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How to write Dissertations and Project reports

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Published Date:01-07-2017
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CHAPTER 1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS 1.1 Introduction This guide is intended to assist the graduate students of Universiti Putra Malaysia (henceforth the University) in the preparation of their theses in terms of formatting and writing conventions. Students should refer closely to this guide and seek clarification with the staff of the Thesis Division of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) on specific matters relating to the preparation of their thesis. 1.2 Language The thesis should be written either in English or Bahasa Melayu. Language use should be consistent throughout the thesis, especially in terms of spelling (American or British). The Roman alphabet should be used unless otherwise required by the discipline. 1.3 Technical Specifications The thesis must only be printed on a letter-quality or laser printer. Only the original copy of a thesis or good and clean photocopies will be accepted. Copies with correcting fluid will not be accepted. 1.3.1 Thesis Title The title of the thesis should not exceed 20 words. 1.3.2 Number of Pages The number of pages is dependent on the programme of study and should not exceed 150 pages for a Master’s thesis, and 240 pages for a PhD thesis (excluding tables, figures and appendices). Students must obtain written permission from the SGS before submitting a thesis longer than the prescribed length. Students should provide strong justifications to support their request. 1.3.3 Page Layout The text should be presented in the portrait layout. The landscape layout may be used for figures and tables. 1.3.4 Type of Paper White simile A4 size (210mm x 297mm) paper (80g) or paper of equivalent quality should be used. Students must include an extra blank sheet for the front and back of the thesis. Photocopies of the thesis must be on similar quality paper. Guide to Thesis Preparation 1.3.5 Typeface and Font Size The text of the thesis, including headings and page numbers, must be produced with the same font or typeface. The font size should be 12-point and should not be scripted or italicised except for scientific names and terms in a different language. Bold print may be used for headings. Footnotes and text in tables should not be less than 8-point. Fonts appropriate for a thesis include: Arial Book Antiqua Bookman Palatino Tahoma Times New Roman 1.3.6 Margins The left margin should be at least 40 mm, and the right, top and bottom margins at least 25 mm. Margin specifications are meant to facilitate binding and trimming. All information (text headings, footnotes, and figures), including page numbers, must be within the text area as demarcated by the dotted lines shown on this page. 1.3.7 Spacing The thesis should be double-spaced, with four spaces between paragraphs and sections. The following, however, should be single-spaced: i. Footnotes (if absolutely necessary); ii. Quotations of three lines or more, indented and set in a block; iii. References or bibliography (except between entries); iv. Multi-line captions (tables, figures); v. Appendices, such as questionnaires, letters; and vi. Headings or subheadings. 1.3.8 Pagination All pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the thesis, including pages containing tables, figures and appendices. Page numbers should be centred either centrally or right flushed at either the top or bottom margins. Page numbers should appear by themselves and should not be placed in brackets, be hyphenated or be accompanied by decorative images. Text, tables and figures should be printed on one (1) side of each sheet only. 4 Guide to Thesis Preparation Preliminary pages preceding Chapter 1 must be numbered in lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii etc). The title page should not be numbered although it is counted as page i. Page 1 is the first page of the Introduction (Chapter 1) but is not numbered. 1.3.9 Binding Before making the required number of copies and binding the thesis, ensure that all University requirements have been met and necessary signatures have been obtained. Check that all pages are in the correct order. The thesis should be bound with a black hard cover and the binding should be of a fixed kind in which pages are permanently secured. The following are requirements for the front cover. A. Thesis Spine (refer to Appendix A for details) The spine must be entirely lettered in gold, using a 20-point font and must contain the following: i. Name of student; ii. Degree for which the study is submitted; and iii. Year of submission. B. Front Cover The front cover must be entirely lettered in gold using 18-point gold block font and contain the following: i. UPM Logo; ii. Title of thesis; iii. Name of student; iv. Degree; v. Name of the university; and vi. Year of submission. 