MA Theses

Tips for Completing a Thesis

Below we list some basic information that past students have recommended we make available to students interesting in the thesis option. The graduate catalog also has information about how to complete a thesis at LSU.

  • It is never too early to begin thinking about a thesis topic. The ideal way to learn about your options is to meet with individual faculty members about about their interests. Faculty members who can supervise an MA thesis starting in the fall of 2015 include: Geoff CoalsonNeila Donovan, Todd Gibson, Paul Hoffman, Yunjung KimMelda KundukJan Norris, and Janna Oetting. Once you select a faculty member and he/she agrees, that faculty member becomes your major professor for your thesis.
  • In addition to a major professor, you must have two other faculty members on your thesis committee. To get these members, ask your major professor for his/her suggestions and then ask (via email, phone, or in person) your members to serve.
  • To complete a thesis, you will work very closely with your major professor. Therefore, plan to meet with your professor on a regular basis. The regularity of your meetings varies as a function of the faculty member and research topic.
  • Before you start your data collection phase of the project, you will have to have IRB approval for your project. You will learn about this in research design and your major professor will help you with this process.
  • Before you start your data collection phase of the project, you will be encouraged to have a prospectus. In this meeting your committee will learn about your project and give you feedback. Two weeks before this meeting, you should give your committee members a copy of all chapters of your thesis that you have finished. In addition to asking your committee members to attend (and coordinating the meeting time to fit into their schedules), you need to reserve a room in the department for this meeting. The front office can help you with this. Typically students hold their meetings in the COMD classroom and they use Power Point to talk about their literature review, research questions, and research plan.  As part of the prospectus, we will ask for your picture so that the department can formally recognize your achievements.
  • When you and your major professor feel you are nearing completion of the thesis, you will need to schedule your defense with your committee members. The public is invited to attend this meeting, so feel free to invite colleagues, friends, and family. This meeting involves paperwork with the graduate school. Seek help with the front office. After the defense, we will ask for your picture again so that the department can formally recognize your achievements.
  • Once you pass the defense, schedule an appointment with the editor after converting your document into PDF format.  Make the changes the editor requests and submit following the guidelines of the LSU graduate school. Read LSU’s formatting guidelines before you start writing so that you do not have to worry about these types of last minute changes to your document.
  • Celebrate a job well done!

Past Thesis

The department’s first theses were completed in 1932 by Elizabeth Gebelin and Evelyn Claire Prince, both of Baton Rouge, LA. The following is a list of theses recently completed. All recent theses can be accessed by

Bankston, I. (2020). The Relationship Between the Development of Communicative Functions in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Espinal, J. (2020). Acoustic Characteristics of Word-final American English liquids as produced by L2 Adult Speakers.

Grubbs, K. (2020). Acoustic Changes During Passage Reading in Speakers with Parkinson’s Disease.

Herring, A. (2020). The Relationship Between Working Memory, Procedural Learning, and Declarative Memory in Children with Specific Language Impairment.

Schoenfield, D. (2020). Children's Attitudes Toward Their Communication Abilities.

Stoller, L. (2020). Research to Practice-Implementing Sign-Infused Intervention as a Novice Clinician.

Dorsa, R. (2019). Acoustic Characteristics of Vowels Produced by Young Children from the New Orleans Area.

Glorioso, T. (2019). The Effects of Photographic Representations on Scores of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39 for People with Aphasia.

Hensgens, C. (2019). Item Comparison of Two Language Assessments in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Killian, J. (2019). Use of Video-Models to Teach Language Stimulation Techniques.

Petit, M. (2019). Picture Cued and Speech Production Cued Approaches for Speech Sound Learning.

Sossaman, E. (2019). Relationship between Subject Pronoun and Verb Finite Marking in AAE-Speaking Children.

Steele, K. (2018). The Impact of Task-Specific Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Sustained Attention in a Healthy Population.

Thompson, A. (2018). Articulatory Kinematics During Stop Closure in Speakers with Parkinson’s Disease.

Ramamoorthy Brown, G. (2017). Pronoun marking in African American English-speaking children with and without specific language impairment.

Jacobs, A. (2016) Phonological encoding of medial vowels in adults who stutter.

Mahoney, M. (2016) Treating attention deficits in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease using APT-III.

Miller, J. (2016) Reliability of auditory-perceptual ratings of dysarthric speech: Hypokinetic Dysarthria secondary to Parkinson’s Disease.

Brown, C. (2015). Do people with aphasia interpret road signs differently than people without aphasia?

Gaviria, A.M. (2015). Acoustic realization of contrastive stress in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Parker, L. (2015). Reliability of subjective endoscopic parameters in the differentiation of essential voice tremor and adductor spasmodic dysphonia using high speed videoendoscopy.

Studrawa, S. (2015). Investigating the effect of photographic representations on scores of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39 for people with moderate to severe aphasia.

Brown, A. (2014). The effects of using MorphoPhonic Faces as a method for teaching sight words to low-performing Kindergarteners.

Gibbons, C. (2014). Improving the reliability of caregivers’ response on the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scales (IT-MAS) via video.

