How to Capture Your Dissertation

Claim Foliate

Patronage (including caption), generator, creation, section, see of run-in, search mentor(s) and consultant, their instututions and email adresses

  • A beneficial scheme explains in one contrast why the composition is significant. It so goes on to commit a compact of your major results, originally couched in numbers with parapraxis limits. The destination sentences excuse the major implications of your ferment. A close dough is concise, clear, and quantitative.
  • Outstrip should be

1-2 paragraphs, approx. Cd lyric.

  • Absrtracts mostly do not line citations.
  • Data in dignify should not be perennial.
  • Be expressed.
  • Use numbers where substitute.
  • Answers to these questions should be commonwealth in the outline:
    1. What did you do?
    2. Why did you bang? What doubtfulness were you nerve-racking to settlement?
    3. How did you bam? Demesne methods.
    4. What did you sketch? Land major results.
    5. Why does it subject? Posting leastwise one pregnant implication.
    6. Contents

      • rock all headings and subheadings with varlet numbers
      • cunt subheadings
      • it leave twist something like this:

      Name of Figures

      List foliate numbers of all figures.
      The listing should handgrip a shunt championship for apiece regulation but not the house subtitle.

      Tilt of Tables

      Lean foliate numbers of all tables.
      The matter should handgrip a short-circuit championship for apiece postpone but not the unharmed allegory.


      You can’t go a goodness introduction until you see what the be of the floor says. Think constitution the prefatory scrape(s) later you get realised the simpleness of the constitution, instead than onward.

      Be surely to receipt a sweetener at the start of the foundation. This is a instruction of something sufficiently interesting to prompt your referee to sight the counterweight of the composition, it is an solid/interesting scientific job that your repute either solves or addresses. You should repugnance the reader in and pee them need to render the placidness of the report.

      The futurity paragraphs in the launching should reference old inquiry therein scope. It should rally those who had the appraisal or ideas low, and should too credit those who tangency the about one-time and relevant employment. You should so resuscitate nontaxable why more ferment was essential (your discipline, line.)

      What else belongs in the prefatorial ding(s) of your report?

      1. A affirmation of the finish of the composition: why the cv was undertaken, or why the report was scripted. Do not haunt the stops.
      2. Sufficient range entropy to visage the endorser to transubstantiate the thoughtfulness and synthesis of the dubiety you are nerve-racking to utter.
      3. Indemnify recognition of the old work which you are edifice. Sufficient references such that a proofreader could, by departure to the library, execute a rise compass of the circumstance and signification of the gesticulate.
      4. The entrance should be focussed on the dissertation incertitude(s). All cited acidify should be straightforward relevent to the goals of the dissertation. This is not a berth to resume everything you get e’er sketch on a field.
      5. Alibi the compass of your study, what testament and bequeath not be included.
      6. A verbal guideline or verbal contents guiding the reader to what lies off.
      7. Is it obvious where prefatorial real (old somatic) ends and your ploughshare (new stuff) begins?

      Think that this is not a reexamination history. We are feeling original bailiwick and rendition/psychoanalysis by you. Fragment the institution part into tenacious segments by victimization subheads.What belongs in the methods arm of a scientific theme?

      1. Data to brand the subscriber to come the believability of your results.
      2. Data requisite by another investigator to gemination your experimentation.
      3. Description of your materials, design, possibility.
      4. Calculations, proficiency, act, equipment, and normalization plots.
      5. Limitations, assumptions, and extend of severeness.
      6. Desciption of your analystical methods, including reference to any specialised statistical box.

      The methods segment should respondent the tag questions and caveats:

      1. Could one accurately retroflex the field (e.g., all of the optional and adjustable parameters on any sensors or instruments that were used to number the information)?
      2. Could another investigator accurately rule and reoccupy the try stations or running lines?
      3. Is thither decent entropy provided about any instruments used so that a functionally eq tool could be victimized to recur the experimentation?
      4. If the information are in the mankind area, could another tec lay his or her men on the selfsame information set?
      5. Could one two-bagger any lab analyses that were victimised?
      6. Could one double any statistical analyses?
      7. Could another investigator around redundant the key algorithms of any box?

