Writing Your Thesis or Dissertation. Alysoun Taylor-Hall October 26 , 2011. Writing Your Thesis or Dissertation. Establishing good research habits & tools Conducting your literature search Getting ready to write Writing: Introduction Abstract Body C onclusion Finishing your thesis
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October 26, 2011
BA in English w/Concentration in Professional Writing
Certificate in Technical Writing
Program Coordinator for Ph.D. in Engineering Program
Technical Writer/Editor for CDOC research group
Be sure to check out Dr. Slater’s “archiving data” link
Thesis and Dissertation Handbook:
Who will be reading your thesis/dissertation?
Tip: As a writer, you sound “smart” when your reader can understand your ideas
Write your introduction first
Use your research notebook/journal
Lay out your argument for your topic
Organize your thesis to support your argument
Generally a 1-page document that summarizes your research
How do you know what format to use for your citations?
Style guides provide specific guidelines:
What style should you use?
Check the University Libraries website to find style guides for your discipline:
Check publications in your discipline and follow their format
Ask your professor or advisor
Ask the University Librarian
Understand how readers process your writing
Your goal is to make the reader’s job as easy as possible
Save their energy to focus on your ideas, not your writing
Effective writing doesn’t tire the reader
Understand how readers process your writing, cont.
Use active voice:
Subject Verb Object
Object Verb (implied Subject)
I will take out the trash
The trash will be taken out
Active voice is far less tiring than passive voice
But . . . vary your writing style occasionally
Useful web resources for research writing:
The School of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation Handbook:
University Writing Center:
Other University-based Writing Websites:
Purdue Online Writing Lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
The Writing Center @ Rennselear: http://www.rpi.edu/web/writingcenter/wc_web/school/index.htm