The major steps are listed here. Managing any project and producing results (a new design, a revised process, a list of requirements) involves these five steps. These stages occur in more or less sequential order, but there can be lots of loop-backs between any two steps. The “drafting” stage, for instance, results in a test document you can and should ask others’ to critique. If your evaluators cannot understand the purpose of the document, you may need to go back to the Planning stage to brainstorm about how to highlight the purpose better. You may even need to go back to the Objectives, to determine whether you are clear about the purpose.
You may have read dozens upon dozens of papers, but there will be some that do not contribute to the points that your are trying to make, or there will be papers that give identical information. Because of the time you spent trying to understand them, you may be tempted incorporate all that you have read. Attempting to do this will make what is already a difficult task impossible do not simply quote or paraphrase the contents of published articles. You should try to weave the information into focussed views, incorporating where possible, your own opinions and comments. This will demonstrate your deeper understanding of the topic.
Writing Master and PhD thesisWriting Master and PhD thesis
Prof. Afaf El-AnsaryProf. Afaf El-Ansary
Biochemistry Department- ScienceBiochemistry Department- Science
Goals of this workshopGoals of this workshop
To introduce strategies for bridging the
gap between coursework/beginning
research and thesis writing.
To help you understand the criteria of the
thesis proposal and common elements of
To introduce practical and grammatical
principles of writing effective Master and
To provide you with tips for drafting and
revising individual sections of your
proposal followed by writing your thesis.
What is a Thesis?
Thesis is the document describing the Project
Work carried out as a part of partial fulfillment of
academic requirement to get a degree.
It describes the complete process of the project
starting from the problem formulation to the
solution and conclusions in a Scientific and
What is a thesis?What is a thesis?
Your thesis is a research report.
The report concerns a problem or series of
problems in your area of research .
it should describe what was known about it
previously, what you did towards solving it, what
you think your results mean, and where or how
further progress in the field can be made.
What level of work is expected in a
Master’s thesis is just one step below the Ph.D.
thesis in terms of originality and contribution.
Although “new invention” in the work is not
expected, the originality in the solution and
solution procedure is very important.
What is Size of a Master’s Thesis ?
A Master’s thesis will fill around 60-80 pages in
A4, inclusive of certificates, declarations,
references, appendices and main text.
A too small thesis represent the inadequacy of the
A too big thesis reflects the inability of the
candidate to write a concise report.
Why is it so hard to write a thesis?
Writing a thesis is a completely new experience.
Writing a thesis marks a major transition in your
professional life and thus can cause significant
Writing a thesis is a very large, independent project.
Also…many graduate students have never actually
read a thesis. Check out ,talk to your advisor, other
faculty members, and colleagues in your department
to find good examples.
About your thesis advisor…About your thesis advisor…
If you are given the opportunity to select your thesis advisor or
advisory committee, do it wisely. Don’t focus only on content experts.
Make sure you have selected committee members who are supportive of
you and are willing to assist you in successfully completing your
Your thesis/dissertation advisor is your ally. Your thesis advisor
wants you to succeed, so be sure to think of this person as something of
a “teammate.” Spend time talking with your advisor so that he or she
really understands your goals. Don’t be afraid to talk with your advisor;
it is part of this person’s job to help you, and most faculty members take
this responsibility very seriously.
Your thesis advisor cannot read your mind. If you have questions or
concerns about your project, or if you are struggling for any reason at all,
you cannot expect your advisor to know this automatically. One of your
primary responsibilities is to keep the lines of communication open, so
don’t wait for your advisor to come to you. Talk to your advisor when
things are going well and when things are not.
Essential Elements of your thesis:Essential Elements of your thesis:
The formulation of a thesis in should thus
address four issues:
• What is the question or issue?• What is the question or issue?
• What method will be used to address this• What method will be used to address this
• What evidence can be applied?• What evidence can be applied?
• What logic integrates the above?• What logic integrates the above?