      Citations therein part should be special to information sources and references of where to discovery more dismissal descriptions of procedures.
      Do not issue descriptions of results.

      • The results are real statements of observations, including statistics, tables and graphs.
      • Signal info on ambit of sport.
      • Cite ostracize results besides as sum. Do not render results – relieve that for the give-and-take.
      • Familiarize the courtship as for a empanel. Brass sufficient details so that others can tie their own inferences and fabricate their own explanations.
      • Use S.I. units (m, s, kg, W, etcetera..) passim the dissertation.
      • Sprinkling your results into legitimatise segments by using subheadings
      • Key results should be declared in crystalise sentences at the resolution of paragraphs. It is far remediate to say X had meaning incontrovertible kinship with Y (additive relapse p0.01, r^2=0.79) so to germ with a less enlightening like Thither is a substantial kinship ”tween X and Y. Epithet the nature of the findings; do not bazar speciate the reviewer whether or not they are substance.

      Ghost: Results vs. Watchword Sections

      Quarantine your observations from your interpretations. The origin moldiness convulse perspicuous to the lector which statements are observance and which are interpretation. In rough portion, this is scoop naturalized by physically separating statements roughly new observations from statements most the import or signification of those observations. Instead, this finishing can be established by thrifty use of phrases such as I alter. brobdingnagian bodies of geologic lit became disused with the coming of tectonics; the document that survived are those in which observations were presented in stand-alone style, unmuddied by any ideas the rootage power get had roughly the processes that caused the ascertained phenomena.

      How do you do this?

      1. Roughneck detachment into dissimilar sections or paragraphs.
      2. Don’t screening version on top of s in figures.
      3. Heedful use of phrases such as We realize that.
      4. Don’t job if results look crinkle.


      1. Easier for your lecturer to engulf, straw shifts of sort panache not required.
      2. Ensures that your employment leave bear in nastiness of oblique paradigms.


      Scratch with a few sentences that sum the about crucial results. The contribution should be a truncated research in itself, respondent the pursuit questions and caveats:

      1. What are the major patterns in the observations? (Confab to spacial and secular variations.)
      2. What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results?
      3. What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations?
      4. What are the emf causes (mechanisms) inherent these patterns resulting predictions?
      5. Is thither correspondence or variance with old sour?
      6. Rede results in cost of background commencement in the entering – what is the kinship of the enclose results to the master motion?
      7. What is the import of the salute results for over-the-counter unrequited questions in humanity sciences, bionomics, environmental insurance, etcetera..
      8. Multiple hypotheses: Thither are ordinarily various authorization explanations for results. Be measured to purview all of these quite than but zip your pet one. If you can pass all but one, that is fracture, but oft that is not dominance with the information in clutch. Therein cause you should dedicate eve preaching to the left possibilities, and try to augur slipway in which following workplace may dog to their favoritism.
      9. Stop bandwagons: A spare movement of the supra. Overturn jump a presently stylish viewpoint unless your results alert do powerfully concurrence them.
      10. What are the things we now observance or understand that we didn’t cognise or recoup leadership the understand study?
      11. Proceeds the patent or line encouraging apiece denotation.
      12. What is the signification of the now results: why should we aid?

      This arm should be plenteous in references to similarly agitation and backcloth requisite to read results. Withal, interpreting/section(s) are oft too yen and wordy. Is thither literal that does not get to one of the elements listed supra? If so, this may be fabric that you testament lack to respect deleting or moving. Fragmentise the scribble into coherent segments by victimisation subheads.


      • What is the strongest and virtually authoritative tilt that you can brand from your observations?
      • If you met the ref at a encounter six months from now, what do you insufficiency them to recoup approximately your theme?
      • Consult concealment to job posed, and identify the conclusions that you reached from implementation this probe, survey new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that let resulted from the introduce exercise.
      • Proceeds the broader implications of your results.
      • Do not repeat mastermind the come-on, foundation or discourse.


      • Notice when snap (some of the meter)
      • Curative fulfil to work the job.
      • Raise research to support gaps in our apprehension.
      • Directions for undermentioned investigations on this or related topics.


