I’m about to apply for a short “visiting and orientation program” at a large prestigious university where I may be interested in applying for graduate school. This program lasts a couple of weeks and consists of

  • several courses that present the research done by every research group in the math department;
  • meetings with the faculty members and current students.

For the admission, I’m required to submit a statement of purpose.

Now, the scope of statements of purpose written for graduate admission is quite clear: they need to show research potential and experience in an area of interest.

However, I’m confused about what makes a good candidate for a PhD “visiting and orientation program”.

That is, what kind of information, qualification, and motivations may admission committees be looking for in a candidate for such a program?

I have been writing some papers for a while in computer science. Now when I look at my case study, I found it too long to be as a section in a paper. Instead, i want to write a separate paper for the case study.
I don’t want to re-phrase the introduction, related work, the algorithms and our proposed methods etc.
Will it be OR is it permissible to write a pure case study only and referring my previous papers for the details. Of course, i will add some introduction to just let the user know what is going on in this paper and if the reader is interested can refer to other papers. what I have in mind is the flow of paper be like



Case study parameters

Case study Setup

Case Study working

Case Study Result


also if a reliable source is provided will be much appreciated

I’m currently writing the methodology section of my thesis and wondered if I was including too much.

In the methodology section I have currently included:

  • Alternative approaches I considered
  • The pros/cons of those approaches/applicability to this project
  • Why I selected the approach I used

This information is needed somewhere but it is resulting in a very long methodology which is going a lot deeper into “Why I chose this approach” than “Here’s how I did the research”.

Does this “Why” discussion belong in the methodology section of a research paper or should it be placed somewhere else? If so, where?


As an example: I can either survey people or perform an analysis of existing discussions on the topic. There are pros/cons to each approach (sample size, recruitment, etc) . The approach I choose will impact the research but I want to discuss the differences in the possible approaches and explain my reasoning for my choice.

Currently I’m a student at one of the russian universities which obviously requires me to write theses and similar academic papers in Russian. Most russian universities (and CIS unis, in my observation) follow locally modefied versions of Soviet thesis structure guidelines. In my writing I regularly rely on English-language papers from JSTORE and the like, but one particular thing I’ve noticed is that the structure of those papers was, though logical, nontheless depended on a given author, even in cases when authors work and publish their papers in the same uni. In other words, I couldn’t track a hint of more or less universal structure across multiple papers. Such practice is very uncommon in post-Soviet countries, as structure here is explicit and tengible (for example, paragraphs within introductory chapter are clearly defined and have comparable composition across the majority of papers in CIS countries).

Back to my main question. Are there any official guidelines which students/researchers are compelled to follow within a solitary uni or a cluster? Can you point out to a resource that can shed light upon academic writing tradition in English-speaking and/or European countries?

While doing literature review towards my Master’s dissertation I noticed that many recent papers in my field (robotics/computer vision) frequently cite publications produced a decade or even more ago.

Now, that would not surprise me so much if those were, say, about fundamental algorithm which we still use (even if in modified and updated form). However, often the papers in question are of high-level systems designed to tackle a problem using technology available at the time. If the same problem were to be tackled in the present day, with current technology, the solution offered in such citation would make little sense.

It seems to me that referring to such work in a publication introduces very little (if any) value to the paper and mostly serves as a show-off-y way to generate more words and populate the reference list. And yet, it seems like nobody minds that, because the vast majority of the publications I’ve been reading have a number of obsolete / pointless references in them.

Is there something I’m missing there? What value, if any, is there in citing a clearly obsolete work? If it is really as pointless as it seems to me, what is the reason for the practice being commonplace in contemporary academic writing?

Whenever I try to write a 15 page english essay analyzing the metaphors and do close reading, I run out of ideas by the time I reach the 8th page. How can I force myself to keep having ideas and analysis to do while reading? I feel like I have to be John Nash from his movie and see all these crazy messages in literature to write super well.

I have written:

In an oil-water system, if the particle contact angle is larger than 90°, showing greater affinity for the oil phase, then the system is likely to be a W/O emulsion and vice versa.

Does this convey “if the particle contact angle is lower than 90°, that the system is more likely to be O/W emulsion“, in a more professional way, or does it seem lazy?

I hate writing repeating sentences, with a few different words.

In the writing of a research paper, I’ve collected a large quantity of public blog posts and ingested them into a LDA and a word2vec data model. When I’m using terms from within these models, how can I reference the data source both to make it clear that this is analysis of my corpus but also to avoid plagiarism ambiguity?

As I don’t know the specific location of these terms within the blogs (because the terms I’m dealing with are coming OUT of the data models) I cant cite the specific article.

What’s the general consensus on citing a self-created corpus, particularly if the terms and language has been disconnected from their original articles.

While I tend to write articles quite quickly, whenever revisions come back from a journal, I find myself taking forever to finish them. Part of the problem is just that my mind is no longer in the same head-space as when I wrote the article, and so getting back into it is difficult. Also, changing the structure/flow of the paper after the fact I find painstaking.

Are there any good strategies for speeding up the revision process?

Just for context, I’m a PhD student in the social sciences, and work more with theory than with data.

Presume that these mainstays (even if their names are short) can all be named publicly.

I fancy referring to them only with my abbreviations that I introduce on the first page, to save space and avoid typos, like for long surnames (e.g. some Indian, Polish, and Russian mathematicians).

E.g., on the first page, I’d state my abbreviations of Iannis Xenakis as IXS, Jean Barraqué as JB, and Per Nørgård as PN (I chose the latter because of its 2 accents). Then I’d write:

IXS won the Polar Music Prize in 1999, but fewer than PN. JB ostensibly won none.