Writing A to Z

Top

Item Topic Questions

A

Assignments
Which do you like? Which are impossible, disliked? How do you go about doing your class assignments?
 Activities
What activities do you enjoy?

B

Background
What is your background (home country, family, academic experience, work experience, special skills
 Baseball
Do you like baseball? Do you follow any baseball teams?

C

Career
What career are you working towards?
Creativity
What is creativity? A re you creative in a particular area (music, art, writing….)

D

Dreams
Do you believe dreams reveal something about you? What are your dreams for the future?
Daydreams
What are daydreams?
What do you daydream about?

E

Energy
What do you think about the energy crisis? What options are there? Which is best?
Environment
How can we protect our environment?

F

Favorite
What is your favorite (food, movie, activity, color …..)? Why?
 Fashion
What is in fashion/ out of fashion?
Are fashions worthwhile? 
 Father
How would you describe your father? What makes a good father?

G

Grammar
What grammar problems do you think you have? What have you done to improve your English grammar
 Games
What games did you play as a child? What games do you find fun now?

H

Holidays Happiness
What is your favorite holiday? What holidays are special to your home country? What does it take to make you happy? Do you think money is a major factor in being happy?

I

Imagination Image
Do you have a good imagination? Do you think imagination is important? Has image become too important in politics? What do you think contributes to a good image?

J

Jokes Jack-of-all-trades
Do you like jokes? Do you think a sense of humor is important? Why? A re you (or do you know) a jack-of-all-trades ( A person who can do many different kinds of work)? What are you especially skilled at?

K

Karate
Do you know karate? What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning karate?
 Karma
 Do you believe in a personal karma (used informally to mean fate or destiny)? If so, what do you think is your karma?

L

Life
What is your greatest ambition in life? What is needed for a happy life?
Love
What is love? Who/what do you love? Why?

M

Mother
How would you describe your mother? What makes a good mother?
Music
What is your favorite music? What music do you find unbearable?

N

Nostalgia
A re you nostalgic (long for things, persons, or situations of the past)? Why? For what?
Neighbors
  Do you know your neighbors? If so, how would you describe them? A re you a good neighbor? Why?

O

 Optimism
A re you optimistic? If so, how did you become an optimist? If not, why not? 
Opinion
Whose opinion do you value most? Why?

P

Pessimism
Are you pessimistic? If so, how did you become pessimistic? If not, why not? 
Peace
 Do you think world peace is possible? What can we do

Q

Questions
What is the biggest question you have about your future? What are you doing to answer the question?
Quirk
 Do you (or does someone you know) have a quirk (peculiarity of behavior or idiosyncrasy)? If so, what? How do you deal with it?

R

Recreation
What is your favorite form of recreation? What benefits do you derive from it?
Reason
 Do you base your actions on reason, on emotion or on both reason and emotion? Why?

S

Seasons
What is your favorite season (summer, winter, spring, fall/ rainy, dry)? Why?
Solitude
 Do you prefer solitude to being in company? If so, why? If not, why not?

T

Travel
Do you like to travel? What was your favorite place to visit? What was your least favorite?
Truth
 Is it always better to tell the truth or is it sometimes best to lie?

U

UFO
Do you think UFO’s from other worlds exist? What would you do if you saw a UFO?
Unforgettable…
 What is you most unforgettable moment? Why?

V

Vacation
What was your favorite vacation? What do you think is the perfect vacation?
Victory
 What is your greatest victory? Explain

W

Writing
What do you like to write about? What kind of writing do you prefer to read?
Wisdom
  What wisdom have you discovered? Explain

X

Xenophobia
Do you know anyone who is xenophobic (exceedingly fearful of strangers)?
Why do you think a person would become a xenophobe?
Xerox Copy
 What is the best (worst) thing about Xerox copy machines? Why do you think there is a need for 24-hour a day Xerox copy places? Explain.

Y

Youth
What is the best thing about youth? What is the worst thing?
Yesterday
 If you had one yesterday to live again, which day would that be? Why?

Z

Zen
What are some of the major tenets of Zen Buddhism? What do you think of them?
Zombie
What do you think about the zombie (the walking dead) theme in literature? Explain.