Understandably, the normal first step is to work in an area
that interests you. However, the topic does not by itself
define a thesis. In each case you need to identify a specific
research question within the context of the topic.
The research question must certainly have more than one
possible answer. If it cannot be refuted it has no real interest.
For example, the hypothesis “Is melatonin important?”“Is melatonin important?”
seems to have only one answer—YES. It is hard to see how
melatonin is not important.
A more challenging hypothesis might be “ Could melatonin“ Could melatonin
be used to protect against propionic acid neurotoxicity?”be used to protect against propionic acid neurotoxicity?”
The answer to this question might be either yes or no, and
the research could lead to a surprise, a new insight. This
could be worthwhile and interesting.
An Interesting Question
In defining your thesis, ask yourse lf if the answer
to the question has some potential for making a
The question should be interesting to others, at
least to some specific audience.
The question should certainly be interesting to you.
If it is not, you will have difficulty sustaining the
motivation necessary to get the work done in a
2. Methods:2. Methods:
What is the proposed method, specifically?
Do you already know how to apply this method?
Do you have the resources to apply this method
(the time to learn it,
the equipment or program to carry it out, the
money to pay for it?
What kind of data does your method and question
How much of it do you already have in hand?
How sure are you that you will be able to obtain
what you require
within your deadline? What obstacles might
prevent you from obtaining your degree?
what you need?
Will you have a safe plan?
For whom is it written?For whom is it written?
The readers of a thesis do not know what the "answer" is.
If the thesis is for a PhD, the university requires that it make
an original contribution to human knowledge: your research
must discover something unknown.
Obviously your examiners will read the thesis. They will be
experts in the general field of your thesis but, on the exact
topic of your thesis, you are the world expert. Keep this inyou are the world expert. Keep this in
mind: you should write to make the topic clear to a readermind: you should write to make the topic clear to a reader
who has not spent most of the last three years thinkingwho has not spent most of the last three years thinking
about it.about it.
Keep in your mind thatKeep in your mind that
Your thesis will also be used as a scientific report and
consulted by future workers in your laboratory who will
want to know, in detail, what you did.
Theses are occasionally consulted by people from other
institutions, and the library sends microfilm versions if
More commonly theses are now stored in a digital form.
These may be stored as .pdf files on a server at your
university. The advantage is that your thesis can be
consulted much more easily by researchers around the
The Good NewsThe Good News
You only have to
write ONE thesis
At the end, you can
add “Dr” to your
The Bad NewsThe Bad News
Writing a thesis is
hard, painful work
done the fun part
It’s unlike any other
Thesis writing is
not a marketable
How to Write a Good MasterHow to Write a Good Master’’s Thesiss Thesis
Writing a Master’s thesis is very important
process that requires good knowledge and
Before starting to write your own Master’s
dissertation – take a look at other projects
completed on your faculty.
Ask your supervisor professor how to review
close to your topic dissertations previously
defended on the faculty
PhD thesisPhD thesis
Opens a new area
Thoroughly explores area
Provides empirical data
Develops new tool
Produces negative result
You’re tackling an
You’ve made an
original contribution to
Writing of your thesis is described asWriting of your thesis is described as
academic writingacademic writing
What is Academic Writing?What is Academic Writing?
Synthesis of literature
Develop and defend arguments
Contribute to an area of research
Construct new knowledge
Is not about solving the world’s problem in one
dissertation, research paper, book chapter, or book
It is much easier to write your own work when
you have a model of the thesis.
Remember that you are free to ask any questions –
consult with your supervisor and discuss when he
is available to read your drafts.
A lot of students consult with their advisor rarely
that makes additional troubles and takes more time
in the end.
Your advisor can explain you how to write a
Master's thesis correctly.
