If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.

New answers tagged

-2

There are some really good suggestions already, but you could also consider getting help in real life. Most universities (in Germany at least, but I'd think the same applies to other countries as well) offer courses to address this problem or have a person one might contact. From my experience the people providing these services are really competent, but ...


2

Write any bit in any order and, very importantly, don't worry about how good it is. Writing and editing are different tasks and require different approaches. Switching between them interferes with doing either of them. You can do the organisation later. Sure, it's nice to be able to organise as you go, but a blank page can intrude so much on your thinking ...


4

Try to do the easiest parts first. Not the most important parts. Not the beginning. Just anything easy. This gives you traction and starts to build up some form of a document. Once you see that, you move on to the next easiest part. It is AMAZING how well this process works to deal with writers avoidance. I just had a work PPT that was scaring ...


11

I have to assume that you have done the required research and are now just at the writing stage. This could be a lot of things. But one piece of advice is to not try to write it from the first word to the last. Work from an outline. Fill in the outline in such a way that it seems like a blurry picture becoming clearer and clearer. In other words, if you ...


1

Having a poor relationship with your supervisor is a more important consideration than publishing an undergraduate thesis, I think. Perhaps you should address that in whatever way is open to you. If you contact a professor at another institution blindly, you are pretty unlikely to get much of any feedback. That is especially true currently due to the ...


3

Look for other magazines that don't require such a letter. (Do they all?) Find a professor that you can talk to. Or a postdoc. Or a visiting scholar. Some won't give you time of day, but some will be OK for a conversation. Then maybe talk about what you've done that was interesting. (Make some notecards and then be able to show/talk about the topics on ...


2

It's not really about if you have mentioned the work before (don't get confused by the instructions), but that the work itself was done before. So stick with the past tense for the situation here. In general*, the past tense is safer than present or future. Probably 95%+ of the time you should be in past tense when writing a technical report. And if ...


0

You should consider all of: Present tense: "The results reveal that XYZ", "This method reduces costs by 10%". Use this one when being more abstract, dispassionate, theoretical. You're "committing" less on concrete facts with this tense (but not much less). Present perfect tense: "The results have revealed that XYZ", "This method has reduced costs by 10%". ...


1

Actually using present tense could be dangerous, depending on the situation. Your data was probably gathered in the past. Your conclusions are based on that data. If the study is statistical, based on samples, then there is the measurable possibility that it reached the wrong conclusion. If the way you write seems to imply, even indirectly, a prediction ...


1

Your university may have specific guidelines for this, which compel you to make a specific choice. In the absence of those, I would say that this is a matter of personal style. So you can choose whichever style fits you best. I personally find it most pleasant to write any piece of work, whether it is a single conference paper or a cumulative dissertation, ...


3

I would avoid breaking a table that does not need to be broken (that is less than a single page). It is much easier on the reader instead to have some blank space in the text and turn the page. This is especially true in a thesis, where there is strong emphasis on clarity over space economy. (Theses tend to have wider margins, spacing, etc. versus printed ...


0

I suggest splitting the table (3) and suggest rotating the table and using facing pages, this aids your examiners, since they can see the whole table, having rotated their printed copy.


3

Your situation has the first thing I would try built in - ask your other adviser for help. Your committee probably communicates with each other, even if they're in different departments at the same school. Tell the adviser who is responding that you're held up because the other adviser hasn't replied, and see what they suggest. If they are indeed in ...


-1

Some places, such as Heidelberg, simply call it a "Summary". Others indicate that the Summary must place the papers in their "Scientific Context". I would favor the latter. But a specific university might provide specific guidance on this, as might an advisor.


0

No. Don't break a caption over the pages. I am a fan of very explanatory figure captions. One to two sentences is fine. Figure captions are THE MOST READ parts of the text of a paper. Pay special attention to them. But 300 words is WAY too much. I would keep it under 25 normally and never over 150 (which is a normal, not over-long, paragraph). You ...


0

This is not that unusual a situation. One sometimes sees a full-page figure, with the (full) caption on the facing page. I suspect this is less common than it used to be: back in the days where figures went on expensive 'colour plates', there was an incentive to maximise the area occupied by figure rather than text. I think it is less common to see the ...


0

You can: Reduce the size of the figure or caption, move part of the caption into the body, split the figure into two independent figures, include the figure inline, or something similar. (I favor inclusion of the figure inline as opposed to the figure caption running to the next page.)


8

300 words will be about 30-50% of the page. Such a large chunk of text seems substantial, so it's better to place it in the body of the paper. In such situations, in the caption I usually just state what's in the figure, followed by "see text for details". And then I don't care if the text spills to another page.


7

Let the copy editor deal with this. That is, after all, their job.


1

My advice in the short term is to separate your current research topic from your broader research interests. You can maintain a large set of research interests, and even take the initiative in reading papers on these topics, or exploring the area, even when your current research topic (optimization in lists) is not satisfying to you. Then, you can look out ...


3

Anyways, how bad of an idea is this if it is a bad idea? This is a matter of balancing your own intellectual interests with your career goals. In terms of career goals, not only is it probably not so bad, it's actually probably a good thing; it looks great at this stage and later on if you have experience in multiple areas, as this will increase your ...