1.4 Submission Students intending to submit a thesis must do the following: i. Submit the prescribed Form GS-14a (Notice of intention to submit a thesis for examination) to SGS at least three months before submission; ii. Submit five (5) soft-bound copies of the thesis with a completed Form GS- 15a to SGS for examination; and iii. Submit one loose copy of the corrected thesis, the list of corrections made, forms GS-16a and GS-17 to SGS within 5 Guide to Thesis Preparation  15 days if the thesis is accepted with distinction; or  30 days if the thesis is accepted with minor modifications; or  60 days if the thesis is accepted with major modifications after the successful defence of the thesis. Students should then submit the following to SGS after notification of acceptance of thesis: i. Two (2) copies of the thesis in black hard cover ii. Three (3) softcopies of the thesis on CD Students are also required to submit a bound copy of the thesis to every member of their respective supervisory committees. 6 Guide to Thesis Preparation CHAPTER 2 THESIS FORMAT The following describes what is generally known as the conventional format of a thesis. There are two (2) formats available, and students are allowed to choose one that is appropriate for the discipline of their study. A thesis generally consists of three main parts: preliminary pages; text or main body (usually divided into chapters and sections), and supporting pages, containing references/bibliography, appendices, and biodata of the student. If applicable, a list of publications resulting from the study carried out during the period of candidature where the student is the first or principal author should be inserted after the student’s biodata page. The preliminary pages include the title page, dedication, abstracts in English and Bahasa Melayu, acknowledgements, approval sheets, declaration form, table of contents, and lists of tables, figures and abbreviations. The typical layout of a thesis is shown in Table 1. The entire thesis should be bound in a single volume. However, in cases when appendices are particularly long, the thesis may be bound in two volumes. In such cases, the second volume should contain the appendices only, and shall begin its pagination with page 1. The second volume should contain a list of appendices immediately before the appendices. References, the student’s biodata and list of publications should stay within the first volume in the sequence shown above. 2.1 Title Page The title page should include the following: i. UPM logo ii. full title of thesis; iii. full name of student; iv. degree for which the thesis is submitted; v. name of the university; vi. School of Graduate Studies; and vii. month and year of submission. See Appendix B1 for the layout of the title page. The title should describe the content of the thesis accurately and concisely, omitting words such as ‘An Investigation of’, ‘An Analysis of’, or ‘A Study of’, which are redundant. All 7 Guide to Thesis Preparation theses are investigations, analyses or studies of one kind or another. For a more detailed guide to determining a suitable thesis title, see Appendix B2. Table 1. A Typical Layout of a Thesis No. Items Remarks 1 Blank Page - 2 Title Page Not to be paginated but counted as i. See Section 2.1 3 Copyright page See Section 2.2 3 Dedications (if any) - 4 Abstract See Section 2.3 Abstrak 5 See Section 2.3 6 Acknowledgements See Section 2.4 7 Approval Sheets See Section 2.5 8 Declaration Form See Section 2.6 9 Table of Contents See Section 2.7 10 List of Tables See Section 2.8 11 List of Figures See Section 2.9 12 List of Abbreviations/ See Section 2.10 Notations/Glossary of Terms 13 Body of Thesis Numbered consecutively from 1 onwards. See Section 2.10 14 References/Bibliography Continue with the consecutive numbering. See Section 2.11 15 Appendices See Section 2.12 16 Biodata of the Student See Section 2.13 17 List of Publications See Section 2.14 18 Blank Page - 2.2 Copyright Page Please note that a copyright page must be included on the verso page immediately following the title page of the thesis, and before the dedication. This copyright must state that the thesis is the intellectual property of Universiti Putra Malaysia. For the full text of the copyright notice, see Appendix B3. 8 Guide to Thesis Preparation 2.3 Abstract The abstract is a digest of the entire thesis and should be given the same careful attention as the main text. It should not include any references. Abbreviations or acronyms must be preceded by the full terms at the first use. An abstract should be between 300 and 500 words. It includes a brief statement of the problem and objectives of the study, a concise description of the research method and design, a summary of the major findings including their significance, and conclusions. The abstract should be written in both English and Bahasa Melayu. The version to appear first should be of the same language of the thesis. The format of abstract heading is shown in Appendices C1-2. Even though a thesis may have been written in English, the abstract in Bahasa Melayu must also reach an acceptable scholarly standard. Common pitfalls such as spelling errors, incorrect usage of prepositions and prefixes (e.g. di, ke) should be avoided. Scientific terms must be used accurately and consistently. 