Dr.Samarendra Prasad Mishra
Writing a good Thesis or research paper with proper presentation & style in every respect definitely creates beautiful impression up on the M.D(Hom) / Research scholars. A Thesis or research paper is must having a number of segments & sub- segments. It is quite necessary to follow specific styles for different segments of the Thesis or research paper. In my previous article- “ Basis of Writing a Model Homoeopathic Thesis in M.D”, which was published in Vital Informer, October-2007 issue& homoeorizon.com, similima.com ,I was described some points about the skeleton of a model Homoeopathic Thesis in M.D.
Let us discuss in this issue on writing style in some important areas of Thesis/Research paper in Homoeopathy.
General considerations in thesis/ research paper
Typing of thesis
- Preferable with Computer.
- Type specifications:
- Double space typing is mandatory.
A plane type face is preferred for typing the Thesis rather than italic or any other style.
Paper: Good quality of bond paper, A4 size should preferably be used. All pages of a given copy of the Thesis should be identical in weight, colour and texture. To ensure uniformity the adequate amount of paper should be purchased before the start of typing a Thesis. Thesis should be typed only on one side of the paper.
(b)Margins: Margins should be one and one-half inches from the left and one inch from the right, the bottom and the top edges of the sheet.
If footnotes are to be included, adequate space must be provided to accommodate them. In no case they be permitted to include into the bottom margin.
Page numbers should be provided inside the margin at the upper right corner of the page, one inch below the top edge and one inch to the left from the right edge of the page. Three spaces are to be left between the number and the first line of the typed text. No number is placed on the title page, though it is counted.
(d) Spacing: The Thesis is typed in double space, the first page of the Thesis begins not less than two inches and not more than three inches from the top of the page. Three spaces are provided between each heading or sub-heading and the text as well as between page number and text.
(e) Word Division: When it is essential to divide a word to avoid marginal unevenness, the break should come between two syllables. Name and surname should not be divided.
(f) Headings and Sub-headings:
Each chapter must begin on a new page. The heading ‘Chapter’ should be placed with capital letter.
Sub-headings: The chapter may be divided and sub-divided under a logical pattern of headings which represent levels of sub-division. The sub-headings are usually given titles and they are differentiated from one another by the typing style.
(g) Style of Writing: The work of the Research Scholar becomes a contribution to the field of knowledge only when it is adequately communicated to others. The Research Scholar must remember that the reader can understand his particular contribution only when they are properly presented and meaningfully communicated.
Accuracy and Clarity: The language of the Thesis must be precise and it must present the facts accurately. Thesis is made more meaningful through strong emphasis on important points. It should be presented with continuity and coherence and written in a lucid and flowing style.
(h) Mechanics of Expression: A Research Scholar should have an adequate mastery of such grammatical considerations as spellings, punctuation, capitalization and italicization.
Spellings: Each word used in the Thesis must be correctly spelled. It is recommended that in case of doubt, the Research Scholar should refer to a standard general/ medical dictionary. In case the word is not found in a dictionary, an accepted authority must be referred to.
Punctuation: The most common symbols of punctuation are the period, comma, question mark, semicolon, colon, quotation marks, brackets, hyphen and dash.
Period: It is used at the end of a complete sentence.
Question Mark: Question mark is used at the end of quarry or when uncertainty is shown.
Comma: This helps in case of reading and readily understanding a thought. It is used to indicate an interruption or pause in the continuity of thought.
Semicolon: It indicates a greater break of a sentence than that indicated by comma. This is to be used between the parts of a compound sentence when they are not connected by a conjunction.
Colon: The colon is used to introduce a clause that expands or clarifies the meaning of what precedes it.
Dash: It indicates a sudden break or pause in a sentence.
Brackets: The brackets are used to enclose alternate meaningful matter or explanation within the parenthesis.
Capitalization: Standard method in the capitalization of words should be followed. Important words, such as nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs of titles are capitalized.
Italicization: Material that appears in Italics in printed matter is to be underlined or italics in typing Thesis/ Research paper.
(i) Other points of Style: There are certain additional points which fall in between the categories of style and mechanics; they are: (1) Choice of first, second or third person, (2) Verb tense, (3) Abbreviations and (4) Editing.
Person: The Thesis should be written in third person. The personal pronouns (I, me, we, us, our and you) and correct commands do not appear except in quotations.
Verb Tense: In Thesis the Research Scholar describes what has already been done; therefore, the manuscript should be written in past tense.
Abbreviations should not be used in the text of the Thesis except using Mr., Messrs., Mrs. and their foreign equivalents preceding proper nouns. This rule does not apply to material included in footnotes, appendices, bibliographies and tables.
Accepted abbreviations of measurement scales e.g. 2 mm., 10cc and 5 ft., 3 in. are permitted.
Editing: The draft of the thesis work has to be written, corrected and rewritten at least three or four times before it is finally typed. The proper reading and editing will enable avoiding mistakes in thesis.
*Reference from an anonymous book of anonymous author.
Dr.Samarendra Prasad Mishra,
B.H.M.S..(Hons), M.D.(Hom) Materia Medica
Reader- Dept. of Materia Medica,
Maharana Pratap Homoeopathic Medical College, New Rajendra Nagar, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Mob- 09827910737, Email- firstname.lastname@example.org