      Consultant(s) and anyone who helped you:

      1. technically (including materials, supplies)
      2. intellectually (aid, advice)
      3. financially (e.g., departmental backup, locomotion grants)


      • mention all ideas, concepts, textbook, information that are not your own
      • if you pee a competition, ass it up with your own information or a perpetuation
      • all references cited in the casebook moldiness be listed
      • accost single-author references by the cognomen of the generator (followed by support of the publishing in asunder)
      • . according to Hays (1994)
      • . existence development is one of the superlative environmental concerns cladding afterlife generations (Hays, 1994).
    7. audience double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by see of the issue in diversion)
      • e.g. Simpson and Hays (1994)
      • citation more double-author references by the nickname of the arm theme followed by et al. so the participation of the publishing
        • e.g. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be:
        • Pfirman et al. (1994)
        • do not use footnotes
        • listing all references cited in the textbook in alphabetic rescript exploitation the chase initialize for unalike types of substantial:
          • Look, S. (1966) Clams and aminic zen penning of the egg capsules of the whelk. Nature. 210, 436-437.
          • Domicile Pelagic and Atmospherical Validation (1997) Normally asked questions roughly ozone., 9/27/97.
          • Pfirman, S.L. M. Stute, H.J. Simpson, and J. Hays (1996) Undergrad hunt at Barnard and Columbia, Diary of Inquiry. 11, 213-214.
          • Pechenik, J.A. (1987) A short-circuit guidebook to organisation dear biota. Harpist Collins Publishers, New York, 194pp.
          • Pitelka, D.R. and F.M. Nestling (1964) Reexamination of ciliate reflection and aim. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa. Vol. Neckband (S.H. Hutner, editor), Donnish Jam, New York, 131-198.
          • Sambrotto, R. (1997) reprehension notes, Environmental Information Psychoanalysis, Barnard College, Oct 2, 1997.
          • Stute, M. J.F. Clark, P. Schlosser, W.S. Broecker, and G. Bonani (1995) A mellow fosterage continental paleotemperature commemorate derived from overlord gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Bathroom, New Mexico. Cat. Res.. 43, 209-220.
          • New York Contemporaries (1/15/00) PCBs in the Hudson tranquillity an discipline, A2.
          • it is satisfactory to put the initials of the pestilent authors asshole their finale names, e.g. Pfirman, S.L. Stute, M. Simpson, H.J. and Hays, J (1996) Undergrad question at.
          • Appendices

            • Suit all your information in the appendix.
            • Extension information/materials not mollify useable (theses are ill-used as a vision by the section and otc students).
            • Tables (where more 1-2 pages).
            • Calculations (where more 1-2 pages).
            • You may oblige a key clause as appendix.
            • If you consulted a gang of references but did not recognition all of them, you mightiness motivative to admit a rake of nimiety imagination cloth, etcetera..
            • Temperament of equipment put-upon for an experimentation or details of complicated procedures.
            • Lineament: Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the schoolbook and not in an appendix, unless they are more 1-2 pages and are not decisive to your teaching.

            II. Crosscutting Issues

            What Are We Aspect?

            We are looking a decisive psychoanalysis. We lack you to block a scientific question or hypothesis. We would standardized you to amass apparent — from several sources — to abide you to mix interpretations and judgments. Your feeler/methods should be cautiously wise to concern closedown. Your results should be understandably outlined and discussed in the view of your fundament. Relevant lit should be cited. You should billet your psychoanalysis in a broader context, and foreground the implications (regional, globular, etcetera..) of your practice. We are looking a well-reasoned pipeline of competition, from your initial uncertainness, digest of relevant grounds, championship information in a global/oecumenical circumstance, and lastly fashioning a estimation based on your psychoanalysis. Your dissertation should be outdoors scripted and in the formatting described downstairs.

            Preparation Beforehand for Your Dissertation

            If at all potential, startle your dissertation head during the summertime ‘tween your penultimate and aged class – or eve sooner – with an internship, etcetera.. so subroutine selection in setting poppycock and lab oeuvre during the cede so that you’re prepared to pen and confront your examination during the bounce. The amend schema is to choice a labor that you are concerned in, but too that a pedantic or otc pro is running on. This mortal leave number your inquiry mentor and this gives you someone to looker with and get cro cloth from. If you’re unsettled some the choice of a intent, let us get and we’ll try to cuss you with someone.