A timetableA timetable
Set down with the adviser and make up a timetable
for writing it: a list of dates for when you will give the
first and second drafts of each chapter to your
This structures your time and provides intermediate
If you have told your adviser that you will deliver a
first draft of chapter 3 on Wednesday, it focuses your
attention. You may want to make your timetable into
a chart with items that you can check off as you have
This is particularly useful towards the end of the
thesis when you find there will be quite a few loose
ends here and there.
Managing the SupervisorManaging the Supervisor
Listen, listen, listen
Meet the deadlines
Turn up for appointments in time – he/she
has a life too.
Accommodate his/her work if possible
Reading before start WritingReading before start Writing
Browse to get general understanding, take
notes (key words).
Always have something available for a quick
read and save the best.
Form a thesis statement.
Create two files: the main text andCreate two files: the main text and
Read the selected references in depth.
Annotate your bibliography entries. Type the
quotes, your comments regarding the topic.
General aspects and philosophy
of the whole thesis
Within the thesis
Writing style and form
Getting started, keeping going
(personal advice from writers)
But I still have a hard time
beginning to write!!
It is encouraging and helpful to start a filing system.
Open a word-processor file for each chapter and one
for the references.
You can put notes in these files, as well as text. While
doing something for Chapter CC, you will think "Oh I
must refer back to/discuss this in Chapter D" and so
you put a note to do so in the file for Chapter D. Or you
may think of something interesting or relevant for that
When you come to work on Chapter D, the more such
notes you have accumulated, the easier it will be to
Make a back-up of these files and do soMake a back-up of these files and do so
every day at leastevery day at least(depending on the reliability(depending on the reliability
of your computer and the age of your diskof your computer and the age of your disk
Gathering Resource MaterialsGathering Resource Materials
The references, footnotes of books & journal
Library research: lib catalogues, electronic
References of conference papers
Personal communication with experts
Remember to record the sources, using theRemember to record the sources, using the
assigned format.assigned format.
General philosophyGeneral philosophy
The message given
The way that message is presented (structure,
language, and illustration)
The appearance of the message (grammar,
punctuation, usage, spelling, and format).
General philosophyGeneral philosophy
A research paper (or thesis)
is an attempt to satisfy others
with your idea.
The key to satisfy is
Don't use a thousand words
where five hundred will do.
If at first you don't succeed,
try, try, try, again.
Recognize that writing is a process.
Learn to separate these stagesLearn to separate these stages!
Manage the writing process.
Manage your time
Learn to draft – avoid
need for perfection at this
Learn to separate the
creative and critical parts
of your personality.
Prepare a one-page summary of your thesis
title developed into a thesis outline
Including: research problem, objective,
Sequence of Drafting
1. Write draft of
2. Write draft of Methods
3. Write draft of Literature
4. Write draft of Results
5. Write draft of
6. Revise Introduction
7. Revise middle three
8. Revise Conclusions
9. Revise Introduction
10. Write Abstract
Writing Process and Planning:
You organize for yourself
(outlines, etc.), and you
organize the document for
Students may study a selection
of theories, choosing one to
Students question, challenge,
and test the work of others, then
produce their own original
work, creating a unique theory.
Doctoral students educate
themselves, critique their work
against established theories,
then design their own theory to
present to others.
Students help others relate their
own practice to a theory.
Master-Level vs. Doctoral-Level
What is Scholarly Writing?What is Scholarly Writing?
Exposition – writing that explains and
answers the questions how? And why? In
Written by academics for an academic audience
Author’s name, credentials and affiliation listed
Usually includes a literature review
Generally not many graphics
The Thesis/Dissertation StructureThe Thesis/Dissertation Structure
• Title: Name: Course: Year
• Table of Contents
• List of Figures/ Tables
• Chapter 1: Introduction
• Chapter 2: Literature Review
• Chapter 3: Research Methods
• Chapter 4: Findings
• Chapter 5: Conclusions
• Chapter 6: References
• Appendix : Research papers are condensed versions of your
Example: table of contents
Table of Contents
2.2 Software products
5.2 User interface
5.4 Test strategy
Chapters should be numbered 1, 2, 3, etc.
