Writing and publishing your thesis

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Writing and publishing your thesis

Getting Started When you are about to begin, writing a thesis seems a long, difficult task.

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That is because it is a long, difficult task. Fortunately, it will seem less daunting once you have a couple of chapters done. Towards the end, you will even find yourself enjoying it — an enjoyment based on satisfaction in the achievement, pleasure in the improvement in your technical writing, and of course the approaching end.

Like many tasks, thesis writing usually seems worst before you begin, so let us look at how you should make a start.

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An outline First make up a thesis outline: There is a section on chapter order and thesis structure at the end of this text. Once you have a list of chapters and, under each chapter heading, a reasonably complete list of things to be reported or explained, you have struck a great blow against writer's block.

When you sit down to type, your aim is no longer a thesis — a daunting goal — but something simpler. Your new aim is just to write a paragraph or section about one of your subheadings. It helps to start with an easy one: In an experimental thesis, the Materials and Methods chapter is often the easiest to write — just write down what you did; carefully, formally and in a logical order.

How do you make an outline of a chapter? For most of them, you might try the method that I use for writing papers, and which I learned from my thesis adviser Stjepan Marcelja: Assemble all the figures that you will use in it and put them in the order that you would use if you were going to explain to someone what they all meant.

You might as well rehearse explaining it to someone else — after all you will probably give several talks based on your thesis work. Once you have found the most logical order, note down the key words of your explanation. These key words provide a skeleton for much of your chapter outline. Once you have an outline, discuss it with your adviser.

This step is important: Organisation 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. Or you may think of something interesting or relevant for that chapter.

When you come to work on Chapter m, the more such notes you have accumulated, the easier it will be to write. Make a back-up of these files and do so every day at least depending on the reliability of your computer and the age of your disk drive.

If you thesis file is not too large, a simple way of making a remote back-up is to send it as an email attachment to a consenting email correspondent; you could also send it to yourself. In either case, be careful to dispose of superseded versions so that you don't waste disk space, especially if you have bitmap images or other large files.

Or you could use a drop-box or other more sophisticated system. You should also have a physical filing system: This will make you feel good about getting started and also help clean up your desk. Your files will contain not just the plots of results and pages of calculations, but all sorts of old notes, references, calibration curves, suppliers' addresses, specifications, speculations, notes from colleagues etc.

Stick them in that folder. Then put all the folders in a box or a filing cabinet. As you write bits and pieces of text, place the hard copy, the figures etc in these folders as well. Touch them and feel their thickness from time to time — ah, the thesis is taking shape.

If any of your data exist only on paper, copy them and keep the copy in a different location. Consider making a copy of your lab book. This has another purpose beyond security: Further, scientific ethics require you to keep lab books and original data for at least ten years, and a copy is more likely to be found if two copies exist.

What is a thesis? For whom is it written? How should it be written? I was taught that commas were placed when you feel like taking a breath mostly wrong and semi colons were irrelevant so wrong. Other parts of my language knowledge are thin and I still cannot name any part of a sentence with certainty.
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If you haven't already done so, you should archive your electronic data, in an appropriate format. Spreadsheet and word processor files are not suitable for long term storage. Archiving data by Joseph Slater is a good guide.The Purdue Writing Lab Purdue University students, faculty, and staff at our West Lafayette, IN campus may access this area for information on the award-winning Purdue Writing Lab.

writing and publishing your thesis

This area includes Writing Lab hours, services, and contact information. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.

Annual M.F.A. Graduate Book Festival and Reading. At the end of each academic year, the graduates of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program host a book festival and reading where they present their final thesis projects—books that they wrote, designed and produced themselves.

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Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article: Second Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) Second Edition. Some sites with related material. Writing and publishing a scientific paper How to survive a thesis defence. Some relevant texts.

Stevens, K. and Asmar, C () 'Doing postgraduate research in .

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