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: Pfirman et al. Nature, , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone. Pfirman, S. Stute, H. Simpson, and J. Pechenik, J.
Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. Pitelka, D. Child Review of ciliary structure and function. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa, Vol. Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Sambrotto, R.
Stute, M. Clark, P. Schlosser, W. Broecker, and G. Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Appendices Include all your data in the appendix. 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. Note: 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.
We are looking for a critical analysis. We want you to answer a scientific question or hypothesis. We would like you to gather evidence -- from various sources -- to allow you to make interpretations and judgments. Your results should be clearly defined and discussed in the context of your topic.
Relevant literature should be cited. You should place your analysis in a broader context, and highlight the implications regional, global, etc. Your thesis should be clearly written and in the format described below.
Planning Ahead for Your Thesis If at all possible, start your thesis research during the summer between your junior and senior year - or even earlier - with an internship, etc. The best strategy is to pick a project that you are interested in, but also that a faculty member or other professional is working on.
This person will become your research mentor and this gives you someone to talk with and get background material from. If you're unsure about the selection of a project, let us know and we'll try to connect you with someone. Writing for an Audience Who is your audience? Researchers working in analogous field areas elsewhere in the world i. Researchers working in your field area, but with different techniques.
Researchers working on the same interval of geologic time elsewhere in the world. All other researchers using the same technique you have used. If your study encompasses an active process, researchers working on the same process in the ancient record.
Conversely, if your study is based on the rock record, people studying modem analogs. People writing a synthesis paper on important new developments in your field. People applying earth science to societal problems i. Potential reviewers of your manuscript or your thesis committee. Skimming vs. Reading Because of the literature explosion, papers more skimmed than read. Skimming involves reading the abstract, and looking at the figures and figure captions.
Therefore, you should construct your paper so that it can be understood by skimming, i. The text fills out the details for the more interested reader. 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? In some cases, your r esearch project may be relatively short and you may not be able to write much of your thesis before completing the project.
However in other instances your project may be relatively long, especially if you are doing a PhD, and you will need to keep writing the thesis while conducting your research. But regardless of the nature of your research project and of the scope of your course, you should start writing your thesis or at least some of its sections as early as possible, and there are a number of good reasons for this: How To Improve Your Writing Skills 1.
The best way of improving your writing skills is to finish the first draft of your thesis as early as possible and send it to your supervisor for revision. Your supervisor will correct your draft and point out any writing errors. If you are not a native English speaker, it may be useful to ask your English friends to read a part of your thesis and warn you about any recurring writing mistakes. Read our section on English language support for more advice.
Most universities have writing centres that offer writing courses and other kinds of support for postgraduate students. Attending these courses may help you improve your writing and meet other postgraduate students with whom you will be able to discuss what constitutes a well-written thesis. Reading academic articles and searching for various writing resources on the internet will enable you to slowly adopt the academic style of writing and eventually you should be able to use it effortlessly.
Another useful tool for doing this effectively is to learn how to use specific reference management software RMS such as EndNote. RMS is relatively simple to use and saves a lot of time when it comes to organising your bibliography.
Discussion Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. As you collect data, write up the methods section. In some cases, your r esearch project may be relatively short and you may not be able to write much of your thesis before completing the project. We are looking for a critical analysis.
Include a caption for each figure and table, citing how it was constructed reference citations, data sources, etc. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend or lack of a trend.
List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures. What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results? The methods section should answering the following questions and caveats: Could one accurately replicate the study for example, all of the optional and adjustable parameters on any sensors or instruments that were used to acquire the data?
You may include a key article as appendix.
Conversely, if your study is based on the rock record, people studying modem analogs. List of Tables List page numbers of all tables. Whenever you are presenting some information that is not your own idea in your thesis, make sure you mention the source and avoid writing the statement exactly as it is written in the source. Is there enough information provided about any instruments used so that a functionally equivalent instrument could be used to repeat the experiment? See also: D.
This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data. Could one replicate any laboratory analyses that were used? Discussion Sections Quarantine your observations from your interpretations. Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. Could another researcher accurately find and reoccupy the sampling stations or track lines? Researchers working on the same interval of geologic time elsewhere in the world.
Careful use of phrases such as "We infer that ". All other researchers using the same technique you have used.
Describe the nature of the findings; do not just tell the reader whether or not they are significant. Are your axes labeled and are the units indicated? All figures and tables should be numbered and cited consecutively in the text as figure 1, figure 2, table 1, table 2, etc. Different universities have different guidelines on how to format your thesis, and it is important that you read these guidelines before submitting your thesis to avoid being penalised. By comparison, writing a PhD thesis can feels like running a marathon, working on the same topic for years is laborious and can be quite exhausting! RMS is relatively simple to use and saves a lot of time when it comes to organising your bibliography.
Could redundant data ink be eliminated? Tying the Text to the Data "Show them, don't just tell them…" Ideally, every result claimed in the text should be documented with data, usually data presented in tables or figures.
Make recommendations for further research or policy actions in this section. Simpson, and J. When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data.