Sections within Chapter 7 (say) should be
numbered 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, etc.
Subsections within Section 7.4 (say) should
be numbered 7.4.1, 7.4.2, etc.
Appendices should be “numbered” A, B, C,
How to Write Thesis AcknowledgementsHow to Write Thesis Acknowledgements
In the thesis acknowledgment chapter
students need to thank all people who
assisted them in preparing this work. Surely,
it is correct. However, you have to pick out
the best way to impress the committee and
your supervisor not only with a perfectly
disclosed topic but also with perfectly written
ways to make your thesis acknowledgmentways to make your thesis acknowledgment
chapter properly and even interestingchapter properly and even interesting.
Certainly, you should not focus only on
thanking your parents and relatives in thesis
Make a list of people who assisted you.
Naturally, professors are worth your attention
in this chapter. However, mind those
laboratory assistants who helped you during
your experiments, etc… in thesis
Think over each of your words. It should not
be a simple list like: I thank my mom; I want
to say thanks… Use synonyms and
adjectives. Still, try not to overuse them.
Be informative and up to the point. Who
knows, maybe, your examiner will like your
thesis acknowledgments, and it will give
you a chance to increase your grade.
When developing the acknowledgement the
writer can rely on certain generally
accepted phrases which are used to express
gratitude – in order for the
acknowledgement not to sound too
unprofessional or simple. A perfect
acknowledgement, is suggested.
It is with immense gratitude that I acknowledge the
support and help of my Professor…
It gives me great pleasure in acknowledging the support
and help of Professor
I am indebted to my Professor, my parents and my
I wish to thank, first and foremost, my Professor and my
I am indebted to my many colleagues who supported me
I would like to thank…
I owe my deepest gratitude to…
This thesis would not have been possible unless
Useful Phrases for Thesis AcknowledgementUseful Phrases for Thesis Acknowledgement
Books, journal articles, and other
First-hand research results
Scholarly writing is
characterized by the use of
evidence (see examples to
the right) to support
improves the credibility of
your argument and analysis
by demonstrating your
critical engagement with
knowledge in your field.
Revise, Revise, Revise
Writing is a process, not an event. Plan on writing multiple
drafts of your first assignments.
Use the following checklist for revision:
paper and paragraph organization
use of evidence
mechanics (grammar, spelling)
Limit Direct Quotation
Paraphrase (restating an author’s ideas in your own words)
demonstrates a higher level of engagement with the source
material than directly quoting it.
Rely on paraphrase to demonstrate that you have understood
what you have read and can restate in your own words.
Know your audience
For a journal article, know
the usual audience and
scope of papers
For a grant proposal, learn
what kind of expenses are
allowable, write to the
specific goals or questions
of that agency
Keep to the point
A concise thesis requires
keeping the main points
in mind--ONLY include
data, discussion that is
relevant to these points
For a proposal, focus on
the aspects for which you
Style and structureStyle and structure
Transitions between sections
Organization of the thesis
Background and Literature review
Problem statement/research question
**Different types of writing might have more/less
emphasis on each of these elements
• Write this LAST!
• Abstracts should be 1-2 pages and should be self-
• Model after a thesis in your field
• Written to attract readers to your thesis, gives a
good initial impression
• Summary of the contents of the thesis
• Brief but contains sufficient detail
• motivation for the work (problem statement)
• project objectives
• techniques employed
• main results and conclusions
Moves in Writing Introduction
Move 1. Establishing a research area
A. By showing its importance, centrality,
problematic or relevant in some way (optional)
B. By reviewing items of previous research in
the area (obligatory=ob)
Move 2 Establishing a niche
A. Indicating a gap in previous knowledge
Move 3 Occupying the niche
A. By outlining purposes or stating the nature
of the present research (ob)
A brief section giving background
information may be necessary. Your readers
may not have any experience with some of
the material needed to follow your thesis, so
you need to give it to them. A more
informative title is usually better, e.g.
