Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding. Directions for future investigations on this or related topics. Simpson and Hays cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al.
Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be: Nature , , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. Child Review of ciliary structure and function. Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico.
Tables where more than pages. Calculations where more than pages. You may include a key article as appendix. If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc.
List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures. Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than pages and are not critical to your argument. Order of Writing Your thesis is not written in the same order as it is presented in.
The following gives you one idea how to proceed. Here is another approach. Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final paper. As you collect data, write up the methods section.
It is much easier to do this right after you have collected the data. Be sure to include a description of the research equipment and relevant calibration plots.
When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data. These will help you to visualize the data and to see gaps in your data collection.
If time permits, you should go back and fill in the gaps. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend or lack of a trend. Be sure to make adequate statistical tests of your results. Once you have a complete set of plots and statistical tests, arrange the plots and tables in a logical order. Write figure captions for the plots and tables.
As much as possible, the captions should stand alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists read only the abstract, figures, figure captions, tables, table captions, and conclusions of a paper. Be sure that your figures, tables and captions are well labeled and well documented. Once your plots and tables are complete, write the results section. Writing this section requires extreme discipline.
You must describe your results, but you must NOT interpret them. If good ideas occur to you at this time, save them at the bottom of the page for the discussion section. Be factual and orderly in this section, but try not to be too dry. Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data.
Many papers are cited in the literature because they have a good cartoon that subsequent authors would like to use or modify. In writing the discussion session, be sure to adequately discuss the work of other authors who collected data on the same or related scientific questions.
Be sure to discuss how their work is relevant to your work. If there were flaws in their methodology, this is the place to discuss it. After you have discussed the data, you can write the conclusions section. In this section, you take the ideas that were mentioned in the discussion section and try to come to some closure. If some hypothesis can be ruled out as a result of your work, say so.
If more work is needed for a definitive answer, say that. The final section in the paper is a recommendation section. This is really the end of the conclusion section in a scientific paper. Make recommendations for further research or policy actions in this section. If you can make predictions about what will be found if X is true, then do so. You will get credit from later researchers for this. After you have finished the recommendation section, look back at your original introduction.
Your introduction should set the stage for the conclusions of the paper by laying out the ideas that you will test in the paper. Now that you know where the paper is leading, you will probably need to rewrite the introduction.
You must write your abstract last. All figures and tables should be numbered and cited consecutively in the text as figure 1, figure 2, table 1, table 2, etc. Include a caption for each figure and table, citing how it was constructed reference citations, data sources, etc. Include an index figure map showing and naming all locations discussed in paper. You are encouraged to make your own figures, including cartoons, schematics or sketches that illustrate the processes that you discuss.
Examine your figures with these questions in mind: Is the figure self-explanatory? Are your axes labeled and are the units indicated? Show the uncertainty in your data with error bars. If the data are fit by a curve, indicate the goodness of fit.
Could chart junk be eliminated? Could non-data ink be eliminated? Could redundant data ink be eliminated? Could data density be increased by eliminating non-data bearing space? Is this a sparse data set that could better be expressed as a table? Does the figure distort the data in any way? Are the data presented in context? Does the figure caption guide the reader's eye to the "take-home lesson" of the figure?
Figures should be oriented vertically, in portrait mode, wherever possible. If you must orient them horizontally, in landscape mode, orient them so that you can read them from the right, not from the left, where the binding will be. If there are no data provided to support a given statement of result or observation, consider adding more data, or deleting the unsupported "observation. Final Thesis Make 3 final copies: Final thesis should be bound. Printed cleanly on white paper. Double-spaced using point font.
Resources The Barnard Writing Room provides assistance on writing senior theses. Look at other theses on file in the Environmental Science department, they will give you an idea of what we are looking for. Of course do not hesitate to ask us, or your research advisor for help. The Barnard Environmental Science Department has many books on scientific writing, ask the departmental administrator for assistance in locating them.
Also see additional books listed as Resources. Copy Editing Proof read your thesis a few times. Make sure that you use complete sentences Check your grammar: Give it to others to read and comment.
Content Editing logic repetition, relevance style. Avoiding ambiguity Do not allow run-on sentences to sneak into your writing; try semicolons. Avoid clauses or phrases with more than two ideas in them.
Do not use double negatives. Do not use dangling participles i. Make sure that the antecedent for every pronoun it, these, those, that, this, one is crystal clear.
If in doubt, use the noun rather than the pronoun, even if the resulting sentence seems a little bit redundant.
Ensure that subject and verb agree in number singular versus plural. Be especially careful with compound subjects. Avoid qualitative adjectives when describing concepts that are quantifiable "The water is deep. Do not use unexplained acronyms.
Spell out all acronyms the first time that you use them. Thesis length Write for brevity rather than length. The goal is the shortest possible paper that contains all information necessary to describe the work and support the interpretation.
Avoid unnecessary repetition and irrelevant tangents. It is then developed in the main body of the paper, and mentioned again in the discussion section and, of course, in the abstract and conclusions.
Some suggestions on how to shorten your paper: Use tables for repetitive information. Include only sufficient background material to permit the reader to understand your story, not every paper ever written on the subject. Use figure captions effectively. Instead, use the text to point out the most significant patterns, items or trends in the figures and tables.
Delete "observations" or "results" that are mentioned in the text for which you have not shown data. Delete "conclusions" that are not directly supported by your observations or results. Delete "interpretation" or "discussion" sections that are inconclusive. Delete "interpretation" or "discussion" sections that are only peripherally related to your new results or observations. Although it varies considerably from project to project, average thesis length is about 40 pages of text plus figures.
This total page count includes all your text as well as the list of references, but it does not include any appendices. It should accomplish 2 things: Summary of the entire project — this can be an extended abstract.
What you set out to do purpose of research , what you did methods and what you found out main results. Directions for future research. I learned something great about this in a thesis defense yesterday. Think beyond replicating your study and overcoming your limitations. Think beyond better ways of addressing the same research questions.
Now that we know what your research results are, what are other interesting questions we should address? What other issues and questions arise?
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The discussion chapter is the problem child of the thesis. The chapter most likely to provoke fear, uncertainty and doubt. Not everyone writes a chapter called “discussion”, but everyone has to do discussiony bits because, well – that’s where the creative magic of the PhD happens.
In a conventional thesis, what we call the IMRAD type (introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusion) the discussion chapter appears a discrete chapter. Before you worry about the discussion chapter too much, consider whether you need to treat the discussion as a separate section at all.
Writing the Discussion The discussion section is a framing section, like the Introduction, which returns to the significance argument set up in your introduction. So reread your introduction carefully before writing the discussion; you will discuss how the hypothesis has been demonstrated by the new research and then show how the field's knowledge has been changed by the addition of this new data. You can't write a good introduction until you know what the body of the paper says. Consider writing the introductory section(s) after you have completed the rest of the paper, rather than before. Be sure to include a hook at the beginning of the introduction.
Sep 09, · Have a thesis expert improve your writing. Proofreading & Editing. Check your thesis for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Writing a conclusion and discussion for your dissertation. Date published September 9, by Bas Swaen. Date updated: September 17, /5(). How to write a Discussion chapter for your thesis or dissertation I noticed that the Discussion chapter is one of the hardest to write, especially when you are .