Connectors

Connectors

Addition

and

in addition

besides

furthermore

moreover

what’s more

too

not only … but also

both … and

not so obvious

as well as

another

Alternatives

or

either … or

whether …or not

Comparison

similarlylikewise

in like manner

parallel with `

in the same category

comparable to

equally important

Concession

no doubt

admitting

to be sure

certainly

indeed

granted

true

in any case

in any event

Conclusion

to conclude

in conclusion

thus

finally

last

to end

to infer

hence

so

therefore

consequently

as a result

for this reason

this being the case

it follows that …

To summarize

in brief

in summary

on the whole

to sum up

in other words

briefly

in short

in conclusion

Condition

if

whether

Contrast

on the contrary

conversely

by contrast

on the other hand

from another point of view

more important

but

yet

and yet

however

still

after all

for all that

although this is true

while this is true

in spite of

though

even though

nonetheless

nevertheless

notwithstanding

in spite of this

Emphasize

obviouslyin fact

as a matter of fact

indeed

what’s more

even without this

especially

truly

really

certainly

moreover

in truth

above all

 

Exclusion

with this exception

all except

all but

except for this

not that

but not

neither … nor

Exemplification

for example

for instance

to demonstrate

to illustrate

as an illustration

a case in point

another case

imagine this

to illustrate my point

let’s examine

Inclusion

namely

especially

specifically

in detail

including

in particular

to list

to enumerate


Purpose

toin order to

so that

for the purpose of

with this in mind

with this in view

 

 

Repetition

to repeat

in brief

in short

as I have said

as I have noted

in other words

once more

again

once again

yet again

that is

Sequence

first, second, etc.next

former

latter

final

last

 

Refutation

nohardly

on the contrary

never

 

Identification

with respect to

as for …

concerning

in point of reference

Time

now

since

after this

at length

thereafter

already

at length

after a few hours

in the end

afterwards

then

later

previously

formerly

at an earlier time

at the same time

simultaneously

meanwhile

in the meantime

and then

Transitional

to resume

in particular

in generalto continue

to return

along with

Organization

Order and Components

Order

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page (optional)
  3. Abstract
  4. Dedication, Acknowledgement(s) and/or Preface (all optional)
  5. Table of Contents, with page references
  6. List of Tables, with titles and page references (if applicable)
  7. List of Figures or List of Illustrations, with titles and page references (if applicable)
  8. List of Abbreviations (if applicable)
  9. List of Symbols (if applicable)
  10. Chapters, including:
    1. Introduction, if any
    2. Main body (with the larger divisions and more important minor divisions indicated by suitable, consistent headings)
  11. Appendices (if applicable)
  12. Bibliography/References
Note: Many of the components following the title page and copyright page have required headings. Unless otherwise noted, capitalization of those headings is at the discretion of the author. For example, “LIST OF TABLES” and “List of Tables” are both acceptable. Choose one style to follow consistently.

Title Page

The title page of a thesis/dissertation should bear the following information:
  1. The title of the thesis/dissertation, centered 2? below the top of the page.

  2. Your name, centered 1? below the title.

  3. The following statement, within the full margins, 1? below your name:“A dissertation [or thesis] submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of ____________ in the Department [or School or Curriculum] of ____________.”When indicating degree, use full degree name (i.e., Doctor of Philosophy, not Ph.D.). Be sure to list your department, school, or curriculum rather than your subject area or discipline in the second blank. The latter, however, may appear in parentheses—e.g., “School of Dentistry (Endodontics)” or “Department of Romance Languages (French)”.

  4. One inch below the statement, centered, the words “Chapel Hill” and one line below that, the year in which your committee approves the completed thesis/dissertation.

  5. On the right-hand side of the page, “Approved by,” followed by each faculty member’s name. No signatures are needed on the title page.

Copyright Page

If you wish to copyright your thesis, you must include a copyright page with the following information single-spaced and centered on the bottom half of the page:

© Year Full Name (exactly as it appears on the title page) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This page should immediately follow the title page, and should bear the lower case Roman numeral: ii.

See Section III of this Guide for more information on copyrighting your thesis/dissertation.

