or practicum. Students should consult with their Advisor or Graduate Chair regarding the usual lengths of time experienced by other students in the department/faculty. Below are two examples of the milestones that are normally encountered in research-based graduate programs.
i) Milestones for Completion of a Master’s degree - (order may vary between departments/programs)
ii) Milestones for Completion of PhD - (order may vary between departments/programs)
Academic dishonesty: Cheating and plagiarism are forms of academic dishonesty; see definition ‘plagiarism/cheating’. Refer to page 13 of this document.
Advisor: Most Master’s and PhD students must have an advisor to advise the student on a program of study, direct research, and supervise thesis, practicum or comprehensive examination work. In some departments/faculties, this advisor is called a Program Advisor. In some cases, the advisor may become the Chair of the Advisory or Examining committee(s).
Advisory committee: Most Master’s and all PhD students must have an advisory committee. The purpose of the committee is to approve the student’s program of study and thesis/practicum proposal and to exercise general supervision over the student’s work. In some units, the advisory committee may become the ‘examining’ committee.
Candidacy examination: A requirement of the PhD program. A formal method of evaluation at a time specified by the Advisory committee.
Comprehensive examination: In some Master’s programs, a student may select the comprehensive examination route rather than the thesis or practicum requirement in which the student must demonstrate their mastery of the relevant literature in which they will be examined. Sometimes the term “comprehensive examination” is used synonymously with “candidacy examination,” although the purpose of each exam differs greatly.
Conflict of Interest: A close personal relationship between an evaluator and a student or applicant or between evaluators, that gives rise to the perception of, or potential, for bias.
Examining committee: The purpose of the examining committee is to evaluate the student’s thesis/practicum and oral examination.