Writing up research
Writing up research
Writing up your research is as important as undertaking the research itself. It serves as the record of the (hopefully) exhaustive work you have carried out and provides the evidence for your conclusions and interpretations. It is best to anticipate that your paper or thesis should be easy to read by an independent individual who may not have your expertise in the field you are writing about. It should flow, make sense, have structure, and demonstrate originality. Planning your write-up should be considered at the time of planning the project methodology itself, and the process of writing up is best carried out in parallel with the study as it evolves. This chapter will discuss some tips to editing the structure as you go. In general, there is an underlying structure to any write-up, be it a paper in a peer reviewed journal or a thesis. The generally accepted structure is as follows: • Abstract: • Introduction • Methods (or ‘methodology’ or ‘patients and methods’) • Results • Conclusion(s) • Introduction • Methods (or ‘methodology’ or ‘patients and methods’) • Results • Discussion • Conclusion(s) • References or bibliography. These titles are applicable to publications in peer-reviewed journals. Although the structure is universal, the style of write-up is different between writing a paper for a peer-reviewed journal, which requires a clear and concise approach, and a thesis, which needs greater detail. Universities usually have relaxed guidelines regarding the structure of chapters in writing up your thesis (e.g. PhD). However, it is generally advised that however you record your research, the above structure is incorporated into your write-up. For your thesis, there are additional ‘chapter titles’ in the write-up structure you may consider. Below is a comprehensive structured list which, in addition to the core titles (in bold), provides options you may consider to add to your thesis; • Title page • Acknowledgements • Abstract: • Introduction • Methods (or ‘methodology’ or ‘patients and methods’) • Results • Conclusion(s) • Declaration of originality • Table of contents • List of abbreviations • List of tables • List of figures • Introduction • Methods (or ‘methodology’ or ‘patients and methods’) • Results • Discussion • Conclusion(s) • Achievements • Appendices • References/bibliography .
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