Structure of the text
The structure of material-based theses (most Master’s theses and material-based Bachelor’ theses) is usually the following: title, abstract(s), table of contents, introduction, material and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, acknowledgements, bibliography and possible appendices. In literature reviews – for example in most Bachelor’s theses –the headings should match the content of the chapter. In work reports, on the other hand, it is possible to deviate from the general structure and, for example, introduce the results and discuss them in one and the same chapter. Decimal points should be used in subheadings (i.e. write the main headings as 1, 2, 3 and subheadings as 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2, 1.2.1, 2.1, etc.). Note that no point is used after the final number. Theses need to have a separate table of contents page, and this page should come after the title page. You will find an example of a table of contents at the end of these instructions. Page numbering should start from the table of contents page; however, the page number should be hidden on the first page and become visible from the introduction page (2) onward. The page number should be placed on the bottom of the page and be centred. In work reports with no table of contents, page numbering should start from the introduction page. Main headings should be written in capital letters and be preceded and followed by an empty line. Subheadings should be written in lower case letters and be preceded and followed by an empty line. Headings should not be written in italics or bold (except for scientific names). Line spacing should be set at 1.5: only the abstract, figure and table captions, acknowledgements and references should use single line spacing. A page margin of 2.5 cm should be used on the left, right, top and bottom of the page. Each new paragraph should have an indentation of 0.5 cm (use the tabulator key, not the space key), except for the paragraph following a heading, which should be started without an indentation. The font should be Times New Roman and the font size 12 pt. The text should be justified on both sides, except for the list of references, which should be aligned left. The language variant to be used in the thesis is British English (English, United Kingdom).
The abstract in Master’s and Bachelor’s theses should be placed after the title page. The abstract should be as concise as possible. It should describe the essential content of the thesis (without making references to literature or the text) in no more than 300 words. A good abstract covers all of the following – background, objectives, methods, results and discussion – in a brief and concise manner. The most important things about the study and possibly also the main points of the author’s interpretation of the results should be explained in a few sentences. No statistical variables or significance values (p) should be included in the abstract. You will find an example of an abstract and a title page, as well as more detailed instructions on the abstract page at the end of these instructions.
The introduction chapter presents to the reader the essential aspects of the theme of the study, describes the purpose of the study, presents the question setting and, if the topic is extensive, narrows it down and defines it. The introduction should clearly explain why the topic is important or interesting, and it should help the reader to understand the things to be presented later in the study. The introduction should not be a historical review of the topic. The introduction is short, usually no more than two pages, and no subheadings are used in the introduction. A more detailed literature review of the topic can be included after the introduction. This literature review should have a descriptive heading (as in the example table of contents, “Biology of Ceratodonpurpureus”). After the literature review, the detailed objectives, hypotheses and research questions of the study should be presented in a chapter of their own.
The discussion chapter should compare your results to those presented in the field’s literature earlier, and the factors affecting your results should be discussed critically. It is important to make conclusions, to underline the significance of the study, and to give suggestions for further research. Furthermore, the reliability of the results should be assessed. This chapter lays the foundations for the conclusions chapter.
The conclusions chapter should briefly describe the main findings of the study and the supporting arguments which are based on your own results and on everything else presented in the discussion chapter. It is not necessary to repeat all of the findings in the conclusions chapter. No references should be used in the conclusions chapter – the necessary references should be made in the preceding chapters. Suggestions for further research can also be presented in the conclusions chapter.
The acknowledgements chapter should mention the supervisors of the thesis, the persons who have helped in the process, any possible funding obtained for the study, and any possible equipment or facilities made available to you by other academic departments. Sources and references
The sources of your thesis should mainly comprise peer-reviewed scientific articles.