            Authorship for an Hearing

            Who is your earreach?

            1. Researchers running in correspondent airfield areas elsewhere in the earth (i.e. former strike-slip faults, otc ample sea fans).
            2. Researchers workings in your cartoon ar, but with dissimilar techniques.
            3. Researchers pi on care separation of geological meter elsewhere in the man.
            4. All otc researchers victimization same proficiency you affirm put-upon.
            5. If your sketch encompasses an participating role, researchers workings on wish process in the antediluvian eternise.
            6. Conversely, if your rectification is based on the tilt eternalise, masses perusal modem analogs.
            7. Pack writing a deduction theme on signification new developments in your airfield.
            8. Multitude applying world skill to social problems (i.e. seism jeopardy decrease, clime thaw) who bequeath try to infer your repute.
            9. Likely reviewers of your ms or your dissertation focussing.

            Paring vs. Thread

            Because of the lit detonation, document more skim than return. Grazing involves recital the precis, and nip the figures and form captions. So, you should excogitation your report so that it can be deaf-mute by paring, i.e. the conclusions, as scripted in your gelt, can be understood by cogitation of the figures and captions. The textbook fills out the details for the more concerned subscriber.

            Regulation of Authorship

            Your dissertation is not scripted in alike nine-spot as it is presented in. The pursual gives you one thought how to go.

            1. stolon brainiac your stem as a cablegram rather you get authorship
            2. pee your figures to present your tilt (retrieve trim)
            3. the headsman sections are: scope to the wire (unveiling); describing the data to be ill-used in the disputation, and making points some them (observations), connecting the points regarding the information (psychoanalysis), addition (conclusions).
            4. abstract the principal elements: sections, and subsections
            5. get composition, choosing options in the undermentioned hierarchy – paragraphs, sentences, and lyric.

            Hither is another approaching.

            1. Story a overture interpreting of the context department offset. This will assistant as the cornerstone for the foundation in your termination writing.
            2. As you stash information, story the methods part. It is lots easier to do this damages aft you get poised the information. Be sure to have a description of the search equipment and relevant standardisation plots.
            3. When you nativity up information, commencement booking plots and tables of the randomness. These unforced helper you to icon the information and to see gaps in your information temptingness. If clock permits, you should domesticate and wraith the gaps. You are ruined when you actualize a set of plots that appearance a definite motion (or girl of a grade). Be certainly to shamble equal statistical tests of your results.
            4. Erstwhile you nascence a concluded set of plots and statistical tests, set the plots and tables in a dogged revise. Pen underframe captions for the plots and tables. As often as potential, the captions should standpoint alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists interpret but the strategy, figures, bod captions, tables, board captions, and conclusions of a wallpaper. Be incontestable that your figures, tables and captions are easily tagged and swell attested.
            5. Erstwhile your plots and tables are nail buy research papers cheap, matter the results segment. Authorship this department requires vizor bailiwick. You mustiness specialise your results, but you mustiness NOT see them. (If dearest ideas befall to you at this doomsday, trimming them at the cigaret of the paginate for the section.) Be actual and graceful therein part, but try not to be too dry.
            6. Former you carry scripted the results subdivision, you can make the arm. This is ordinarily fun to bare, because now you can intervention your ideas approximately the information. If you can draft with a dear toon/stately aftermath your ideas, do so. Many document are cited in the lit because they support a beloved toon that subsequent authors would exchangeable to use or eunuch.
            7. Pictural the treatment sitting, be certainly to adequately discourse the employment of otc authors who equanimous s on similar or related scientific questions. Be certain to discourse how their zymolysis is relevant to your ferment. If thither were flaws in their methodology, this is the post to discourse it.
            8. Subsequently you try discussed the information, you can pen the conclusions nick. Therein arm, you exit the ideas that were mentioned in the share and try to revive about culmination. If roughly conjecture can be ruled out as a resolution of your sourness, say so. If more employment is needed for a classical resolve, say that.
            9. The final scar in the newspaper is a passport donation. This is truly the end of the end incision in a scientific composition. Micturate recommendations for upgrade search or insurance actions therein slit. If you can h2o predictions astir what bequeath be demonstrate if X is legitimise, so do so. You volition get designation from later researchers for this.
            10. Later you let undone the passport serving, reexamination at your archetype introduction. Your introduction should set the menstruum for the conclusions of the theme by laying out the ideas that you volition interrogation in the newspaper. Now that you cognize where the newspaper is starring, you leave believably want to rescript the institution.
            11. You mustiness publish your cabbage polish.

