grad_com is an electronic newsletter from the BSU School of Graduate Studies. If you have ideas, send them to, with Attn: Anne in the subject line.

Vol. 2, No. 6

February 2006


The Process

Registration: Grad classes

Starting the count of seven years to complete a degree

Form 1: Applying for admission to graduate studies

Completing 13-16 graduate credits after admission

Form 2: Applying for candidacy in a graduate degree program

Taking the written exam at the end of course work

Form 3: Proposing a research paper or thesis

Doing the work and writing the results

Form 4: Applying for graduation

Submitting the research paper or thesis for review

Form 5: Scheduling the oral examination

Defending your graduate work



Q&A: Formatting questions?

Q: Do I need a page header in my research paper or thesis??

A: It depends on the style manual used:

·    MLA: Yes. Along with the page number, your last name is required.

·    APA: Optional. The header is the first two or three words of your title. (See p. 288 of the manual. Ignore p. 296).

·    Handbook: See sample and instructions for formatting your title page.

Q: How do I align page numbers in the Table of Contents?

A: In Microsoft® Word, go to the Format menu and select Tabs. Select or type in the tab stop position and select Alignment Right and Leader 2 …….


These and other formatting tips are addressed in the January 2006 Handbook for the Preparation of the Thesis or Research Paper.


This month . . .

·      Extended Learning – ITV

·      Navigating the Library – Finding the Right Stuff

·      The Process: Form 5 and Defense Preparations

·      Q&A: Formatting questions?

Extended Learning – ITV

Presently, no graduate ITV classes are broadcast from BSU, but the campus receives broadcasts from St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Preparation. After registering for an ITV course, you receive information regarding the location of the class. For maps and a virtual tour, go to the interactive television link of the Academic Technology Center at Instructor materials may be sent to you or to the ITV site for distribution in the classroom.

Participation. ITV classrooms include microphones and voice-activated television monitors. During a broadcast, all class sites can be heard, but only one site is viewed by each classroom, depending on the level of sound received by the classroom monitor. Thus, ITV classroom etiquette differs from that in traditional classrooms:

·    Be accessible. Arrive early for any instructions from the technical personnel or instructor. Sit within camera view.

·    Be attentive. Face forward. Limit unnecessary noise.

When speaking, do so one person at a time.

·    Be assertive. “This is ____ at BSU; I have a question,” or  Dr. ___, we can’t see the graphics clearly,” or “Whoever’s eating chips, please stop; we can’t see the instructor.”

For more information, contact the ATC, Deputy 109, 755-2759,, or Leo Morgan, Director of Academic Technology,

Navigating the Library – Finding the Right Stuff

Last month, we toured the BSU library. This month, we use library tools to gather materials for study and support of research. Finding the right stuff requires two steps:

Focus your search. Don’t reinvent the wheel; use the research already published to simplify the search process. Use two categories of tools: books and references.

Find a book or bibliography (general collection) on or related to your subject; choose items of interest in the bibliography.

Consult an encyclopedia or dictionary (reference collection) of a subject or discipline (e.g. Education, Sciences, Art, Music) for items of interest.

Find your sources. The items you want to find will determine the tools you need to use: periodicals or non-periodicals.

Periodicals: To find what’s “out there” (not necessarily at BSU), use indexes and abstracts. Printed versions (in the reference collection) list items as old as 1802; electronic versions generally list items 20 years old or less. The Ready Reference databases are a collection of electronic indexes and abstracts; many full-text items are provided there. Access is via a link near the top of the library homepage at Click on Electronic Periodicals Available via BSU, or scroll down and view what’s “out there.” 

Non-periodicals: Use the catalogs (explained further next month).

For more information, contact the reference desk, 755-3342; or Bill Shaman, Instruction Librarian, Next month: Getting Connected

The Process: Form 5 and Defense Preparations

Form 5. Submit the final draft of your research paper/thesis to your committee for review and feedback. Complete the Pre-Defense Signature Form, obtain signatures, and submit the form to the School of Graduate Studies.

Pre-Defense: Contact your committee members and the graduate faculty representative to schedule your oral defense. Inform the School of Graduate Studies of the date, time, and location; submit a revised curriculum vita. (At the oral defense, you will also provide committee members with a copy of the revised curriculum vita.) At least three weeks before the defense, submit one unbound copy of your research paper/thesis to the School of Graduate Studies for review and forwarding to the graduate faculty representative.

For current forms and information, go to and select the Graduate Forms link.

We want to make grad_com useful for you. Let us know what you would like to see on these pages by contacting the School of Graduate Studies, Decker Hall 110, 218-755-2027 (toll-free: 1-888-386-8464),