Summer workshops for MSc students

[Paul Dodds]
Summer is on us, but MSc students are still in the thick of it with their dissertations.  That’s why we’re offering a July workshop series with a particular focus on quantitative research.

See “Workshops” for details of what will be held when. Please make sure to book immediately, as there are only so many places available.  Register yourself even if places run out, as you will be added to a waiting list.

Topic sentences and how to use them

During your studies, you will be probably be told at least once that you should pay attention to topic sentences. These sentences come at the beginnings of paragraphs and introduce the central ideas that are about to be developed. “Use topic sentences,” the advice-givers say, “and your writing will become clear”.

And yet many examples of fine writing do not use topic sentences. I’ve read many paragraphs where the first sentence does not point towards the incoming payload at all, and yet the authors of these paragraphs are praised for their style and clarity. Then why should we use them? Are topic sentences another example of a fictional device made up to turn writing into a paint-by-numbers exercise? Continue reading “Topic sentences and how to use them”

Model abstracts in linguistics

It’s important to be able to write a good abstract.  How else are you going to convince people to accept your journal articles or conference presentations?

Abstracts share a lot with introductions.  In both you’ll have to provide context, establish a problem or niche, and then fill in the knowledge gap with your own position.  And they both function to get the reader interested in finding out what you have to say.

But you’ll have to go a step further with abstracts.  Continue reading “Model abstracts in linguistics”

Drop-in quantitative research help

students around a computerWe will be offering drop-in sessions on experiment design and statistics to MSc students in PPLS over the summer. These are intended to help you get over problems so you can finish your dissertations.

The main topics we can help you with are experimental design, data analysis/interpretation, model fitting and software (e.g., R). Writing-related questions are welcome, but they are probably better dealt with in a separate hour-long appointment so we can give your dissertation the time it deserves (see “Appointments” on this site).

While you should always consult your supervisor first about questions of what to do, our tutors can help you figure out how to do what you want to do. In other words, we’re troubleshooters.

At least two PhD tutors will be present at every session and no booking is required.   For our schedule, see “Drop-in” on this site.

Make sure to arrive early and bring your laptop (both for the session itself and so that you can work while you wait for a tutor).