“Biochemical aspects of Diabetes Mellitus.
This is a general introduction to what the
thesis is all about -- it is not just a
description of the contents of each section.
Briefly summarize the question (you will be
stating the question in detail later), some of
the reasons why it is a worthwhile question,
and perhaps* give a brief overview of your
* often done in journal articles, but not
usually in theses
Defines scope and limitations of study
Arrangement of thesis?
You probably wrote this for your thesis proposal;
REWRITE IT AFTER body of thesis is written
Look at examples in published literature in your field
This section is likely to contain a lot of reference
citations--put your thesis in context of existing work
Broad information on topic
Narrower background information
Need for study
Focus of paper
Summary of problem (selling point)
You're only writing a paper,
not a book.
Your time for reading is
limited. The broader the topic
the more you must read in
order to cover all aspects of
You want to study a narrow
area deeply, not a broad area
Too much or not enough
Unclear structure and organisation
Lack of purpose and direction
Too many irrelevant details
Not enough background context
Too much background context
Suggest the points to be covered in order to
write a perfect introduction related to the title
below or your thesis title.
Life style as preventive and treatmentLife style as preventive and treatment
strategy of chronic diseasesstrategy of chronic diseases
The Literature Review: Telling aThe Literature Review: Telling a
What is literature – anything that represents research or
scholarship on a subject i.e., books, articles, conference,
proceedings, dissertations, websites etc.
Credibility factor with supervisors – refereed journal
articles, books, dissertations, conference papers,
websites. The review should tell a story relevant to your
topic. It should be viewed as a conceptual triangle –
broad to narrow. It is not a list readings that is
unconnected by any flow.
Words/phrases that help the flow – differences
(however, by contrast, nevertheless, on the other hand,
despite this etc), agreement( similarly, likewise, equally,
in support of this, further confirmation is found in etc),
one idea leading to another (hence, therefore,
consequently, as a result etc)
Links, links, links!
Review of the State of the ArtReview of the State of the Art
(Literature review)(Literature review)
Limited to the state of the art relevant to your thesis.
Again, a specific heading is appropriate; e.g., “Previous
work on Cretaceous orogeny in the Cascades." The idea is
to present (not analyze) the major ideas in the state of the
art right up to, but not including, your own personal
brilliant ideas. You organize this sectionYou organize this section by ideaby idea, and not, and not
by author or by publication.by author or by publication.
Some advisors think this section should come after the
problem statement (next section)
Some advisors do not expect a long lit. review for the
thesis proposal or the thesis--be sure you ask your
Literature reviewLiterature review
Provides context for and details about the
motivation for the project
States why the problem is important
Sets the scene for the work described in the
Describes what others have done and hence
sets a benchmark for the current project
Justifies the use of specific techniques or
problem solving procedures
Tips for literature reviewTips for literature review
• Make it a point to keep on top of your field of study by
making regular visits to the library and to the electronic
• When reading a technical paper, jot down the key
points and make a note of the journal or technical
publication where the paper was published.
• Devise a cataloguing system that will allow you to
retrieve the paper quickly. (e.g. use ENDNOTE)
• Make sure that you have read and understood cited
• Organize your content according to ideas instead
of individual publications.
• Do not simply quote or paraphrase the contents of
published articles. Weave the information into
focused views. Demonstrate your deeper
understanding of the topic.
• Do not be tempted to summarize everything youDo not be tempted to summarize everything you
have read; only include those relevant to yourhave read; only include those relevant to your
main points.main points.
How do you write a good literature review?How do you write a good literature review?
Read with a purpose. You need to summarize the work
you read, but you must also decide which ideas or
information are important to your research (so you can
emphasize them), and which are less important (so you
can cover them briefly or leave them out altogether).
You should also look for the major concepts, conclusions,
theories, and arguments that underlie the work, and look
for similarities and differences with closely related work.