2.4 Acknowledgements Acknowledgements are written expressions of appreciation for guidance and assistance received from individuals and institutions. 2.5 Approval Sheets Two approval sheets are required. One sheet will bear the signature of the Deputy Dean of the SGS certifying the approval of the thesis by the Thesis Examination Committee. The other will bear the signature of the Dean of the SGS after the University Senate has awarded the degree. Please refer to Appendices D1-D2 (for thesis written in English) and Appendices D3-D4 (for thesis written in Bahasa Melayu) for details. 2.6 Declaration Form The declaration form should be written as shown in Appendices E1-E2. 2.7 Table of Contents The Table of Contents lists in sequence all relevant subdivisions of the thesis with their corresponding page numbers (see Appendices F1-F4). 2.8 List of Tables The list shows the exact titles or captions of all tables in the text and appendices, together with the starting page number of each table, and must be listed in sequence. If the whole thesis contains only one or two tables, then a List of Tables is not necessary. 9 Guide to Thesis Preparation 2.9 List of Figures Figures include graphs, maps, charts, engineering drawings, photographs (plates), sketches, printed images, and any other form of illustration that is not a table. The exact titles or captions and their corresponding page numbers must be listed in sequence. Figures, including any in the appendices, should be numbered consecutively throughout the thesis. If the whole thesis contains only one or two figures, then a list of figures is not necessary. 2.10 List of Abbreviations/Notations/Glossary of Terms If abbreviations and acronyms are used in the thesis, they should be explained in a List of Abbreviations, even though the full names are given at first use. This list should be the last item in the preliminary section. It serves as a ready reference to readers not familiar with the abbreviations used in the thesis. Universally recognised scientific symbols (such as CO , cm, mm, kg, ha) need not be listed. 2 2.11 Body The body of a thesis normally consists of sections which are organised as chapters. A chapter may be divided into major sections and subsections. Main or primary headings within chapters are to be centred while sub-headings are left justified. Tertiary headings are indented five (5) spaces and are not listed in the Table of Contents. The main sections and subsections of a chapter may be identified by numbers where the former are regarded as being the first level. For example, Sections 2.1 and 2.2 would denote two consecutive main sections in Chapter 2, and Sections 3.1 and 3.2 would denote two consecutive main sections in Chapter 3. A subsection would be found in a major section of a chapter, and is regarded as the second level. It should be numbered 2.1.1., 2.1.2 etc. The numbering style should be consistent throughout the thesis and should be limited to 4 levels. Examples of how main sections and subsections are organised are listed in Appendices G1 and G2. Placements for tables and figures are as described above in Sections 2.7 and 2.8. Students are advised to discuss the usage of tables and figures with their supervisor before their inclusion in the thesis, as different disciplines have different preferences. 2.11.1 Chapter Layout There are three (3) ways to format the chapters of a thesis. Two are described in this chapter, and the third in Chapter 3. The first style (see below) is the most common of the three. Style 2 should be considered only when each research chapter, although related, represents a study that may stand on its own, and 10 Guide to Thesis Preparation where the Materials and Methods section is sufficiently different from the other research chapters. The body of a thesis in the field of Mathematics may be organised in a similar way to Style 2, with the following exceptions: i. Combine Chapters 1 and 2 if necessary ii. Replace `Materials and Methods’ with `Problem Solving’ in the research chapters Style 1 (See Appendices F1 and F2) Chapter Item 1 Introduction (including objectives) 2 Literature Review 3 Materials and Methods/ Methodology 4 Results/Findings 5 Discussion 6 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Research Style 2 (See Appendices F3 and F4) Chapter Item 1 Introduction (including objectives). The relationship between the research chapters should also be explained in this chapter 2 Literature Review 3–5 Research chapters. Each chapter represents a separate study that has its own Introduction (including objectives), Materials and Methods/ Methodology, Results/Findings, Discussion, and Conclusion 6 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Research Results/Findings may be combined with Discussion in a single chapter for Style 1, or as a sub-heading within a research chapter for Style 2. More of these chapters may be added if necessary Introduction This chapter introduces the subject matter and problem(s) being studied, and indicates its importance and validity. It sets out the hypotheses to be tested and research objectives to be attained. In some theses, usually those in mathematics, this section may be combined with the literature review. It is important to remember