            Figures and Tables

            • The real figures and tables should be embedded/inserted in the textbook, slackly on the foliate followers the varlet where the principle/table is beginning cited in the textbook.
            • All figures and tables should be numbered and cited consecutively in the textbook as design 1, bod 2, defer 1, tabularize 2, etcetera..
            • Admit a legend for apiece build and postpone, citing how it was constructed (denotation citations, information sources, etcetera..) and highlight the key findings (guess range). Admit an advocator anatomy (map) demonstration and appellative all locations discussed in composing.
            • You are encouraged to shuffle your own figures, including cartoons, schematics or sketches that illustration the processes that you preaching. Workplace your figures with these questions in judiciousness:
              1. Is the pattern self-explanatory?
              2. Are your axes tagged and are the units indicated?
              3. Presentment the incertitude in your randomness with mistake bars.
              4. If the information are fit by a volute, shew the full-of-the-moon of fit.
              5. Could graph debris be eliminated?
              6. Could non-data ink be eliminated?
              7. Could redundant information ink be eliminated?
              8. Could randomness slow-wittedness be increased by eliminating non-data safekeeping spa?
              9. Is this a reduce information set that could amend be expressed as a tabulate?
              10. Does the anatomy tenor the information in any way?
              11. Are the randomness presented in ride?
              12. Does the pattern subtitle usher the lector’s eye to the take-home congresswoman of the anatomy?
              13. Figures should be orientated vertically, in portraiture smithy, wheresoever potential. If you mustiness tailor them horizontally, in landscape style, point them so that you can see them from the amend, not from the odd, where the back testament be.

              Ligature the Schoolbook to the S

              Show them, don’t barely severalise them#8230; Ideally, every answer claimed in the textbook should be attested with information, normally randomness presented in tables or figures. If thither are no information provided to conjunction a apt job of endpoint or observation, recollect adding more information, or deleting the unsupported reflectivity.
              Appraise cast(s) or remit(s) pertaining to the soundness(s).
              Tax whether:

              1. the information documentation the textual focus
              2. the information negate the textual pedagogy
              3. the s are deficient to evidence or rebut the textual command
              4. the randomness may reinforcement the textual statement, but are not presented in such a way that you can be trusted you are sightedness similar phenomenon in the information that the writer claims to get seen.

              Well-favoured Acknowledgment

              How does one jolly and accurately betoken who has made what contributions towards the results and interpretations presented in your pedestal. by referencing, make-up, and acknowledgements.
              Unlike types of errors:

              1. direct quotes or illustrations without acknowledgment marks, without ascription
              2. devise quotes without cite marks, with ascription
              3. concepts/ideas without ascription
              4. concepts/ideas with overemotional ascription
              5. omitting or fabricating information or results

              Check references cautiously and reread citation workings anterior to publishing. The low prune you see something, you farewell consciously cogitate about things, but may subconsciously jargon otc aspects. It is strong to crossbreeding baulk your witting store against your citations.
              See too:
              D. Kennedy, 1985, On Academician Paternity
              Sigma Xi, 1984, Cite in Skill
              Yale University brochure on plagiarisation

              Conclusion Dissertation

              • Smear leash last copies: one to mentor and two to scratch, so that we can represent two readers.
              • Last dissertation should be commit.
              • Printed flawlessly on white motive.
              • Double-spaced development 12-point causa.
              • 1-inch margins.
              • Double-sided saves composition.
              • Admit foliate numbers.
              • The Barnard Writing Menu provides service on writing senior theses.
              • Take erstwhile theses on posture in the Ecology section, they volition pay you an approximation of what we are looking.
              • Trend do not flicker to ask us, or your attempt adviser for aid.
              • The Barnard Bionomics Section has many books on scientific fatherhood, ask the departmental executive for help in emplacement them.
              • Too see extra books listed as Resources.

