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Refer to authors by name, not as “[10] then applied this algorithm to the thixotropic properties of ketchup.” Be careful to differentiate your work from that of others.

The main difficulties I see in Lit Reviews: 1) insufficient summary of the main contribution of the author cited; 2) unclear delineation of the issues; 3) unclear chronology of how one work led to another; 4) unclear link between your work and the work of other researchers (why we are reading about this contribution); and 5) insufficient differentiation of your work from that of other researchers: “It has been discovered that….” with no indication that YOU did the discovering.

Note: Some advisors prefer that the Introduction and Chapter 2 be combined. If so, you must still introduce the thesis as a whole rather than simply giving “background.” In some theses, too, especially those based on published papers, you may want to put the lit review at the beginning of each “paper” chapter rather than combining them in Chapter 1 or Chapter 2. All the necessities listed above about differentiation and linking still apply, however.

Chapter 3. materials and methods:

You may not need a chapter on this; it depends on the sort of research you are doing. You may be able to include the necessary material in a short section of each main chapter, though you will also have to identify your methods in the Abstract and in the Introduction. Do not include details of your research or discuss your findings in this chapter. If you do need this chapter, it may be a good one to start writing first.

Chapters 4, 5, and 6:

These chapters make up the main portion of your thesis and give details of your research . You may need two chapters for this or more than three, depending on your work. These chapters do not simply present your data, however. You must explain what you did, why you did it, how you did it, and with what results. Strive for a coherent narrative; show your enthusiasm for the subject. [If you’re not enthusiastic, fake it.] The average chapter is 30-40 pages long in a PhD thesis; chapters will usually be shorter in a Master’s thesis.

Keep in mind that as your research progresses, your research focus may well be modified because of unexpected good or bad results, time strictures, equipment failure, ineffective procedures, or (oh, please, no!) errors. In that case, you will have to make the modifications throughout the entire thesis.

Do NOT expect simply to lift whole chunks from your proposal. They were written before you had finished your research and the chunks will probably have to be modified to some extent. The “before” and “after” perspectives change what you say.

Some advisors will not allow you to discuss your results in the immediate context of your findings, preferring the discussion to be done separately at the end of the chapter or even not until the Conclusions chapter. Some advisors, including me, prefer an integrated discussion because it is easier for a reader to understand. However, always do what your advisor prefers!

Chapter 7. conclusion:

Here you summarize and discuss your results and their implications. It usually ends with a short section on possible future work. This chapter is also often short, perhaps some 10 pages.

Always write this chapter before you write your Abstract because often your ideas come together clearly as you write it. Then reread your Conclusion and your Introduction before you write the Abstract.

  • Bibliography or Works Cited: Include only those works actually mentioned in the text. Include ALL the works cited in the text, including citations on graphics. The form for the Bibliography varies by field and software. (Either Endnote or Latex is a good choice.) Completeness, accuracy, and consistency are essential, however. You’ll have to proofread carefully no matter what software you use. (Check the accuracy of your bibliography on those days when you can’t force yourself to write; the work will keep you from feeling guilty.)
  • Appendices: These are optional because many theses do not need them. Use an appendix for material too lengthy or tangential to include in the text, but which is material that some readers may need for reference. Lengthy proofs, lists of data, or computer code, for example, would fit into this category. Refer to all appendices in the body of your thesis.

Check the Rice University web site www.rice.edu to download up-to-date university requirements for thesis procedures and thesis format. Do this NOW to see if the requirements have changed since the last update on 6/2006.

Janice L. Hewitt, Ph.D., Rice University, 2008 jhewitt@rice.edu

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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