that the research objectives stated in the thesis should match the 11 Guide to Thesis Preparation findings of the study. Failing to do so will result in a verdict of `Re-submission of Thesis’ by the Thesis Examination Committee, and a recommendation to conduct additional studies so that the stated objectives are met. Literature Review This section encompasses a critical and comprehensive review of the literature related to the topic of thesis. It is meant to act as a base for the experimental and analytical sections of the thesis. Literature selected must be up to date, and be analysed and synthesised logically. It is not simply a summary of works of different authors. The review should give the gist of each book or pertinent findings of a journal article, explain how it relates to the topic and show why it is not sufficient to answer the research questions. For example, the study being reviewed uses a Japanese sample, while the research is examining the situation in Malaysia. Textbook materials on basic principles or theories should be kept to a minimum. Materials and Methods/Methodology This section varies from thesis to thesis depending on the discipline of study, and may be absent in theoretical theses. It contains a description and justification of the materials, theoretical approaches, experimental designs and methods (including statistical analysis) used to achieve the stated objectives of the study undertaken. In the social sciences, a conceptual framework will need to be included. In engineering and in the pure and applied sciences, this may include, but is not limited to, a description of the methodology, theoretical development, fundamental philosophical foundation, experimental design and standard procedure description. The materials and methods used in the study should be described in detail and concisely such that a reader would be able to replicate the experiment solely with the information contained in this section. References must be cited for published protocols or methods. Results/Findings This section of the thesis may also be combined with the Discussion section because the content tends to be related. This section may be broken down into subsections. The section presents a complete account of the results obtained in the study in the form of text, figures or tables so that the key information is highlighted. The same set of results or data should not be presented in more than one format (e.g. either as a table or figure, but not both). When results are placed in one chapter, sub-headings may be used to demarcate the different aspects of the study. Discussion This section bridges the data presented or described in the preceding section, and contains the analyses or interpretations of the results obtained, and the 12 Guide to Thesis Preparation conclusions drawn. Students should discuss these results in relation to the hypotheses or objectives set out in the Introduction, and how they fit into the existing or current body of knowledge. The significance and implications of the main findings should be made clear. Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Studies This chapter is important since it illustrates the significance of the study and stresses the findings upon which a conclusion or conclusions are drawn in line with the objectives set, acknowledges the limitations, and suggests further research which may be carried out on the topic. 2.11.2 Tables Ensure that all tables shown in the thesis, including those in the Appendices, are referred to in the text. Tables should be numbered with Arabic numerals throughout the thesis (including both text and appendices). There are two possible numbering schemes: either (a) number the tables consecutively throughout the thesis, e.g. 1, 2, 3 and so on, or (b) number them by chapter, e.g. Table 1.1, Table 1.2 and Table 1.3 to indicate they belong to Chapter 1, Table 2.1, Table 2.2 and Table 2.3 to Chapter 2, and so on. A table should be on the page following the first reference to it or, if this is not practical as soon as possible in the following pages. When a large table is placed in landscape orientation, the top of the table should be at the binding edge. The table number, title and caption should be single-spaced and placed above the table (Appendices H1-2). The style used must be consistent throughout the thesis. Table sources and notes should be placed directly below the table. If a table has been adapted from a source, indicate using “Adapted from…“ instead of “Source: ...”. Avoid the use of vertical lines to separate columns within a table unless absolutely necessary. 2.11.3 Figures As with tables, ensure that each figure is referred to in the text. Figures include maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, photographs (or plates), engineering drawings and printed images. They are numbered consecutively or according to the chapter throughout the thesis, including those in the Appendices. The figure number, title and caption should be single-spaced and placed below the figure using Arabic numerals and lowercase, except for proper nouns and the first letters of principal words (Appendix I). Figures should be inserted as soon as possible after their first mention in the text. The style used must be consistent throughout the thesis. 