This is difficult when you first start reading, but will become
easier the more you read in your area.
How do you write a good literature review?
Write with a purpose. Your goal is to evaluate and
show relationships between the work already done and
your own research project.
(Is Researcher Y's theory more convincing than
Researcher X's? Did Researcher X build on the work of
To achieve this goal, you must carefully plan how you
are going to organize your review.
Many researchers have shown interest in the field of coastal erosion and the resulting
beach profiles. They have carried out numerous laboratory experiments and field observations to
explore this field. Their findings and suggestions are reviewed here.
JACHOWSKI (1964) developed a model investigation conducted on the interlocking
precast concrete block seawall. After surveying damages caused by the severe storm on the
coast of the USA, a new and especially shaped concrete block was developed for use in shore
protection. This block was designed to be used in a revetment type seawall that would be both
durable and economical as well as reduce wave run-up and overtopping, and scour at its base or
toe. It was proved that effective shore protection could be designed utilizing these units.
HOM-MA and HORIKAWA (1964) studied wave forces acting on the seawall which
was located inside the surf zone. On the basis of the experimental results conducted to measure
waves forces against a vertical wall, the authors proposed an empirical formula of wave pressure
distribution on a seawall. The computed results obtained by using the above formula were
compared well with the field data of wave pressure on a vertical wall.
SELEZOV and ZHELEZNYAK (1965) conducted experiments on scour of sea bottom
in front of harbor seawalls, basing on the theoretical investigation of solitary wave interaction with
a vertical wall using a Boussinesque type equation. It showed that the numerical results were in
reasonable agreement with laboratory experimental data.
and so on.
Example of a bad literature review
Roll, Y., M.J. Rosenblatt and D. Kadosh. “On the optimal container size in automated
warehouses”, Proceedings of the Ninth ICPR.Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are
being introduced into the industry and warehousing at an increasing rate. Forecasts indicate that this
trend will continue for the foreseeable future (see ). Research in the area of AS/RS has followed
several avenues. Early work by Hausman, Schwarz and Graves [6, 7] was concerned with storage
assignment and interleaving policies, based on turnover rates of the various items. Elsayed  and
Elsayed and Stern  compared algorithms for handling orders in AR/RS. Additional work by
Karasawa et al. , Azadivar  and Parry et al.  dealt with the design of an AS/RS and the
determination of its throughput by simulation and optimization techniques.
Several researchers addressed the problem of the optimal handling unit (pallet or container) size, to be
used in material handling and warehousing systems. Steudell , Tanchoco and Agee, Tanchoco
et al.  and Grasso and Tanchoco  studied various aspects of this subject. The last two
references incorporate the size of the pallet, or unit load, in evaluation of the optimal lot sizes for multi-
inventory systems with limited storage space. In a report on a specific case, Normandin  has
demonstrated that using the 'best-size' container can result in considerable savings. A simulation
model combining container size and warehouse capacity considerations, in an AS/RS environment,
was developed by Kadosh . The general results, reflecting the stochastic nature of the flow of goods,
are similar to those reported by Rosenblatt and Roll . Nevertheless, container size was found to
affect strongly overall warehousing costs.
In this paper, we present an analytical framework for approximating the optimal size of a warehouse
container. The approximation is based on series of generalizations and specific assumptions.
However, these are valid for a wide range of real life situations. The underlying assumptions of the
model are presented in the following section.
Example of a better literatureExample of a better literature
The writer did several things to make this literature review more effective
than the earlier example:
• The writer grouped similar information: "Steudell , Tanchoco and
Agee, Tanchoco et al.  and Grasso and Tanchoco  studied
various aspects of this subject."
• The writer showed the relationship between the work of different
researchers, including similarities/differences: "The general results,
reflecting the stochastic nature of the flow of goods, are similar to those
reported by Rosenblatt and Roll ."
