How to Write a PhD in Biological Sciences
A Guide for the Uninitiated
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 1, 2021
You don’t have to be a genius to write a PhD. Of course, it will always involve a lot of hard work and dedication, but the process of writing is a whole lot easier if you understand the basic ground rules.
This book is a guide through the dos and don’ts of writing a PhD, specifically in the biological sciences. It will be your companion from the point when you decide to do a PhD, providing practical guidance to getting started, all the way through the nuts and bolts of the writing and editing process. It will also help you to get - and stay - in the right mental framework and establish good habits from the beginning, putting you in a commanding position later on. Examples are tailored to biological science, offering a unique reference for PhD students in these disciplines.
Embarking on a PhD doesn’t need to be daunting, even if it’s your first experience working within academia. Each short section focusses on writing, considered by many to be the most difficult aspect of a PhD, and delves into a practical detail of one aspect, from Title to Supplementary Material. Whether you’re a student just starting your studies or a supervisor struggling to cope, the book provides the insider information you need to get ahead.
Table of Contents
Prologue. Acknowledgements. How to use this book. Part 1: Before you start: What is a PhD? Is a PhD more than a thesis? Criteria used to judge PhD studies. Who are the examiners? What makes a good project? A healthy body to go with your PhD mind. Part 2: How to get started with writing: How to write a hypothesis. What happens if you don’t have a hypothesis? What’s the big idea? Writing a paragraph. Construct a logical argument in your writing. Storytelling in science? Why do you need to cite? Literature databases. What software should I use to write my PhD? Scientific names and taxonomic authorities. Writing style. When is it possible to retain your own voice when writing? Writing concisely. Writing a PhD if English is not your first language. Making sure that you don’t plagiarise. Academic phrasebank. Why critical reading is crucial for improving your writing. What is needed for your research proposal? Starting out transparent. Fear of submitting written work. Why use a formula to structure each chapter or paper? Data Management. Part 3: Writing the sections that make up your chapter: Title page. The Abstract. The introduction. The Materials & Methods. The Results. The Discussion. The Acknowledgements. The References. Tables. Figures. Who did what? Supplementary Material.
John Measey is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Stellenbosch University. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, and five books. This includes How to write a PhD in Biological Sciences: a guide for the uninitiated, also published by CRC Press. He was the Editor-in-Chief of an ISI journal for 9 years, and currently serves as Associate Editor for 4 other journals. He has graduated more than 20 postgraduate students, and his blog on writing and publishing in biological sciences is read by thousands globally. British born and educated, he lives and works in the beautiful Western Cape, South Africa.