13 Guide to Thesis Preparation If a figure occupies an entire page, the caption may be typed on the left-hand page (reverse side blank) facing the figure. It is counted but not paginated. The top of a figure drawn in landscape format should be aligned to the binding edge. The figure number, title and caption should be typed parallel to the orientation of the figure. Figures should conform to standard margin requirements. Engineering drawings should follow appropriate standards, with any large size drawings placed as appendices. 2.11.4 Equations All equations, whether mathematical and chemical, are considered as text and numbered according to chapter. If detailed derivation is needed, it is to be placed in an appendix. 2.11.5 Footnotes Footnotes should be used sparingly in any thesis except if required by the discipline. They should be used only to clarify a certain term, or to state conversion factors or exchange rates—not to cite authority for specific statements or research findings. Citations of authority are described below. If footnotes are necessary, footnote indicators (reference numbers in the text) are usually typed in 1,2 superscript (e.g. ). The numbering of footnotes should begin with 1 and must be continuous within each chapter or appendix, and not throughout the whole text. 2.11.6 Citations Students are responsible for choosing a style of citation appropriate to the field and using that style correctly and consistently. Students should consult their respective supervisors for guidelines. The use of software such as RefWorks or EndNote for publishing and managing bibliographies, citations and references is encouraged. At the end of the thesis, the student must supply a list of references in alphabetical order by author, with consistent punctuation. See Appendices J1-2 for sample citations. 2.11.7 Headers and Footers The use of headers and footers is not allowed. 2.12 References/Bibliography The References or Bibliography section contains the list of works cited in the thesis. Students should not cite as references articles published from the studies that they themselves conducted during their candidature. 1 This is here simply to illustrate the use of footnotes. 2 As above. 14 Guide to Thesis Preparation The SGS does not specify which reference style is to be used. However, students are advised to follow a style used by an authoritative journal in the field of study. Although different journals and publishers use different reference styles, a thesis has to have one (1) consistent style. See Appendices J1-2 for samples of commonly used reference styles. Students should check for the latest versions of different reference styles. Some systems, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) reference format, are frequently updated. 2.13 Appendices Information or data that is too detailed for the main body of the thesis may be included as appendices. These are placed after the reference list. Appendices include original data, summary, sideline or preliminary tests, tabulations, tables that contain data of lesser importance, very lengthy quotations, supporting decisions, forms and documents, computer printouts, detailed engineering drawings and other pertinent documents. Appendix materials should be grouped by type, e.g., Appendix A: Questionnaire, Appendix B: Original data, Appendix C: Tables of results. Appendices must be paginated consecutively with the main text. If there are three or less appendices, their details (such as number and titles) should be listed as items in the Table of Contents. If there are more than three appendices, the Table of Contents should include a List of Appendices with corresponding page numbers. The list itself should come immediately after the List of Figures. 2.14 Biodata of the Student This section is compulsory. It contains the student’s biographical information, such as name, educational background, the degree that is being sought, professional work experience (if any), and any other similar matters that may interest the reader. The vita should be in essay form, rather than a mere résumé. 2.15 List of Publications All publications (in journals and proceedings) that result from the study undertaken by the student while under supervision and during their candidature, and for which the student is the first or principal author, should be listed clearly and accurately. These publications should not be used as references in the thesis. 15 Guide to Thesis Preparation CHAPTER 3 ALTERNATIVE THESIS FORMAT The University has recently approved the manuscript style format as an alternative to the conventional format described in Chapter 2. This format is meant specifically for students who, while they are still within their period of candidature, have already published the findings of their study in peer-reviewed journals, or have articles that are accepted for publication in similar scholarly journals. The technical or research chapters under this format represent a reproduction of these articles. 