The references in the text should be written as follows: “Aula (1965) states that…” or: “Viruses have been observed to cause chromosome abnormalities (Aula 1965).” The expression “According to Aula (1965)…” should be avoided, unless you wish to place particular emphasis on the author’s role. The sentence “According to studies conducted by Aula (1965),…” has too many self-explanatory words. The referencing technique in which the sources are listed at the end of the paragraph separated by a full stop, should not be used. Furthermore, in references given in figure and table captions, a full stop ends the sentence. Authors’ first names should not be mentioned in the text. If the thesis contains references to works by authors who have the same last name and the same year of publication, the first
letter of the authors’ first name should be given in the reference. When referring to a specific section of an extensive book, the page numbers should be given, e.g. “…terBraak (1986: 624-625)”. Page numbers should not be given when referring to edited books which contain chapters by different authors. If an article or a book has two authors, this should be indicated as “Aula &Gripenberg (1965)”; however, if there are three or more authors, this should be indicated as “Aula et al. (1965)”. All of the authors should nevertheless be mentioned in the bibliography, also in case there are several authors. References should be listed in a chronological order whenever the text has several references in one and the same place. Information which has already become established in the field’s literature or which has been observed in several studies and can thus be referred to by using a variety of references, should be indicated as follows: “…(e.g. Aula et al. 1965, Koikkalainen 1989)”. In the event of a secondary reference, i.e. when you are referring to an important source which you haven’t read by yourself, this is indicated by first giving the secondary reference followed by the primary one (“Elfing 1932, cited in Koikkalainen 1999”). You can also indicate the secondary nature of a reference by writing it out. For example, you can write: “According to Koikkalainen (1999), Elfing (1932) was the first to report this phenomenon.” By doing this, you don’t need to get a hold of Elfing’s article, nor do you claim to have read it yourself. Both the primary and the secondary reference should be included in the bibliography. As a rule, however, secondary references should be avoided. In some cases, publications you refer to may not have a named author or editor. Publications given out by administrative bodies (committees, working groups, etc.) and organisations should be referred to as follows: ”…Nature Reserve Working Group (1993)”, “…(World Commission on Environment and Development 1988)”, “…(Government Memo 1993)”, and “…Act on Metsähallitus (1993)”. If the name of the administrative body or organisation is very long, you can abbreviate it the second time you are referring to it, provided that there is no risk of misunderstanding. For example: “…(World Commission 1988)”. Articles and websites published anonymously can be referred to as works by anonymous authors “…(Anon. 1900)”. Articles published in newspapers can be referred to as ”…(Karjalainen 6.9. 1999)”, and maps can be referred to as “Terrain Map 2034 06 (1989)”. References to television programmes should be indicated as “…(TV1 24.12. 1997)”. Information received personally from a scholar should be referred to as “…(PekkaPuska, oral communication 1.4. 1986)”, and information made publicly available as “…(PerttiHuttunen, oral communication 18.3.2006)”. The same technique also applies to all other unpublished information. Oral communications should not be included in the bibliography. Direct quotations should be avoided; however, short quotations can be used when necessary. Direct quotations should always be indicated by quotation marks and they should be accompanied by a relevant reference. Longer quotations can be indicated in the text by making an indentation. Copying of other authors’ texts and partially modifying them constitutes plagiarism, which is absolutely prohibited in all academic theses. Plagiarism can be detected and the department uses tools designed specifically for the purpose. You should become familiar with the materials related to your topic by reading a variety of sources, after which you should write your text in your own words.
Reference to a scientific journal: Goldman, N., Bertone, B., Chen, S., Dessimoz, C., LeProust M.L., Sipos, B., Birney, E. 2013: Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA. – Nature 494: 77-80.
The issue number of the journal is given only if page numbering starts from 1 in every issue (e.g. 15 (2): 1-7). If the source is so new that the issue number and other information is not available (Just Accepted, Early Access, etc.), the DOI number assigned to all scientific articles published online is given in the bibliography.
Agatz, A., Cole, T.A., Preuss, T.G., Zimmer, E.I., Brown, C.D. 2013: Feeding inhibition explains effects of imidacloprid on the growth, maturation, reproduction and survival of Daphnia magna. DOI: 10.1021/es304784t.
Reference to a book: Hegi, G. 1909: Illustrierte Flora von Mittel Europa II. – 405 p. G. Fischer Verlag. [Give the name of the author, the name of the book, number of pages in the book, the publisher and the place of printing.]
Reference to an article in an edited book: Manuu, D. 1976: Insect pests in West Africa. – In: Corley, R.H.V., Hardon J.J. & Wood, B.J. (eds.), Oil Palm Research: 369-383. Kluver Academic Publishers. Amsterdam. [Give the page numbers of the article, the publisher and the place of printing.]
