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I want to write a paper on a theory I have concerning a method used in Roman mosaics. I've never written one for this area before (bar the endless reams of tosh I had to write when I did my nurse training ;-) ) so I would appreciate any advice you can give.

Presently I have,
  • my theory
  • references to hard evidence which back aspects of this up, ie nail holes in the floors.
  • references to other evidence which I can make fit my theory, ie evidence of misaligned patterns which have been given one explanation for but I propose a different one.

I understand the usual intro/body/summary stuff and I reference as standard but what should I look at in particular to presenting a new theory?

I'm not too bothered about submitting it to various journals I just want to get it out in a well ordered way which looks professional.

Thanks
A few other things might help:

- review of the existing literature

- other theories which have been proposed, their strengths and their weaknesses

- ways of testing your theory, and deciding between it and some of the other plausible theories

I haven't studied mosaics though, so I don't know about the specifics.
Thanks Marja, that's a real help.
Quote:I've never written one for this area before ...
It's always a good idea to have someone read it over. As the author, you're probably too close to the trees to see the wood ..! A fresh pair of eyes can only help.
as I wrote mine for a magazine I looked at other papers written how they were build so I had a lead how to write it.
good luck
Quote:as I wrote mine for a magazine I looked at other papers written how they were build so I had a lead how to write it.

Think that is one of the best advices, along with what Duncan said.

Make sure you've a logical outline, a clear style of writing and making references. Just read a lot of similar articles while writing yours and ask a 'clear view' to check your writings occasionally.
Hello Lawrence

Any comment, reference or quote from original accounts that you make, all need to be backed up by as many references to their source as possible.

It is very tedious but a requirement. Look at any other recent published paper and you will see the standard way to refer to other publications in a bibliography for when it comes to writing your own. Cross references in your notes is also usually required.

Graham.
Quote:Look at any other recent published paper and you will see the standard way to refer to other publications in a bibliography for when it comes to writing your own.
If it's an academic journal, it will have its own "house style", so you should make sure that you conform to this. Some like footnotes, some like Harvard-style refs, some like a bibliography, some like full citation in the footnotes, ...
This is great, thanks. I've noted all the points and have started reading other articles now and will let you know how I get on.
The Harvard citing scheme was one that I really struggled to get hold off when I went back to college, and seems to be the accepted standard.

Without it, you'll lose academic credibility, and with it you gain it. And it also means that it is easy for the reader to either check your sources and also to delve deeper into the subject.

Here's a quick guide
http://education.exeter.ac.uk/dll/studys...encing.htm

I haven't used this , but it looks as if it may be useful

http://www.neilstoolbox.com/bibliography...ournal.htm
Quote:The Harvard citing scheme ... seems to be the accepted standard.
Really depends on the publisher, Paul. That's why you need the specific "Guidelines for contributors" for whatever journal you're hoping to publish in. If your paper doesn't match their style, chances are they'll just reject it.
Take care, don't try to include every possible subtopics in the paper. This way you'll get nowhere. Pick one or at most to subtopics, and expand them as much as possible.
When you have a fact F and several explanations with a different degree of plausibility, you should start with the least plausible and end with the most plausible - which, of course, mostly happens to be yours. Tongue This adds dynamism to your line of argument.

It is also a good idea to rephrase your key ideas with other words, because, as Nietzsche put it, a truth on one leg can stand on its own, but one on two legs will wander around and convince people.
Thanks again for all the posts. Hopefully I'll have it done in the next few weeks. ;-)