3.1 Thesis Layout The layout for the alternative format is that of a typical thesis (please refer to Chapter 2) as shown below, except for the way the research chapters are organised (Section 3.2). i. Title page ii. Blank page iii. Abstract iv. Acknowledgements v. Approval sheets vi. Declaration forms vii. Table of contents viii. Introduction ix. Literature review x. Materials and methods/Methodology xi. Research chapters (Section 3.2 for details) xii. Summary, conclusion and recommendations for future research xiii. References/Bibliography (Section 2.11 for details) xiv. Appendices (these are to be placed at the end of the thesis as archives. They will include detailed research methodology and any important data which has not been included in the journal papers.) xv. Biodata of the student Appendix F5 shows in greater detail the Table of Content for this format. 3.2 Organisation of Research Chapters This section comprises the student’s own research papers which have either been published, or already accepted for publication in citation-indexed journals, for which they are the first author or principal researcher, and which were produced under supervision and during the period of candidature. The student may refer 16 Guide to Thesis Preparation to the following for guidance in the selection of journals: Thomson Scientific ISI SM Web of Knowledge website at, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index at databases/2087600.html, Social Sciences citation Index at http://www.lib. or any other listing relevant to the field of study. Each reprint or accepted paper represents a chapter. These materials must be re- typed using the format outlined in the technical specifications in Chapter 1 of this Guide. Written consent must be secured from the copyright owners for all copyrighted materials and the permission letters should be attached at the end of the chapter. Where there are joint authorships, the works of the others must be clearly specified. For manuscripts that have been accepted for publication, a copy of the acceptance letter from the journal concerned should also be shown at the end of the relevant chapter. Papers presented at conferences or seminars, and those published in conference or seminar proceedings are not acceptable alternatives. Additional chapters may be added to include findings that have not been published. The format of such chapters should be consistent with that of the preceding chapters. The number of journal papers required differs according to the type of degree as shown below. i. Master’s programmes: At least two chapters should constitute research papers already published or accepted by peer-reviewed journals, with at least one in an appropriate citation-indexed journal. ii. PhD programmes: At least four chapters should constitute research papers already published or accepted by peer-reviewed journals, with at least two in appropriate citation-indexed journals. 17 Guide to Thesis Preparation CHAPTER 4 WRITING CONVENTIONS 4.1 Units of Measure 3 Use internationally recognised units of measure, preferably SI, such as: 1 litre (1 L) 20 millilitres (20 mL) 5 kilogram (5 kg) 20 kilometre (20 km) 2.5 hectare (2.5 ha) 3.7 metric tonnes (3.7 t) 45 parts per million (45 ppm) 12 gram (12 g) 500 US Dollars (USD 500) 3.4 metric tonne/hectare (3.4 t/ha) The numbers before the measurement units should not be spelt out, (e.g., write 5 kg, not five kg) even if they are below 100 (see Section 3.2) unless they are the first word of sentences or the number one (1). Note the space between the figure and the unit of measure. 4.2 Numbers All integers less than ten should be spelt out unless they are attached to units of measure (e.g. 5 kg, 10 mL). Use figures for the number 10 or more than 10. If a sentence begins with a number, write the number in words, e.g. “Three hundred and eighty-five farmers from the study area were interviewed”, instead of “350 farmers from the study area were interviewed.” or change the order of the sentence. Use numerals for a series of figures. For example: i. There were 4 chairs, 12 boxes, 13 books, 10 files, 9 umbrella and 8 pairs of shoes in the room. ii. The number of taxi permits issued during the past six years was 8, 53, 27, 38, 52, and 90. 4.3 Names of Organisms The name of an organism should be written in full the first time it appears in both the abstract and in the text. The name may then be abbreviated according to accepted conventions, e.g. Escherichia coli should be shortened to E. coli. 3 SI stands for Système International d’Unités, or International System of Units. 18 Guide to Thesis Preparation 4.4 Elliptical Marks Writers use the ellipsis mark to show an omission from quoted material. The ellipsis consists of three-spaced full stops (...). When an ellipsis comes at the end of a sentence, it appears as four full stops (. ...). One full stop marks the end of the sentence and the other three full stops signal the omission. For example: Khatijah (1985, p. 4) wrote about the conference: “Members at the conference at Kuala Lumpur...agreed that the world educational crisis sketched in the document was real. ...” 