• The writer indicated the position of the work in the research area history:
"Early work by Hausman, Schwarz and Graves [6, 7] . . . "
• The writer moved from a general discussion of the research in AS/RS to
the more specific area.
Why is this example better than the first
The goal of this section is to explain two important things
about your project:
What you did
How you did it
You should also justify your choices, explaining why your
plan was appropriate for this project.
Depending on your topic this may be one
paragraph or a long section
If measurement error is important to your
study, state how this was assessed.
Methodology Sections (PastMethodology Sections (Past
Materials, apparatus, procedures,
participants, definitions, statistic procedures
Some commonly used phrases:
In an effort to reduce ______, ______
In order to establish______, _____
For the purpose of this study,_____ is defined
Based on the feedback from the pilot study,
_________ (Swales & Feak, 2004, p. 229)
Results Sections (Past Tense)
Judging the right strength of the claim (Hypotheses
supported? To what extent? )
Highlighting key findings from the data.
Making generalized comparisons
One emerging pattern
Statement of general finding (Hypotheses supported?)
More specific statements to interpret the results
*An Example of “Results”An Example of “Results”
Children’s self-initiated Use of
Pain Relieving Methods
The children reported 13 successful types
of self-initiated pain relieving methods. As
shown in Table 2, most of the children
reported using distraction, resting/sleeping,
positioning/immobility and asking for pain
medication when they experienced pain.
(Swales and Feak, 2004, p. 239)
Data presentationData presentation
Draft your figures first: (A picture is worth a thousand
Make captions stand alone
Use enough figures to present the data that justifies
your interpretations and conclusions. No more, no
less. (Don’t use 1000 words when 500 will do)
Write your text around your figures
Data and InterpretationData and Interpretation
Present data that is relevant to answering the
question or solving the problem:
if there were blind alleys and dead ends, do
not include these, unless specifically relevant
to the demonstration that you answered the
Note for some theses it may be important to
include these in an appendix
Focus on one important thing in
Each paragraph needs a
Contents of paragraph
should only relate to that
Use Outline view to see and
Use the proper tools (for your
research AND your writing)
Spreadsheets, analysis tools
Start learning these before
you collect the data (e.g.,
during the thesis proposal
Now you have toNow you have to
start thinking instart thinking in
order to write aorder to write a
perfect discussionperfect discussion
Keep separate from data, clearly distinguished by
paragraph, section, and/or words like “are interpreted
Depending on your topic, it is often useful to
subdivide interpretation into a “local” or small scale
(directly flows from your data) and a “regional” or “big
picture” scale, that flows from consideration of your
data with that of others. This latter type is usually
included in the “discussion” section.
Look at discussion sections in papers in your field.
See what they cover.
Usually is a broader scale interpretation than just
your data (relate to previous published results)
Addresses the bigger problems of your research topic
and how your study fits into solving those problems
Is NOT a conclusion section
•Relate your findings to the general problem you’re working on
and any specific objectives posed in your introduction.
•What have you learned? Summarize clearly what your results
do and do not demonstrate.
•What kinds of questions might other researchers study in order
to expand our knowledge about this topic?
Note: This section combines references to your own work
(described in the past tense) with general conclusions about the
state of this field (described in the present tense). You will also
speculate about the work still to be done (future tense).
2. Summary of Contributions
3. Future Research
Conclusions are not a rambling summary of the
thesis: they are short, concise statements of the
inferences that you have made because of your work.
It helps to organize these as short numbered
paragraphs, ordered from most to least important. All
conclusions should be directly related to the research
All references cited, including those in Tables
and Figure captions. No more, no less.
Use consistent style throughout (e.g. “et al.”
OR “and others”, not both)
Use ENDNOTE program (start NOW building
your library database)
Recommended Bibliographic SystemsRecommended Bibliographic Systems
The system that seems to provide the most useful balance
between simplicity, intelligibility and reliability is the
“Harvard”“Harvard” method that gives the authors’ names in the
text. It has several advantages:
Because it uses names rather than numbers, both the
author and the reader
can have a direct idea of who is being cited, and if this
reference is appropriate.
