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Writing Up…

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					        Writing Up…

Be organised

Work with your supervisor

Take Prozac
                 Writing Up…
• There is lots of support on the web (http://is2.dal.ca/~dts/)

• It is horrible (but not for everyone and not all the time)

• If you haven’t already written a literature review, write
one.

• It will take much longer than you think

• Real deadlines are good

• Write as much as you can before you start another job

• Look at other people’s (just for ideas on size / style /
general format) DON”T compare yours to anyone elses
                  How I did it
• The last thing you should do when you start writing up
is start writing…
• With your supervisor, agree a structure based on
chapter titles.
Chapter 1 - Theories of Age Related Memory Loss
Chapter 2 - Environmental Support
Chapter 3 - Expt 1 - Enactment and DAT
Chapter 4 - Enactment and Implicit Memory, Expt 2
Chapter 5 - Repetition Behaviour and Output Monitoring,
Expt 3.
Chapter 6 - Expt 4 - OM of Enacted Items
Chapter 7 - Expt 5a+b OM of Hi + Lo Imagery words
Chapter 8 - Expt 6 OM and context memory
Chapter 9 - General Discussion
• Print it out in RED INK (or italics) and pin it to your wall
                 How I did it
• As you think of new subheadings, add them to the list
and print it out again.

Chapter 1 - Theories of Age Related Memory Loss
                     Disuse Theory
                     General Resource Models
                     Neuropsychology
Chapter 2 - Environmental Support
Chapter 3 - Expt 1 - Enactment and DAT
                     Introduction
                     Expt 1
                     Discussion

• As you start writing (probably not at the beginning) you
will think of new subheadings, and probably want to
change the chapters too.
                  How I did it
• Every time you write a sub section, turn it black.

Chapter 1 - Theories of Age Related Memory Loss
                     General Introduction
                     Disuse Theory
                     General Resource Models
                     Neuropsychology
Chapter 2 - Environmental Support
Chapter 3 - Expt 1 - Enactment and DAT
                     Introduction
                     Expt 1
                     Discussion

• Keep printing it out and putting it on your wall
     Other tips on writing up
• Work out how to do TOC in Word (quite tricky) -

• Take a 10 minute break every hour (or if you finish a
section / paragraph / sentence…)

• File all your papers with the relevant chapter

• BACK UP YOUR FILES EVERY FIVE MINUTES

• Avoid displacement activity:
    • Take Solitaire (and all other games) off your
    computer
    • Email between 9:00-9:30 and 5:00-5:30

• Avoid RSI
     Other tips on writing up
• If you get blocked on an intro or discussion, draw a
graph, or do some more analysis.

• Keep track of drafts by printing on different colour
paper, or including draft as a header on each page

• Accept that your thesis will NOT be perfect

• Self doubt is normal (beware “Imposter Syndrome”)

• At some point things begin to get a bit easier

• Plan to do something really naughty when you submit
            Positive things…
• EP has an excellent track record of producing DPhil
students

• Your supervisor should not let you submit anything that
is substandard

• You finally get to call yourself Dr

• If you can do a DPhil you can do anything.

• There are plenty of more interesting / lucrative / socially
justifiable things you can do with your life than be an
academic.
Seen on T-shirt in
   Cambridge


   PhinisheD
     Giving Conference
       Presentations

Be prepared

Have good visual aids

Take beta blockers…
        Know your audience
• How clever are they?

• How much of the background to your research can you
assume they will know? - Check who is talking in your
session before you

• Will anyone whose work you are citing be in the
audience?

• Given your knowledge of the audience (who is in it,
what their views are) can you anticipate what the likely
questions will be?
           Know your venue
• How big is it?

• Where is the slide prep room?

• Which side is the projection screen going to be on?

• Will they provide a pointer? - can you work it?

• Can you work the projector? (slide / powerpoint)

• Where is the water?
                   Visual Aids:
• Use Powerpoint or slides if you can

• NEVER use anything less than a 24pt font

• Yellow text on a dark blue background is easiest on the eye

• Aim for about 8 slides for a 15 minute talk

• Do not put more than 4 or 5 pieces of information on each
slide

• Make sure the slide contains information which will prompt
you to make the points you want to make.
            Using Powerpoint:
• DO NOT DO THIS
• OR THIS
• IT IS NOT BIG OR CLEVER
• AND IT GETS ANNOYING
                                Visual Aids:
• This is also annoying


                          100
                           90
      Powerpoint Tricks



                           80
                           70
         Number of




                           60
                           50
                           40
                           30
                           20
                           10
                            0
                                Very     Bad   OK    Good   Very
                                Bad                         Good
                                       How Good Your Data Is
                       Practice
• Can be counter productive

• Give the talk to a friendly audience and ask them for honest
and constructive criticism

   • Be prepared for it to hurt!

   • Act on it.

• The timing is most important

• Practice out loud on your own.
                      Other tips
• Start with a joke

• Don’t thank the chair / conference organisers for giving
you this wonderful opportunity….(but do thank a dept).

• Point out the fact that this is a relatively new experience
for you

• Remember that even the most assured speakers get
nervous before giving a talk. Even nobel prize winners.

• If you get really nervous, take a script in which you can
read if all else fails
                    More tips
• Make eye contact

• Talk clearly to the back of the audience

• Don’t mumble the ends of sentences

• Be enthusiastic (or pretend…)

• Ask the chair to warn you when you have two minutes
left

• The only way it gets better is to give more talks

• Book yourself a treat for immediately afterwards
 Tips for handling questions
• Repeat questions for the benefit of the audience (and
yourself)

• Plant friends in the audience with questions in case no
one else asks any

• Be honest when answering questions

• Don’t be afraid to ask the questioner to be clearer

• Let your talk over run so there is less time for questions

• Don’t be afraid to let someone else answer the question

				
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