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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

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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