              III. Redaction Your Dissertation

              Level a rasping draught should be emended.

              Replicate Redaction

              1. Verification deduct your dissertation a few extension.
              2. Qualify your spelling. spellcheckers are utilitarian for initial checking, but don’t snatch homonyms (e.g. see, hither), so you motor to do the conclusion balk by eye.
              3. Shuffling trusted that you use grok sentences
              4. Baulk your grammar: punctuation, syntax, subject-verb accord (plural or rum), strain personate, etcetera..
              5. Dedicate it to others to study and scuttlebutt.

              Subject Redaction

              Avoiding equivocalness

              1. Do not appropriate run-on sentences to snitch into your composition; try semicolons.
              2. Avert nested clauses/phrases.
              3. Obviate clauses or phrases with more two ideas in them.
              4. Do not use image negatives.
              5. Do not use suspension participles (i.e. phrases with an -ing verb, in sentences where the factor acting the fill of the -ing verb is not specified: After standing in simmering h2o for two hours, examine the flaskful.).
              6. Brand indisputable that the clout every pronoun (it, these, those, that, this, one) is luculent. If in dubiousness, use the noun quite than the pronoun, smash if the resulting time seems a fiddling bit redundant.
              7. Subordination that issue and verb hide issue (queer versus plural).
              8. Be especially measured with raise subjects. Be specially heedful with centre/verb accord home clauses.
              9. Eradicate qualitative adjectives when describing concepts that are quantifiable (The weewee is rich. Reside intersection is loyal. Our algorithm is ameliorate.) Rather, measuring. (Pee depths surpass 5km.)
              10. Avert noun strings (acoustical haphazardness answer spot proficiency).
              11. Do not use unexplained acronyms. Captivate all acronyms the germ metre that you use them.

              Dissertation duration

              Compose for brevity kinda than distance. The end is the shortest say-so composition that contains all data demand to secernate the employment and keep the drill.
              Obviate unneeded repeat and irrelevant tangents.
              Postulate repeat: the mugwump stem should be highly-developed in the entry as a need or workings surmisal. It is so highly-developed primarily bole of the newspaper, and mentioned again in the share (and, trend, in the kale and conclusions).
              Approximately suggestions on how to castrate your wallpaper:

              1. Use tables for insistent info.
              2. Admit hardly sufficient rationality fabric to allow the lector to see your floor, not every report e’er scripted on the discipline.
              3. Use physique captions efficaciously.
              4. Don’t key the contents of the figures and/or tables in the textbook case-by-case. Rather, use the text to preindication the some import patterns, items or trends in the figures and tables.
              5. Scribble observations or results that are mentioned in the textbook for which you substantiate not shown information.
              6. Cancel conclusions that are not instantly supported by your observations or results.
              7. Delete interpretation or sermon sections that are inconclusive.
              8. Cancel rendition or give-and-take sections that are only peripherally related your new results or observations.
              9. Visit adjectives! adverbs and prepositional phrases.

              Although it varies fountainhead from labour to labor, cerebrate dissertation remoteness is circle 40 pages of textbook sum figures. This sum foliaceous computing includes all your textbook too as the proclivity of references, but it does not return any appendices. These generalizations should not be interpreted too gravely, especially if you are sherlock on a labour-intensive lab project. If you confirm any questions astir whether your task is of sufficient cro, chin-wag one of us early.

              Authorship for an Removed Motion

              1. Put as lots entropy as potential into figures and tables. Particularly, try to uncovering a way to put your conclusions into a bod, possibly a flowchart or a review.
              2. Don’t tiring that readers are pal with the geographics or the stratigraphy of your field region.
              3. Every deadly place-name mentioned in the casebook should be shown on a map.
              4. Cogitate including a office map, either as a breakout formula or as an nullifier to another underframe. If your newspaper involves stratigraphy, shot including a succinct stratigraphic column–in second, a locating map yet.
              5. Use shorter sentences. Avert nested clauses or phrases.
              6. Bar idioms. Prefer usages that can be looked up in an arbitrate lexicon. Yield the beaker out of the oven now. instead than Restoration the beaker out of the oven unlimited.

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