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WRITING SCIENCE FOR THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

Robert Roseberry

Some of the common documents that graduate science and engineering students write include the following: (Please click on the desired link.)

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Dissertation (Thesis):
This is a major paper, usually written after all course work and relevant examinations are completed. It may vary in length from around 50 pages to several hundred pages.
The Ph.D. dissertation is expected to be longer and more detailed than the M.Sc. dissertation. The dissertation describes original work, usually of an experimental nature.

Journal Article:
This is a short paper, usually between 5 and 25 pages in length, that is intended for publication in a refereed journal and often available on the Internet. It may focus on the
results of an experiment. It is described in an objective manner that should enable a skilled scientific reader to replicate the experiment and find the same or similar results.

Grant Application:
This may be a form or other structured document making a case for funding for a particular process or experiment. The focus is on the benefits to the funding agency, and all necessary information is given that will enable the funding agency to track the progress of the work.

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Engineering Design Report:
This is a report on an engineering project. It is often the result of a collaboration between a university research group and a corporation. It focuses on the practical outcomes of an engineering project.

Research Proposal:
This is a document that makes a case for a process of research, possibly involving experimentation, and often leading to a dissertation or other research text.

Consulting Report:
This type of report, also called a management report, is written to the management of a company. It reports on the management of a project from the point of view of a
consultant.

Recommendation Report:
This type of report is based on the study of a problem and contains recommendations
designed to solve the problem.

Thesis Proposal:
A thesis proposal combines some elements of a research proposal and a thesis. Since
the proposed work has not been accomplished yet, the procedural steps are given in
the future tense.

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