Presentation on theme: "Some Examples of Gems from History"— Presentation transcript:
1Some Examples of Gems from History Writing as it is WritSome Examples of Gems from HistoryEach pronoun should agree with their antecedentJust between you and I, case is importantA preposition is a poor word to end a sentence withVerbs has to agree with their subjectDon’t use no double negativesA writer mustn’t shift your point of viewWhen dangling, don’t use participlesJoin clauses good, like a conjunction shouldDon’t write a run-on sentence because it is difficult when you got to punctuate it so it makes sense when the reader reads what you wroteAbout sentence fragmentsDo you have any others?
2A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it From Go to ……….. Approaching the Finish Line: How to Write a PhD ThesisORA man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to itSamuel Johnson
3Outline of Presentation A thesis is a journey and only one part of your academic trainingHow is a thesis structured, our viewsBased on the field of biomedical science and social scienceQuestions
4Synopsis of the Session Background: the concept of a thesisRequirements for a thesis, and the journey thereSelf authorshipCOFFEE?Personal issues with creating a thesisSome things to tell studentsSpecial cases: internationals; trauma, illnessesStrategies in therapy of avoidanceExaminers, editors, exemplarsSome things students have told meYour personal experiencesDiscussion
5About LauriePhD in Human Rehabilitation (University of Northern Colorado USA)15 years at QUTFaculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Built Environment and Engineering and Creative Industries (2012)8 PhD (supervise) and 4 PhD (co-super)Research focus: with people!
6About Terry PhD in Biochemistry (UQ) Seven years U Pennsylvania USA Three years Australian National UniTwenty four years QIT/QUTDirector Research Studies FaSTHead of School Biomedical SciencesPersonal focusOver two dozen graduated studentsResearch on structure and function
7What is a PhD?A holder of a Ph.D. … should have knowledge, skills, perspectives and understanding to be capable of self-directed scientific work of a quality satisfactory to others in the fieldIUBMB PhD StandardsDistinctive contribution to knowledge with evidence of originality shown by discovery of new facts &/or exercise of independent critical powerUniversity of London
8What Does a PhD Signify?Recognition, formulation & resolution of a research questionEvaluation of significance of solutionClear written & oral presentation of resultsSelf-directed (original) significant contribution to knowledgeStrong sense of research integrity and professional standards
9What is a thesis? A themed written argument Exposition of original research in contextCulmination of an apprenticeshipPossibly largest (& most self-indulgent) work students doSomething that could be published (is published)
10Differences among Disciplines ‘Experimental’ ScienceThesis writing often late in candidatureHypothesis formulated to test theoryAims/goals address hypothesis‘Social’ ScienceThesis writing begins earlyFormulation of research questionsData gathered, then analysed various ways
11Getting Started Encourage you to Pin the working title and hypothesis above the work areaRead some theses from your group/areaHave a plan and concept mapTake the lead – use their own words and ideasPlan the argument
13How to write Content – background, methods, results, conclusions Format – typeface, spacing, figuresStyle – language, logic and efficiencyPlanning – do it today; yes, NOWTiming – estimate and double or treble itEditing – acceptable inputsFinishing – deciding to draw the line under the exercise
15Writing IS fun! CRUNCH TIME (when? – see later)! This is the hardest partAllocate 2 to 3 times the amount of time to writing as to gathering materialStudents must be writers as well as a researchers - write wellWrite early and write oftenLearn to draft and revise‘Get it right, but get it written first!’
16Simple Structure of a Thesis The Bellman’s Rule of ThreeOverallIntroduction – what the thesis says; context of the hypothesisBody of the thesis – what makes the thesisConclusion – what the thesis said; what it means for future directionsEach chapterIntroduction – what this chapter says; where it sits in the themeBody of the chapter – methods, resultsConclusion – what this chapter means; how it leads logically to the nextEach paragraphIntroduction – broaches an idea; links to previous ideasBody of the paragraph – describes the ideaConclusion – concludes the idea (and links to next)Not just repetition – linking, theme, rationale, integration
17A Generic Structure Introduction/Theme Why am I doing this? Literature ReviewWhat is known? What is unknown?AimsWhat do/did I hope to find out?MethodologyHow is/was it found out?ResultsWhat did I find?DiscussionWhat does it mean?ConclusionWhat is the significance? What applications? Where to next?
18Thesis by Publication Common practice in many countries QUT has this optionThesis has published manuscripts (as chapters) with format of traditional thesisDiscuss this with supervisor early and plan out papers in advanceone has to be accepted before thesis submission
19Planning the thesis Write one sentence for: Example: Introduction A PhD is examined by a written thesisProblem addressedMany students do not complete on timeLiterature/backgroundLate submission is highly correlated with delay of start of writingMethods to solve problemCreate a thesis map and collect material for each chapter throughout studyResultsNon-linear approaches bring advances on many frontsConclusionDrafting and re-drafting chapters is a normal process
20Developing the Thesis Convert plan/argument into chapters at least one chapter per sentenceperhaps more than one, sometimesDevelop a physical “structure”set up folders for each chapterhave a plan for each chapterAllow the plan to evolvedon’t be worried about changingnew results may require reinterpretations
21Gathering material Fieldwork, literature review Interviews; Methodology (6 months)Proof of Principle (6 months)Data analysis and validationMaintain notes (laboratory workbooks), but also …turn notes into thoughts from the startA thesis takes about 60 mins a daythis is about 6 months
22It Takes MUCH Longer ……. Ch Title Length Time 1 Intro/Abstract 500 Based on experience of 28 PhD and Masters (Research) studentsChTitleLengthTime1Intro/Abstract5003 months2Lit Review (rev)20,00012 months3Methods10,00010 months4Results 15Results 26Results 318 months7Conclusion
23Bibliography – it doesn’t come last Keep a database of complete referencesUse an accepted reference styleUse a tool (Endnote)Get the detail right first timeSpelling, page numbers, titles, publishersTry to be consistent throughoutPublished & unpublished worksExplain variations up front
24Special Cases International Students Changing & Forming Relationships ExpressionsCulturesSupport networksChanging & Forming RelationshipsFriend or mentorExternal demandsPeer groups
25Maintaining Momentum Strategies in Therapy of Avoidance
27Tricks for Staying Focussed Practise often:the ‘pitch’1 - 2 sentences that summarise what the thesis is aboutthe paragraphthe abstract of the thesisthe pagea chance to briefly outline an argumentAlign the exercises to current work and problemsIf there are problems in any of these, it is a symptom of a lack of focus, structure and clarity!