4.5 Use of Square Brackets Within direct quotations, brackets are used to enclose any explanatory note inserted by the thesis writer, e.g. In 2005 alone, we had 200 applicants wanting to enrol for our new diploma programme (Salleh, 2005). Use sic (within square brackets) to indicate a certain doubt as to meaning or factual error. It simply means “thus” or “As written in the original.” It is used in quotations to show that the original is being faithfully reproduced, even though it is incorrect or seems to be so. Errors which are obviously typographical such as spelling errors should be corrected as a matter of professional courtesy. Square brackets should also be used to show that capitalisation has been altered within a sentence. If the quotation used does not start with a capital letter in the original, but needs one in the new context because it is in the form of a full sentence, a capital letter accompanied by square brackets should be used. If, for example, six words from the following sentence are to be used, It has been shown that some diabetics can control their disease without medication. The student should write: “Some diabetics can control their disease“ (Sulmiah, 2005, p.17). These square brackets alert the reader to the fact that the original author had some words in the same sentence before those quoted, and did not intend the statement to stand alone. However, the quoted words can stand alone as a full sentence, and as such, must begin with a capital letter. 19 Guide to Thesis Preparation 4.6 Use of a Symbol to Show Percentage The symbol % may be used in place of the word percent, e.g. 27.3% and typed without a space before it. If the student prefers to write 27.3 percent in full, then consistency must be maintained throughout the thesis. In tables, the abbreviation Pct may be used at the head of a column to mean percent. 4.7 Policy on Direct Quotations Direct quotations must be kept to a minimum except in some fields such as literature. Some examiners disallow quotations of over 10 lines. If, there is a need to use a set of recommendations from a report, these should be paraphrased succinctly. Also provide the original full text in the appendix. 4.8 Format for Quotations Both direct and indirect quotations must be acknowledged. The penalties for quoting without acknowledgment are severe, as is explained in the section on plagiarism. In the text, authors’ surnames are used. The list of references is ordered by surname For most names, this means the last name is first. Exceptions include Chinese names, (in which the family name is already first and so stays first), and Malay names (in which the whole name is given as there is no equivalent to a family name). For example, Mary MacLaren would become MacLaren in the text and MacLaren, Mary or MacLaren, M in the list of references; Wong Siew Lan would be Wong in the text, and stays Wong Siew Lan or Wong, S.L. in the list of references while Aminah Aris would be either Aminah Aris, Aminah, A or Aris, A, in both text and references. When in doubt about the format for citing a reference by a Chinese or Malay author, seek the advice of your supervisors. 4.8.1 Direct Quotations Direct quotations less than three lines in length can be indicated using double quotations marks. If the length of the quotation is three full lines or more, use indentation and include page numbers. Indented quotations should be single- spaced with no quotation marks. Example of a direct quotation that is less than a sentence and is worked smoothly into your text: As Hattersley and McJannet (2005, p.121) explain, feedback, both giving and receiving, is an “essential” management skill. Examples of direct quotations that are in themselves full sentences. 20 Guide to Thesis Preparation As Hattersley and McJannet (2005) state, “Giving and receiving feedback are essential managerial skills” (p. 121). If the name of the author or authors quoted does not open the sentence, it is given at the end with the date and page number. Many authors stress the importance of feedback because “giving and receiving feedback are essential managerial skills” (Hattersley and McJannet, 2005, p. 121.) Longer quotations are indented on the left side only or on both sides. Indenting shows that the text is quoted so quotation marks are redundant. In 1993, the Main Board was refurbished through the launch of four new sectors (consumer products, construction, industrial products, and trading and services), the introduction of a loans sector and the merging of the oil palm and rubber sectors as the plantations sector, (Foong, 2004, p. 17). 4.8.2 Indirect Quotations If ideas or information but not the wording of the original source are used, provide the name and date of the publication, leaving other details for the reference list at the end. For example: Hattersley and McJannet (2005) explain the importance of giving feedback. Or Feedback is extremely important (Hattersley and McJannet, 2005). If general statements are being made, requiring the citation of several authorities, these must be listed in chronological order, with a semicolon between each source. Recent practice is to reverse the order, that is, to put the most recent authorities first. Intercultural understanding is an important component in any international transaction (McLaren, 2005; Varner and Beamer, 2003; Hofstede, 2001). 21