Enjoy writing your science thesis or dissertation!

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Writing Your Science Thesis
or Dissertation!

Imperial College Press

Eniov Writing Your Science Thesis
or Dissertation!
A step by step guide to planning and writing

dissertations and theses for undergraduate and graduate science studefits

Daniel Holtom & Elizabeth Fisher

Imperial College Press

Published by Imperial College Press 57 Shelton Street Covent Garden London WC2H9HE Distributed by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. P 0 Box 128, Farrer Road, Singapore 912805 USA ofice: Suite IB, 1060 Main Street, River Edge, NJ 07661 UK office: 57 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WCW 9HE

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-PublicationData Holtom, Daniel. Enjoy writing your science thesis or dissertation : a step by step guide to planning and writingdissertations and theses for undergraduateand graduate science students / Daniel Holtom and Elizabeth Fisher. p. cm. Includes bibliographicalreferences (p. ) and index. ISBN 1-86094-090-0 1. Technical writing. 2. Dissertations,Academic. 1. Fisher, Elizabeth. 11. Title. Tll.H.582 1999 808'.0666--dc21 99-11015

British Library Cataloguing-in-PublicationData A catalogue record for this book is available fromthe British Library.

Copyright 0 1999 by Imperial College Press All righ?s reserved. This book; or parts thereoj m y no? be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, includingphotocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission from the Publisher.

For photocopying of material in this volume,please pay a copying fee through the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. In this case permission to photocopy is not required from the publisher.

Printed in Singapore.

Enjoy Writing Your Science Thesis O Dissertation! r
Almost all science students have to write a thesis or dissertation at some point during their careers. For undergraduate and mastersstudents, assessment of the thesis is a component of the final mark; in the case of doctoral students the degree almost entirely depends on it. The skill of thesis writing lies in the clear organisation of data, ideas and resources. Unfortunately, many science students get very little formal training in the skill of communicating ideas clearly and efficiently, and as a result they lose marksbecause of poorly planned and presented work.

Eqjoy Writing Your Science Thesis Or Dissertation! is the complete guide to good thesis or dissertation writing: giving practical advice and taking the student through the process of planning, writing, editing, presenting, and submitting a successful thesis. It gives the reader a clear understanding of both the theory and the practice of writing ascientific thesis or dissertation. It provides an organisational framework for the student and extensive backup information,including a guide to the pitfalls of scientific and general English for both native and non-native English speakers. For quick reference, reminders of key points are given at the end of most chapters. Enjoy Writing Your Science Thesis Or Dissertation! is a guide for use eitherfrom day one of the degree course-or as a life jacket for a floundering student with a looming deadline. Enjoy Writing Your Science Thesis Or Dissertation! is written by a professional writer with experience of teaching English, and by an academic scientist with experience of examining and supervising undergraduate and graduate projects. This guide is aimed at science students at all levels, and alsoprovides useful pointers for career scientists on scientific writing in general.

We wish to thank many people for helpful comments and advice on this manuscript, in particular Julian Taylor, Don Doering, Owen Garling, Ramsay Gohar, David Goodgame, Jonathan Halliwell, Simon Leather, Tonya Pillie, Marek Sergot, Johnny and Chrissie Pillie-Rabbs, Alex Souper, Nessan Bermingham, Richard...
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