28Problems with writing 1 “How do I plan? When do I plan?” The best way and time is at the beginning:Stage 2, Confirmation, Progress Reports, laboratory books (diaries/journals) are all part of thesis writingPhD project management should include a strand for thesis writingConsult, review, TODAY.
29Problems with writing 2 “I think I have writer’s block” work on manageable pieceswrite down the main points – revisit your themeyou don’t have to write it in orderaccept there are several drafts – get the ideas downcomplex ideas may not be linear – draw a ‘concept map’
30Problems with Writing 3 “I have trouble showing it is my idea” Recommended passive tenses can cloud attributions.Try making the authors the subject of the sentenceuse “in my opinion” if necessary.Don’t be afraid to play with sentence structure to get the idea acrosspractice expression and interpretation as a team.
32Think about the Examiners Discuss them early with supervisorsExaminers are busy (like you)Examining is a choreMake it easy; they might become colleagues & mentorsMost theses are read in trains, boats, planes and buses“Oh no, not another one”
33What does an examiner do? Typical scan of a thesisAbstractContents listingMajor chaptersConclusionsFiguresIntroduction, literature reviewFinally, a quick readThen – questions: Are they answered or considered? Is any of it published?Corrections: some examiners think this is the only way to show they’ve read it; expect to have some
34Editing - know the different versions Three types:substantive editingexemplary editingproof-readingSupervisors are helpers and advisors,not editors or proof readers
35Editing – how much is too much? You are being trainedBecome familiar with reference texts on style; workshops on writing are availableUnderstand why expressions and structures are changed – ambiguities, break down complex concepts, overly long sentences confuse, etcGood ideas need clear EnglishParsing, punctuation, precis“This publication will have my name on it”
36Summary Start today, never later Keep title and hypothesis handy Write down skeleton arguments clearlyExpand arguments into chaptersKeep concurrent folders for each chapterKeep the thesis plan a living planSimple sentences, simple ideas, linked structuresMaintain your project plan (manage, revise, update)Don’t be afraid to cut and cullBe prepared for multiple draftsKnow your audienceHelp the reader to understandGet advice from others (reading drafts)Finally, remember: You will probably know more about the thesis, as a whole, than any of the examiners.
38Would you be comfortable with these titles? Multiple infections among newborns resulting from implantation with Staphylococcus aureusPreliminary canine and clinical evaluation of a new anti-tumour agent, StreptovitacinIsolation of antigens from monkeys using complement-fixation techniques
39Efficiency of Expression - 1 Many authors, including this laboratory (1), have been engaged in the study of the identification and detection of specific biologically active molecules by autographic methods. This problem has recently been reviewed (2).Many authors (1-4) have used autographic methods to detect and identify biologically required molecules (for review see ref 4).
40Efficiency of Expression - 2 Using L. arabinosus, detection of about 10-3 µg of pantothenic acid was possible utilising the tetrazolium plate technique, meanwhile detection of 10-4 µg and even less was achieved by the slide method advocated here. However, E. coli produced a somewhat more satisfactory growth response than L. arabinosus, for this species forms more compact and easily observed microcolonies upon incubation at suitable growth temperatures.With L. arabinosus, the “tetrazolium plate” technique could detect 10-3 µg of pantothenic acid whereas the slide method could detect as little as 10-4 µg. The growth response with this organism was, however, more difficult to observe than with E. coli, which forms more compact microcolonies on incubation.
41Efficiency of Expression - 3 The slide method reported appears to offer a possible useful application in identification of unknown paper chromatogram spots. Since the lowest concentration of most amino acids detectable as spots lies in the range of 10-1 µg to 5.0 µg and this method will detect as little as 10-2 µg (Table 1), it would perhaps be possible in many cases to cut a spot area into two or more pieces and screen it against several different organisms with varying amino acid requirements. The very high specificity of nutrient requiring mutant bacteria would provide a precise means of identification which may often be applied in circumstances wherein limitations of time or availability of sample are prohibitory to identification of spots by more conventional methods.
42Efficiency of Expression - 3a The method may perhaps be applied to the identification of unknown compounds on paper chromatograms; spots cut from such chromatograms could be incubated with auxotrophic bacteria having highly specific nutrient requirements. Spots of amino acids that are detectable with spray reagents contain at least 0.1 to 5.0 µg, and since the slide method will detect as little as 0.01 µg (Table 1), a single spot from a chromatogram could, if necessary, be divided and tested against several organisms with different amino acid requirements. This bioassay would be rapid, sensitive and specific.
43ReferencesBooksTruss, L. Eats, Shoots and Leaves Profile Books, London, 2003.Day, R. How to write a scientific paper ISI Press 1979Cribb & Hartomo Sharing Knowledge: A Guide to Effective Science Communication CSIRO Publishing 2002(more about general communication than theses)Web Sites (accessed 10/05/2012)learningforsustainability.net/research/phd_research.php