50 linking words to use in academic writing

It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a

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What are headings and why are they important?

Definition of heading A heading is a short phrase describing what the succeeding section is all about. You can think of it as the title of that particular section. Short documents usually do not require the use of headings. For theses and other complex readings, however, headings are important because they help readers identify the

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Why use styles in Microsoft Word?

Writing your thesis is taxing as it is; and formatting your thesis to make it look neat and consistent is an essential, but often tedious (and sometimes, confusing) part of the thesis-writing process. Good thing Microsoft Word has Styles—a feature that makes formatting much quicker and less complicated. But what exactly is a style? It

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How to correctly use abbreviations and acronyms/initialism

First, let us define the terms Abbreviation, Acronym and Initialism. According to merriam-webster.com, abbreviation is ‘a shortened form of a written word or phrase used in place of the whole,’ while acronym is ‘a word (as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major

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Building a Productive Relationship with your Supervisor

Completing a PhD thesis is, in many respects, a solo endeavour; nevertheless, the PhD is a guided academic journey and your guide—the thesis supervisor or supervisors—plays a vital role in that voyage. Whether you are in the process of approaching potential academic supervisors, have recently started your project with a new supervisor or have a

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Best tools and tips for collecting thesis data online

Since theses are usually built on original research conducted by the PhD candidate, many researchers need to collect a large amount of data—both qualitative and quantitative—to meet the requirements of their doctoral studies. With the ability to connect to thousands—even, potentially, millions—of people via the Internet, in some ways there has never been a better

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Why PhD students should be blogging

I can hear the protests from here. ‘But I’m so busy! I can’t possibly maintain a blog! I want to get away from my thesis, not dwell on it in my down time!’ And they are all fair objections. Click here to download our quick guide to starting your own blog Writing a thesis is

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Top Tips for Tightening Your Academic Writing Style

Plan your Writing Good planning is an essential part of tight academic writing. Some of the benefits include: a clear idea of the purpose of each section of your document greater directness, brought on by greater confidence in your purpose in writing improved control over your word count lower risk of including extraneous information. Stick

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How do I motivate myself to write my thesis?

The human brain is a funny thing. Even when we have a great reason to do something—a clean house, money, more free time, better health, greater knowledge—we somehow find ways to procrastinate and dawdle, preferring the easier but less preferable present to the more difficult but more rewarding future. Writing a thesis is much the

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How to Paraphrase

  Paraphrasing is a very useful skill in academic writing. It allows you to present the ideas of researchers and academics in your essay or paper in your own words and writing style, while providing a reference for where you found the information. However, if you don’t master the skill correctly, you might be accused

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