1

I would probably follow roughly the following steps: Read the conference paper thoroughly, and decide how it relates to your paper. This part is regardless of the details of who published first; it is just a matter of knowing the facts, and clearly figuring out what their work is about, how it overlaps with yours, and to what extent the results are the same ...


1

An emplyer won’t necessarily be concerned with the topic of the thesis but how you functioned and completed it. Most employers look for capability and capacity...


0

Similarly, should there be a citation (where?) and a reference for the game (what does it look like)? No, it is not necessary or expected. Imagine if you replaced the game with an experiment. Then the paper would describe the experiment/game, but not cite it. If the game has a published manual, you could cite that as if it were a book or report. If ...


2

I'm working peripherally with a woman who is deaf that is not an ASL user this year. When we need everyone to rapidly understand each other, we hire a captioner We use one who is present in the room. She's very good. There are other web-based services that do much the same thing. If your colleague is new to deafness, I suggest that something amounting ...


1

Writing is too slow and intrusive. What you need is a real-time transcriptionist who will provide a live on-screen transcription at 200+ words per minute. https://www.chs.ca/services/speech-text-transcription-cart-communication-access-realtime-translation http://stenoknight.com/index.html (New York City, but a very informative website with videos of the ...


6

I think that your friend needs to find a way to get advice to the examiners about things they can do. This should probably come from someone in authority, such as a department head or dean. Even the student's advisor might be a good source of such a reminder, but the administration has to be behind it. The basic idea is that it should be the responsibility ...


31

Almost all universities in Canada have a disability support services office. You should contact them. They will discuss the situation with the student and the examining committee and recommend a solution - probably something similar to what you have suggested in the comments.


-2

Stop chasing topics and simply put down everything into thesis. Your advisor is very likely could lose interest in you too, so in 1-to-1 situations you will be the losing side. Because you need him more then he needs you. Push for thesis faster to get to your Postdoc. Then you will be able to switch to the new subjects your advisor is not able to convey for ...


2

How to complete PhD? Work on that extra idea/topic you want to finish up your Ph.D. with independently, or together/with the help of someone who's not your advisor. This is: Allowed. Legitimate. Often looked favorably upon. That's not to say your advisor will necessarily like it - he might and he might not - but you can always try and present it as the ...


9

While I generally agree with the advice given by the answers here (just finish the damn PhD and then go on doing something else, possibly working with someone who you think is thinking more like you), I think the answers here are sweet-talking an often overlooked, very problematic and sad fact in modern academia: Some big-shot PIs have an obviously unsound (...


58

Unless your field has a very high publication rate or your publications so far are mostly part of bigger collaborations (neither of which seems to be the case), you seem more than ready to defend your PhD. And this is what I recommend to do: Finish your PhD as soon as possible without getting into disputes with your advisor. You seem to overly value your ...


13

There are institutional rules when it comes to a PhD, which (almost) always includes that you can't get a PhD without an advisor. In that case, your second "option" (finish without an advisor) just does not exist. You could get a different advisor, but since you are in your fourth year, you should be pretty much done by now. In that case, changing advisors ...


5

A few sentences copied out of the papers reviewed in the literature overview before the main text of the thesis? I'd be rather surprised if that doesn't happen all the time.


1

They are just around four or five sentences, which are directly copied from other journals. This is not a mistake, it is plagiarism. It doesn't matter that it is not in an important part of the dissertation. It also does not matter how much of the dissertation is plagiarized. However, in this case the misconduct apparently has nothing to do with you, so ...


0

When you really want to make sure that nobody can claim academic misconduct, add a note to the thesis that you got typesetting help. The reviewers should review the content of the thesis and not the typesetting details and probably do not have any problem with it. Then nobody can claim you were not honest when you undersigned that you did not use any help ...


-1

I think most people have done this at some point, it is unfortunate that it happened when applying for that position. I would send him the updated version with a small explanation stating that it corrects some small grammar/color/graph/ect issues. If he hasn't already read the paper, I'm sure he would like an updated one.


1

Many departments have some official description of the educational goals, grading criteria, or similar, for the thesis. Do these educational goals or grading criteria include anything about learning scientific/professional typesetting, or something less specific like “presentation” that could be understood to include typesetting? (I’ve certainly seen these ...


0

What a journal will publish is up to them. So, whether is is a problem is up to the editor(s). There is an advantage to readers if the two articles are in the same journal, but also if you just publish a single long article. I doubt that it matters much for your reputation whether the two articles are in the same or different journals. Having two papers ...


7

Yes. Typesetting is not the same as contributing to the contents of a document. It is not unethical to hire a typist either, who would take your handwritten essay and produce a properly formatted document using MSWord, LaTeX or any other typesetting/processing program. The contents (and associated ideas) is expected to be and should be your own. Note ...


-1

Is paying someone to fix LaTeX issues in one's thesis ethical? No, it is not (but you should ask your advisor), but you should mention (in acknowledgements) that you did this. Another important consideration : if you want to get additional degrees (e.g. a Master's or a PhD thesis) you'll better improve your LaTeX skills. They will be useful later (even in ...


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