Writing Your PhD: Scientific Research

This course is intended for final year PhD students who are engaged in scientific research and are either preparing to write or are in the process of writing a thesis. It may, however, also be suitable for students in their second year who are working on research papers

 

Course Content and Unit Aims

Unit 1

How to Write an Introduction

  • To discuss some of the key challenges in writing a thesis.
  • To explore different ways of structuring a thesis.
  • To analyse the typical structure and content of Introductions, including from your own field.
  • To highlight ways of maximising readability at both a small and larger scale.

Unit 2

Writing about Methodology

  • To discuss some of the key challenges in writing a Methodology chapter.
  • To analyse the typical structure and content of Methodology sections in research papers, including from your own field.
  • To highlight useful vocabulary and grammar forms that can help you when writing about your methods.

 

Unit 3

Writing about Results

  • To discuss some of the key challenges in writing about your Results.
  • To analyse the typical structure and content of Results sections, including from your own field.
  • To explore what makes an effective figure or table by analysing some examples
  • To highlight useful vocabulary and grammar forms that can help you when writing about Results.

 

Unit 4

Writing the Discussion / Conclusion

  • To discuss some of the key challenges in writing a Discussion and Conclusion.
  • To analyse the typical structure and content of Discussions and/or Conclusion sections, including from you own field.
  • To highlight useful vocabulary and grammar forms that can help you when discussing and/or concluding your work.

 

Unit 5

Individual Tutorials

  • To allow you the opportunity to ask for clarification on issues arising from the course materials.
  • To provide you with the opportunity for more discussion of teacher writing feedback.
  • To get some suggestions for further academic language and literacy development.

 

Course Days/times

  • In-person – Tuesdays 14:00 - 16:00
  • Online – Thursdays 11:00 - 13:00
  • Online – Fridays 11:00 – 12:00

The in-person course will take place at Kings Buildings.

Teaching Methods and Learning Outcomes

No preparation is required for both the in-person or online versions of the courses as the all main course content will be presented live by the teacher. In the classes, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to discuss writing not only with the teacher but also, and as importantly, with other students on the course.

Each week you will have the opportunity to submit an extract of your PhD writing for feedback from your teacher. The feedback will focus on overall clarity, style and organisation. Any systematic language errors or style issues will also be highlighted.

​​​By the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of:

  • ways of structuring your thesis as a whole and the individual chapters
  • useful vocabulary and grammar for the different chapters, and how to use that language accurately
  • what particular aspects of your writing you may need to improve and how to do so

Eligibility

PhD students in their final or second year.

Applying