Heise-Jensen, L. (2014). Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-30: Investigating preliminary content validity of picture representations of questions by people with mild to moderate aphasia.

Love, A. (2014). Evaluating the effects of dialect on kindergartners’ use of three grammatical structures in narratives.

Smitherman, H. (2014). Mais, you talk like me? /ju ɔra/: Kindergarteners’ use of five Cajun English phonological features.

Beslin, A. (2013). An acoustic description of vowels spoken by speakers with Cajun ethnicity in southern Louisiana.

Brouwer, A. (2013). Finding similarities between photographs and the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39 (SAQoL-39) items.

Cooperberg, K. (2013). Comparing the treatment effect of conversational and traditional aphasia treatments on linguistic complexity measures.

Ferguson, K. (2013). Treatment effects of attention process training for an individual with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.

Hall, Z. (2013). Effect of rate reduction on speech intelligibility in individuals.

Hays, S. (2013). Attitudes about voice and voice therapy in transgender individuals.

Perkins, A. (2013). Differentiation of voice disorders using objective parameters from harmonic waveform modeling in high-speed digital imaging.

Schubert, A. 2013). An examination of the validity and reliability of the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scales.

Spedale, C. (2013). The effect of Cajun status on kindergartner’s use of five grammar structures.

Williams, A. J. (2013). The effects of MorphoPhonic Faces as a method for teaching sight words.

Kay, T. (2012). Spectral analysis of stop consonants in individuals with dysarthria secondary to stroke.

Rodrigue, K. (2012). The relation between children’s nonmainstream English dialect density and their emergent reading achievement.

Delrose, L. (2011). Investigating the use of graphic organizers for writing.

Deroche, D. (2011). A survey of selected picture representations of the stroke and aphasia quality of life scale-39 items.

Boudreaux, D. (2011). Using the ambulatory phonation monitor to measure the vocal parameters of older people with and without Parkinson’s disease.

Guillory, E. (2011). Treatment effects of attention process training for an individual with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.

Grace, A. B. (2010). Parent report of home literacy experiences in children with and without speech and language impairments.

Gish, A.K. (2010). Vocal warm-up practices and perceptions in vocalists: A pilot survey.

Michiels, H. (2010). Treatment effect of maximum performance speech therapy for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and dysarthria.

Zimmerman, C. (2009). Effect of group aphasia treatment on word retrieval skills.

Dolan, W. (2009). Use of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic to differentiate children with and without autism.

Jopling, R. (2009). High speech digital imaging of voice initiation and voice offset patterns during phonation.

Bourque, A. (2008). A comparison of morphophonic faces and pictures accompanied by words on the production of verbal communication in preschoolers with autism.

Cain, E. (2008). Comparing the effects of intensive and non-intensive aphasia therapy on word retrieval, apraxic errors, and quality of life.

Durand, B. (2008). Vocal fold vibratory characteristics pre and post phonosurgery investigated by stroboscopy.

Goodwin, H. (2008). Examining the effect of non-intensive treatment on word retrieval, speech intelligibility, and quality of life following intensive treatment.

Johnson, A. (2008). The effectiveness of contextualization of second language acquisition using the situational discourse semantic model.

Legere, L. (2008). Caregiver perception of the use and benefit of baby signs.

Collins, M. (2007). Expectation in auditory processing of environmental sounds in people with fluent aphasia.

Stead, A. (2007). Expectation in visual processing of environmental symbols in people with fluent aphasia.

Bonnette, A. M. (2007). Effects of the menstrual cycle on the vibratory characteristics of the vocal folds.

Jones, E. (2007). The clinical utility of MLU and IPSyn for AAE-speaking children.

Rodrigue, T. M. (2007). Prevalence of family history of speech-language impairment in an African American sample.

Scavo, T. (2007). The efficacy of an actor-emotion technique on changing communication attitudes in children who stutter: A treatment outcome study.

Courville, V. J. (2007). Rate change effects on acoustic duration measures of an adolescent who stutters.

Wooden, E. W. (2006). The utility of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory for low-income African American children.

Overall, N. (2005). Validity of the Reflux Symptoms Index for post-pubescent female vocalists.

Porter, K. (2005). Strategies and beliefs about conflict resolution: Comparing children with language-learning disorders to children with typical language development.

Venturella, K. (2004). The effectiveness of language-literacy training for childcare workers.

Kendrick, K. (2004). Louisiana State University nasalence protocol standardization.

Cartmill, V. (2003). A comparative study of two treatment approaches for improving middle school students reading comprehension.

Fleck, E. (2003). The effect of high frequency amplification on subjective and objective benefit with digital hearing instruments.

Hill, B. (2003). The effects of expansion on objective and subjective benefit in hearing impaired listeners.

Wynn, C. (2003). Alternative language sample analysis for the assessment of low-income, African American children.

Lopez, A. (2002). Comparative study of analog and digital hearing aids.

Poston, V. (2001). A descriptive study of teen mothers and their children.

Pruitt, S. (2001). Evaluating the effectiveness of a parent training program on adolescent mothers and their communicative interactions with their children.