Questions tagged [writing]

For questions on the process of writing. For questions on the content of writing, use [writing-style].

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20 votes
3 answers

Can I use contractions in my thesis?

I am writing my thesis (in Computer Science, if that's relevant) and I am thinking about the style, especially about using contractions. I realize that thesis is a formal text and contractions like “...
svick's user avatar
  • 584
23 votes
7 answers

How can I encourage my advisor to adopt better work practices?

I'm a second year PhD student. In general I love my advisor, but recently we've run into some small bumps in the road while working on a paper together. He's controlling the "master" copy and I send ...
jurassic's user avatar
  • 1,971
42 votes
4 answers

How to find ways to proofread English in papers

As a non-native speaker of English, it can often be hard to spot some of the errors that a native speaker would find. For a long time, I've been thinking about getting a native speaker to help me with ...
Speldosa's user avatar
  • 2,472
35 votes
4 answers

Can I reuse part of a paper for my thesis?

I am finishing writing my master's thesis (~100 pages) and I also just submitted a paper (8 pages) to a conference. Since both are on the same subject and I am an author on both, is it ok if I reuse ...
Dmitry Chornyi's user avatar
30 votes
3 answers

Dissertation acknowledgements

I'm at the stage in writing my dissertation where most of the substantive aspects are finished and the only tasks left are more or less administrative. However, one thing that I've been avoiding is ...
smillig's user avatar
  • 400
8 votes
1 answer

How to reference different sources in a list?

I am writing my master thesis and I am not sure how to reference/cite different sources in a list. I have a small list like: The benefits of an "incredibly interesting topic" are: benefit ...
santiagozky's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers

Abbreviations in journal papers

Do I expand abbreviations at their first use per section or per paper? This is an IEEE publication, but I haven't come across any specific instructions.
jeep9911's user avatar
  • 283
16 votes
2 answers

At what point in the writing process should one contact an academic book publisher?

Is it better to contact a publisher early in the writing process so that the editor can be involved in shaping the project, or is it better to submit a full academic book manuscript? In my case, this ...
Trevor Owens's user avatar
32 votes
4 answers

When and why a scientific technical report is written?

While making some paper search in my scientific field, sometimes I find articles that are not published in journals or conference proceedings, but as technical reports. In my experience, I've never ...'s user avatar
47 votes
4 answers

Simplest way to jointly write a manuscript?

As with many papers in the sciences, there are multiple authors who aren't physically close to each other. I was curious about the most efficient and simplest way to technically share the writing. On ...
bobthejoe's user avatar
  • 4,735
7 votes
1 answer

How formal should figures in a thesis be?

I am currently writing my masters thesis. I include in it a screenshot of a webpage, in which I want to point at some components and explain what each of them does. What I did so far is that I draw ...
Mohamed Khamis's user avatar
127 votes
15 answers

Software to draw illustrative figures in papers

I would like to have suggestions of good software for drawing illustrations in research papers. I already know about Xfig, but this works only on Linux and is at times, clunky when it comes to text. ...
34 votes
2 answers

How do you "grow your own" post doc opportunity?

I am a finishing doctoral student (graduation in ~7-9 months) and I would love to get an year or so of postdoctoral experience. I've come to understand that a postdoc is generally paid by funds ...
dearN's user avatar
  • 4,230
33 votes
4 answers

How to improve technical writing

Whenever I write an article, I feel the result is not good enough. Although every theorem is solid and correctly proven, something is always "squeaky". The main evidence for my feeling shows itself ...
Ran G.'s user avatar
  • 7,444
26 votes
7 answers

How common is it to write out a script for a talk? What are the benefits?

I have never written a verbatim script for a talk. I have at times written notes or outlines, but I never read from them when presenting (and rarely when practicing). With enough (weeks) of practice, ...
Abe's user avatar
  • 3,275
17 votes
6 answers

How much should I worry about British spelling when submitting to a U.K. journal?

I'm in the U.S. and have always written in American English. I will be submitting a paper to a U.K. journal for the first time. To conform to British spelling, I've changed the Microsoft Word ...
dmahr's user avatar
  • 721

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