Is your thesis or manuscript ready for the supervisors, examiners and reviewers? Find out now...

Applying different margins to different sections of your PhD thesis



I recently shared some tips on how to add wide tables to your files by inserting landscape pages using section breaks. 

In this video, we'll take things a bit further by learning how to apply custom margins to the landscape and portrait pages (or different sections of your thesis).



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How to add wide tables to your thesis on landscape pages in Microsoft Word



Have you ever tried to insert a 'wide' table on a landscape page into your thesis?

Some of you told me you found this really frustrating and difficult.

The video explains exactly how to use section breaks to add a landscape page.

If you want to change the layout of your page(s), remember:

- Turn on the "Show/Hide" button so you can see the position of the page/section breaks

- Use section breaks, not page breaks

- Add two section breaks and change the format/layout of the page...

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How to stop your table and figures jumping around in Microsoft Word®


Have you ever struggled with the text jumping about onto the next page when you type in your scientific manuscript?

Or do you find it difficult to keep the tables or figures in the correct places and on the correct pages in your PhD thesis?

These problems are probably due to hidden page breaks.

This quick video shows you how to see exactly where the page and section breaks are located in your Microsoft Word® files using the 'Show/Hide' button.


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Five essential 'signposts' for a clear thesis chapter or journal manuscript


Why do I need to think about 'signposts' in my scientific writing?

When you work on a research project for some time, you become an expert. All of the little important details of your study and experiments become embedded in your brain. You probably even dream about those cells or patients!

However, when we start to write about our research, it can be easy to assume our readers - the thesis examiners or journal reviewers - know all of these...

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The simplest way to assess if your figures and tables are complete

It can be difficult to decide what to include in your figures and tables in your thesis or manuscript.

How can you make sure they are complete and informative?

My supervisor on my industry placement year taught me the one-page rule and I use it every day!

First, let's pretend you print out one of your figures or tables on one page.

Then, imagine you give the page to a good undergrad/MSc student working in the lab next door - someone who understands "science" but who doesn't know your...

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Quick guide to better tables in your science PhD thesis or journal manuscript

Tables are a crucial part of your manuscript and thesis as they hold so much information.

It's really important to take the time to format your tables correctly and make sure the data is complete and understandable. 

I like to think of the 'one-page rule' when considering if my table is complete. 

Ask yourself: If I printed out my table, along with the title and table footnotes, could a good undergrad/MSc student working in my lab understand what I did?  (without...

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Ultimate guide to planning well-organised manuscripts for life scientists: an English scientific editor's top tips

Planning is essential for well-organised manuscripts

It’s no secret that experienced authors  — whether they write technical documents, children’s books or romance novels — make solid plans and outlines before they write a single word.

In the same way, I recommend you should plan your whole manuscript as a simple list of bullet points before you start to actually write. That's because it is virtually impossible to write well if you haven’t...

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Using respectively correctly


Respectively is a very useful word in scientific writing; however, we often see this word used incorrectly.

Here are some sentences that use the word “respectively” in the wrong way.

Can you identify what’s wrong with each sentence?


1. The P53, Bcl2 and Bcl-x antibodies were purchased from Cell Signaling and Invitrogen, respectively.

2. The leaves and flowers and were used for RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining, respectively.


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Uniform guidelines for biomedical journals


The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (IJCME) is a group of science editors from 12 different journals. They have defined a standard set of rules and guidelines for preparing documents for their journals.

These rules are called the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, and cover a number of areas, including the authorship of papers, conflicts of interest, editorial policy and the formatting of documents.

The IJCME website is a...

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Quick guide to scientific words that are easily missed during a spellcheck: free infographic


Using the spellcheck tool of your word processing software is a good way of making sure there are no mistakes in your scientific manuscript. 

However, the spellcheck will miss words that are spelled correctly if they are very similar to a word you actually intended to use.  For example, when I was a student I always typed preformed instead of performed – and it drove my PhD supervisor mad!

We often see these types of errors and have made a list of the most...

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Simple, bite-sized tips from an English scientific editor, delivered as short videos you can watch in less time than it takes to drink a coffee.

We know the most common mistakes in scientific writing - and we want you to avoid these errors. 

These easy-to-understand videos will show you how to avoid basic mistakes and help you write manuscripts with more confidence.

You'll be able to apply this knowledge immediately, so you can spend more time actually doing research.