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Interim EE advice

Monday 7 June 2021

I thought I would share the advice I just sent to my EE supervisees.


Most of you are pretty much at the same stage so I thought I'd give some general advice. Writing an EE in physics is a bit different to other subjects so I might contradict what you have been told in the general sessions but here we go:

  • You can't write an intro until you know what to introduce and you don't know what to introduce until you have done the experiment and know where it leads.
  • Same with the outline. Your essay should tell a clear story. Imagine trying to write a novel but you didn't know what was going to happen. You wouldn't know who to introduce or what background to give. In a novel you would make up a story before you started but you can't make up your experimental results.
  • Plan not outline. You all have a plan, you have an RQ and some idea of how you will test it experimentally the essay outline can wait.
  • Make notes and save all data. Your essay should tell the story of your investigation including things that worked and things that didn't, you can't write about stuff you've forgotten.
  • Writing is easy when you know what to write about (especially when you can type as fast as most of you can). Even if you have not written a single word you can write the final essay in one sitting once you have completed the experiment and understood the results.
  • Don't "chunk it". Doing different sections at different times leads to a disjointed essay. Plan to do all the writing in one weekend.
  • It doesn't matter if your experiment "doesn't work". Data is data.
  • Communicate. If you have a question ask me. I can give you all the help you need up until first draft. Even if you don't need help tell me what you are doing, even in the holiday. I might be able to suggest a better way. Raj thought I might be too busy doing exciting things in the holiday to me this is exciting.

Good luck


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