The reader will also be able to find references easily in the
References correct for any citation are still correct even if
the text is radically rearranged.
In Text Citation
In the text, the recommended method gives
all references parenthetically, to author and
year. Unless confusion would result, the
citations should come at the end of a
sentence; otherwise, they should be at least
at the end of a clause.
In the bibliography, you should list references
alphabetically by first author, exactly as cited in the text.
For any particular set of authors the references are
chronological, with the more recent references first.
Marks, D. H. (1990a) . . .
Marks, D. H. (1990b) . . .
Marks, D. H. ( 1989) . . .
The format for the references in the bibliography starts
off with the authors by last name, and then initials
followed by the data. Thus:
El-Ansary A., Al-Ayadhi L., Al-Daihan S. (1973) . . .
For a journal article, the string continues with the article’s
title (in quotes), the journal’s name in italics, the volume
number, the issue number, and the pages in the journal. For
El-Ansary A., Al-Ayadhi L., Al-Daihan S.(2012) Fatty
acids as diagnostic markers in Saudi Autistics. Lipids in
health and diseases 35(2):33-45.
For a book, the string proceeds with the title in italics, the
publisher, and publisher’s location. Thus: de Neufville, R.
(1991), Applied Systems Analysis — Engineering
Planning and Technology Management, McGraw-Hill,
New York, NY.
Assignment 4:Assignment 4:
Try to cite the manuscript entitled below as a unified styleTry to cite the manuscript entitled below as a unified style
The complementary role of high sensitivity C-reactive protein in
the diagnosis and severity assessment of autism.
Mohammad Reza Khakzad , Maryam Javanbakht, Mohammad
Reza Shayegan, Sina Kianoush, Fatemeh Omid.
Toxicolgy 2013, Volume 18 issue 2 Pages 45-67.
Neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders
Afaf El-Ansary, Sooad Al-Daihan, Laila Al-Ayadhi
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, volume 9 Page 265
AvAvoid ornate language, words you don’toid ornate language, words you don’t
really understandreally understand
Be professional! (or at least try
In one or more appendices, include materials that are not
essential parts of your thesis but that provide useful information
to readers seeking more detail.
Typical materials included in appendices include:Typical materials included in appendices include:
•Detailed explanations too technical or involved to be
included in the main text
•Additional tables summarizing data
•Experimental protocols or survey questions
•Computations directly relevant to discussions in the main
Giving written work to yourGiving written work to your
It may just be a draft, but proofread it first. A spell-
check is not enough.
Preferably proofread hours or days after you wrote the
Outlines are a good place to start
If you want comments or need a reference letter, give
If you are aiming at a non-geologic audience, give it to
a friend or 211 student
If it’s a thesis proposal, check with all committee
members to see what they expect should be included;
resolve conflicts early
Definition of PlagiarismDefinition of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of others
and presenting them as your own. Plagiarism is a
type of intellectual theft. It can take many forms,
from deliberate cheating to accidentally copying
from a source without acknowledgement.
Unintentional plagiarism can result from not
knowing how to acknowledge or incorporate
sources of information, or from careless note-
taking or 'cutting and pasting' of electronic
Types of PlagiarismTypes of Plagiarism
Copying, cutting and pasting text from an
electronic source and submitting it as your
Using significant ideas from someone else
and presenting them as your own.
Putting someone else's ideas into your own
words and not acknowledging the source of
the ideas is plagiarism.
Using sources from the internet without
How Not to PlagiariseHow Not to Plagiarise
Be aware of what constitutes plagiarism
Employ the technology e.g., Viper (free)
Be aware of what Lingnan considered to be
Become very familiar with the Lingnan
requirements regarding referencing and
citations e.g., Harvard, APA