Abstract

The word “Abstract” should be centered 2? below the top of the page. Skip one line, then center your name followed by the title of the thesis/dissertation. Use as many lines as necessary. Centered below the title include the phrase, in parentheses, “(Under the direction of  _________)” and include the name(s) of the dissertation advisor(s).

Skip one line and begin the content of the abstract. It should be double-spaced and conform to margin guidelines. An abstract should not exceed 150 words for a thesis and 350 words for a dissertation. The latter is a requirement of both the Graduate School and UMI’s Dissertation Abstracts International.

Because your dissertation abstract will be published, please prepare and proofread it carefully. Print all symbols and foreign words clearly and accurately to avoid errors or delays. Make sure that the title given at the top of the abstract has the same wording as the title shown on your title page. Avoid mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials, and only offer the briefest possible description of your thesis/dissertation and a concise summary of its conclusions. Do not include lengthy explanations and opinions.

The abstract should bear the lower case Roman number ii (if you did not include a copyright page) or iii (if you include a copyright page).

Dedication, Acknowledgements, Preface (all optional)

Each of these should appear on a separate page and be numbered with lower case Roman numerals (starting with the page number after the abstract).

A dedication is an honorific statement from the author to a person or group to whom the author commends the effort and product of the dissertation. Most dedications are short statements of tribute beginning with “To…”. No heading is required on the dedication page. The text of short dedications should be centered between the left and right margins and 2? from the top of the page.

Acknowledgements are the author’s statement of gratitude to and recognition of the people and institutions who helped the author’s research and writing.

A preface is a statement of the author’s reasons for undertaking the work and other personal comments that are not directly germane to the materials presented in other sections of the thesis/dissertation. These reasons tend to be of a personal nature. The acknowledgments and preface both have headings that begin 2? from the top margin of their respective pages. There is no length limit, and subsequent pages of text return to the 1? top margin.

Table of Contents

Include the heading “Table of Contents” and center it 2? below the top of the page. The table of contents should not contain listings for the pages that precede it, but it must list all parts of the thesis/dissertation that follow it. Be sure to include the bibliography and all appendices and the page numbers at which these divisions begin, though these should not be assigned chapter numbers.

Major subheadings within chapters should be included in the table of contents. The subheading(s) should be indented to the right of the margin for chapter titles. The table of contents text should match the wording of titles for the parts, chapters, and subheadings used in the thesis/dissertation itself.

Page numbers in the table of contents should be located just inside the right-hand margin of the paper with leaders (lines of dots) filling out the space between the entry and the page number.

If an entry takes up more than one line, break up the entry about three-fourths of the way across the page and place the rest of it on a second line, single spacing the two lines. Double-space between entries.

List of Tables

Assign each table in your thesis/dissertation an Arabic numeral. You may number tables consecutively throughout the entire work (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), or you may assign each table a two-part Arabic numeral, the first number designating the chapter in which it appears, followed by a period, followed by a second number to indicate its consecutive placement in the chapter (Table 3.2 is the second table in Chapter Three, etc.). Do not include in the text typesetting notations often used when submitting manuscripts to a publisher (i.e., insert table x here).

The heading “List of Tables” should be centered and appear 1? from the top of the page. Double-space between the heading and the first entry. The table number and title should be located on the left margin. Page numbers should be located just inside the right margin of the paper with leaders filling out the space between the entry and the page number. Single-space a table and its title if it takes up more than one line and double-space between each entry. The table number and title in your list of tables should match the number and title appearing in the thesis/dissertation itself.

List of Figures or Illustrations

The heading “List of Figures” or “List of Illustrations” should be centered and appear 1? below the top of the page. Otherwise, follow the instructions given above for the list of tables.

List of Abbreviations

If you use abbreviations extensively in your thesis/dissertation, you should provide a list of abbreviations and their corresponding definitions. The heading “List of Abbreviations” should be centered and appear 1? below the top of the page. Arrange your abbreviations alphabetically at the left margin, single-space within each entry and double-space between entries.

List of Symbols

If you use symbols in your thesis/dissertation, you may combine them with your abbreviations, titling the section “List of Abbreviations and Symbols”, or you may set up a separate list of symbols and their definitions by following the instructions above for abbreviations. The heading you choose should be centered and appear 1? below the top of the page.