This post is written with some tongue-in-cheek; I do not mean for you to take these points as unassailable. No doubt there are some omissions here, but I had to pick my top ten (plus). These are things that looking back at my M.Sc. (Imperial) and D.Phil. (University of Oxford) experiences have forged the way I do scientific research, and built my academic character. My B.Sc. was too long ago to recall anything accurately! I find the exercise of writing them down useful (see the second commandment…).
These tips are mostly focused at writing an academic (and scientific) dissertation. But I think most of these suggestions are sensible enough they should feature in any lengthy document. Based on my experience as an examiner and a supervisor, these are the most common things I notice each time I pick a project write-up.
So, you have contacted me to undertake a project (Dissertation/FYP/Thesis) together. That is Great! I am enjoying it already. I always find myself repeating the same pointers to each student at the start (or throughout the project really). Thought I would write them down for posterity. So here comes my recipe for success, for the first few weeks at least.
My projects are typically on the life sciences/computer science interface (but we’ve had many different ones – including intelligent automated sports betting). But these three ingredients apply to any kind of project really.
It is that time of the year again. December, light drizzle, grey skies, Christmas presents lists, and of course progress reports for your B.Sc. final year project (FYP) or M.Sc. dissertation. So I understand the blank stares when students sit in front of LaTeX, wondering what they should write.