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How to write papers

Courses How to write papers Thesis supervision Teaching experience Teaching tools


Frequently Asked Questions on researching, writing, and presenting papers

Here are some tools and tips to help students of all levels. Some of the info is specific to the university (such as the library), others may be of more general use.

I have made this list specifically for students who write papers for/with me, or work on projects in my classes. Work in progress...

The question

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How do I answer an essay question? (pdf, especially for exams)
(In Dutch)

Finding information

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Where do I find information for my papers?

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What information is reliable?

Organising research

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How do I organise group assignments?

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How should I make research notes?

Referencing

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How do I reference my sources?

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Why should I reference my sources so meticulously?

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What software can I use to help with referencing? (Endnote tips).

Writing your paper

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How do I write?

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What elements should my paper have? (paper checklist)

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What is this 'executive summary' thing and do I need one?

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How do I handle abbreviations and acronyms?

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How do I handle figures and tables?

Presentations

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How do I present my work?

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Presentation checklist

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...

Resources

For papers and projects in Dutch, there is an excellent and very encompassing handbook:
 
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Steehouder, MichaŽl, Carel Jansen, Kees Maat,  et al., Leren communiceren: handboek voor mondelinge en schriftelijke communicatie, Wolters Noordhoff, 2006.

For projects and papers in English, there are lots of specialised resources, rather than one comprehensive source, e.g.:
 
bulletStrunk, W. J., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). New York: Longman.
Focuses on correct English, writing style, common grammatical errors, ...
 
bulletMalmfors, B., Garnsworthy, P., & Grossman, M. (2004). Writing and Presenting Scientific Papers (2nd ed.). Nottingham: Nottingham University Press.
Lots of practical suggestions on writing clear and well argued papers.
 
bulletMcMillan, K., & Weyers, J. (2007). How to write Essays and Assignments. Harlow, UK: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Really good an comprehensive manual for writing good student papers.
In 2009, a new edition appeared.
In this series, there are several other handbooks for students.