Scientifically working in 8 steps: from structure to proofreading


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Mastering scientific work can be decisive - not only for the successful completion of a degree course, but also for the further career. What should you pay attention to?

scientific work

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Step 4: Building a scientific work

A scientific work follows an exact construction. It usually consists of: cover sheet, list of contents and abbreviations, affidavit, abstract, preface, main body, bibliography and bibliography and appendix.

The affidavit must be signed only for theses and dissertations. Here it is stated that the work was written without outside help. The abstract, also called summary, gives information about what is done in the work and what results from it.

In extensive scientific work (especially dissertations and habilitations), it is possible and often customary to write a preface with personal motivations and thanksgiving. Finally, the main text is divided into the introduction, the main part, and the key part, whereby the introduction is a kind of signposting through the main part, whereas the key part summarizes the most important theses.

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Step 5: Scientific Writing

The scientific writing style is characterized by complexity, foreign words and a high linguistic ambition. This makes these texts more difficult to read, understand and write. Nevertheless, this writing style is necessary to convey information objectively and clearly.

For example, For example the use of the passive, in which the reader is not directly addressed. Also I-formulations must be dispensed with. The use of compartmental compartments is necessary in order to characterize the matter exactly. In scientific texts, word repetitions are not necessarily a stylistic mistake, since the same facts should always point to the same subject. Multiple short sentences instead of nesting sets increase readability. Language, dialect, irony and humor must not be used in scientific work.

Step 6: Cite

A scientific text must always show clearly which ideas, statements and ideas were taken literally or indirectly from foreign sources. These must be marked by references to the literature and sources, so that the readers can at any time verify a factual situation. You should therefore write all sources to a quotation immediately, which saves afterwards annoying search.

Not only written statements must be quoted, but also illustrations, tables or data. Only general knowledge and facts, which belong to the basic knowledge of the study direction, need not be proved.

There are different ways of quoting: In the German citation way, there is a superscript number behind each citation, which refers to a footnote with the source document. In the Harvard method, the source references are a short reference to the bibliography, written directly after the quotations in parenthesis. Which citations are used depends on the conventions of the respective institute or department. The best way to clarify this in advance with the supervisor.

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Step 7: Format

The formal overall impression of a work can lead to a poorer evaluation. Because in an unconventional layout the reader is distracted from the optics of the work, concentrating on the essentials is more difficult. In addition, the work should also show that the author dominates the scientific conventions. Many institutes provide guidance on the following: They usually contain information on page margins, font size (usually 12 Pt) and font (Arial or Times New Roman), block sentence, line spacing (mostly 1,5 lines), formatting of headings and footnotes.

Important: Headers, directories, footnotes and tables should have a uniform form. Sources and directories should be error-free, consistent and complete.

Step 8: Proofreading

A scientific work should not only be formally uniform and conform to the conventions, the author should also show that he can deal with scientific sources well and be able to write a linguistically sound text. Typographical errors, spelling mistakes, grammar errors and a bumpy expression should not occur in scientific work.

Since one does not see its own mistakes, it helps to correct or correct the work of third parties. Either the fellow students, friends or family members who do not have enough time often enough, or a professional proofreader or lecturer. The latter are usually experts who are familiar with scientific conventions and thus better point to erroneous formal design, incorrect citation, or unclear formulations, as laymen.

The following difference should be noted with regard to the scope: A check of the spelling, grammar and punctuation is offered as "proofreading" or "proofreading". A "proofreading", on the other hand, also includes a stylistic review, so that it is guaranteed that your formulations are understandable and concise. You should clarify in advance which tasks a proofreader or editor will take on.

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