Teaching activity

Writing with a word processor: a nightmare

Most of you know what Word (or Open Office) is, but a relevant fraction of students have trouble in writing a thesis with it. Please, discuss with me how to use Word before writing.
We'll see how separate content and formatting using styles, a step allowing Word to automatically create summary... (see short video below).

Writing your scientific report or thesis: structure

The general structure of a scientific report is:

  1. Title – should be informative more than catchy, and should tell the reader what you discovered
  2. Abstract – its a concise summary (usually ~200 words) of the whole report. It's the last thing you should write.
  3. Introduction – Describe the state of the art and the background of your project. It's the first part your reader will find, but you should write it after parts 4 and 5, because you have to know which topics your reader should be aware of to understand them. This is the goal of the introduction, not to write a book on your research topic.
  4. Material and Methods – A detailed description of your experiments, so that other can replicate them. It's definitely the first part you should write.
  5. Results and Discussion – Which were the results of your work? This is the "Results" part. What do those results mean? This is the "Discussion". Write them just after part 4.
  6. Conclusion – If your work led to novel discoveries, briefly remark them here (a paragraph should be enough).