Below is a list of online writing guides and videos that provide comprehensive tips and guidelines for academic writing, and thesis writing in particular. These resources are geared toward graduate students in Science and Engineering disciplines. If you are an Arts and Social Sciences, Public Affairs, or Sprott School of Business student, check out our page of writing resources for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

These resources were originally compiled by Rozita Rashtichi (PhD Student, Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University). Updates and revisions are provided by David Lafferty (FGPA Coordinator of Graduate Professional Development). Please email David with any content suggestions or reports of broken links.


Some Notes on Technical Writing

Science and engineering programs often require grad students to produce technical documents including conference papers, journal papers, reports, a proposal and a thesis. These documents are all formal scholarly documents that have certain writing ‘rules’ to follow. This article summarizes some of the key rules to writing including connectivity, tense, tone, use of pronouns and vocabulary. By Rozita Rashtchi.

Work-Life Balance: Don’t Let Your Dissertation Define You

The dissertation process can be all-consuming. With constant deadlines, committee meetings, research, writing and endless hours of anxiety-ridden procrastination, tackling your dissertation can easily become the single most defining feature of your life. Do not let your dissertation define you. This article offers a few helpful insights on how to strike a sustainable work-life balance while getting through your dissertation. By Shaun Stevenson.

The Three Best Dissertation Writing Blogs

For those of you looking for non-traditional resources to help you through the dissertation process, blogs can provide insightful perspectives, reserves of relevant articles and links to helpful information from across the web. Better yet, they are often a wonderful and humorous place to commiserate about the sometimes woeful process of dissertation writing. This article will look at three excellent blogs that you may just want to turn to when struck by that familiar feeling of procrastination. By Shaun Stevenson.

Online Writing Guides

How to Write Your Thesis –  Columbia University

How to write your thesis? The answer can be found in this website where the thesis structure has been discussed, as well as some crosscutting issues about writing.

Honours Thesis Writing for Engineering and Science Students –  University of New South Wales

In this website from you can find online thesis writing support and advice for graduate students in engineering and science including advice (from supervisors), examples (from past honours theses) and exercises to help you improve your thesis writing skills.

Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students – College of Engineering, Penn State University

This webpage provides some tips on how to write a thesis in engineering and science disciplines with some useful samples.

Graduate Study in the Computer and Mathematical Sciences: A Survival Manual Computer Science Department, University of Maryland.

In this website you can find all about graduate studies from beginning to end, including the thesis writing process.

Video Resources

Tips on Scholarly Writing in Science and Engineering

Guidelines for Using Figures and Tables in a Scientific or Engineering Thesis

In the following presentations, Dr. Marche, who has chaired almost 100 defences, mostly at the PhD level, shares his knowledge and experience including insight into what happens during a defence, how to prepare (aside from all the research and writing), what to expect from the committee, and other useful skills. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

How to Write a Thesis Statement in 4 Minutes and How to Write an A+ Thesis Statement

Writing a good thesis statement is the first step toward your thesis. These two videos discuss how to write a good thesis statement and they provide a template for it.

Citation and Reference Formatting

This video by Michael Seery provides some guidelines – in particular corresponding to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) guidelines – for citing and formatting references in a thesis.