Reference to a publication by an anonymous author: The Times 2013: Man must mediate to save wildlife – The Times Newspaper 22.5.2013. London, UK. BBC 2013: World News. – British Broadcasting Corporation. 7.6.2013. London. Government Decree on Substances Dangerous and Harmful to the Aquatic Environment 2006: – Translations of Finnish acts and decrees N:o 1022, 10 p. Available online at http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/2006/en20061022.pdf. European Parliament (EP), Council of the European Union (CEU) 2009. Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on trade
in seal products. – Official Journal of the European Union L 286/36, 4 p. Available online at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOIndex.do. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 2007. Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals No 233: Sediment-water Chironomid Life-Cycle Toxicity Test Using Spiked Water or Spiked Sediment. – OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, 34 p. Paris, France. Geographic map 2034 06 (187): Helsinki (1: 20 000). Karttakeskus. Helsinki. World Commission on Environment and Development 1987: Our Common Future. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. 347 p. United Nations.
Reference to an academic thesis: Juutinen, S. 2004: Methane fluxes and their controls in the littoral zones of boreal lakes. – Doctoral dissertation. University of Joensuu, PhD Dissertations in Biology, n:o 25, 110 p. Joensuu. Penttinen, O.-P. 1997: Effects of anoxia and xenobiotics on the metabolic heat dissipation by freshwater benthic invertebrates. – Doctoral dissertation. University of Joensuu, Publications in Sciences, n:o 43, 37 p + appendices. Joensuu. Valdez, H. 2007: ErilohikantojenalttiusDiplostomumspathaceum ja Tylodelphusclavataimumadoille. – Master’s thesis. Faculty of Biosciences. University of Joensuu. 32 p. Joensuu.
Reference to a source on the Internet: Electronic journal:
Cosquer, A., Raymond, R., A.-C. Prevot-Julliard, A.-C. 2012: Observations of everyday biodiversity: a new perspective for conservation? Ecology and Society 17(4): 2. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04955-170402
If no DOI number is available:
Gunderson, L. 1999: Resilience, flexibility and adaptive management – antidotes for spurious certitude? – Conservation Ecology 3 (1): http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iss1/art7/ 14.2.2013. [Give the website address and the date of accessing the article.]
If no page numbering is used in an electronic journal, the running number of the article (7) is given in the bibliography instead of the page numbers. If a volume comprises several issues, the issue number is given in parentheses after the volume number [3 (1)]. If an electronic journal is also published as a printed equivalent, the reference to it is made normally, without a website address and a date of accessing the article, even if the article was read or printed out online. Other websites: Information available online, except for refereed electronic journals, hasn’t usually gone through a similar referee procedure as scientific articles. This is why information available online should be used with caution. The responsibility for assessing the information rests with the user of the information alone. An academic thesis cannot be solely or mainly based on information available online. However, the websites of many (non-commercial) international organisations (such as the UN and its sub-organisations, ministries and state research institutes) contain reliable information. If the source doesn’t have an identifiable author, it should be referred to as “Anon.”, short for anonymous. In the text, the reference is “…(Anon. 1999)”. If the text contains references to several anonymous authors for the same year, the letters a, b, c, etc., are added after the year. For example, “Anon.1999a: Maps of cloudiness over Russia.
http://nffc.infospace.ru/engl/sat_map.htm. 5.9.1999.” Note, however, that it is often possible to use an organisation as the author instead of a person.
Taxonomic references Taxonomic references are given either only in the text by mentioning the authority (abbreviations) or as other references. Scientific names denoting genus and species are written in italics both in the text and in the bibliography. Names denoting family and taxons above that are not written in italics. For example “Euphrasiarostkoviana ssp. fennica (Kihlm.) Karlsson”, but “Poaceae plants”. Abbreviations denoting subspecies (ssp.), form (f.) and variant (var.) are not written in italics, nor are the names of persons who have classified the species (authority). Authority names are given after the scientific names when the text involves only a few species. The authority name(s) and the genus of the species are given only when the species is mentioned for the first time, and the abbreviation of the genus is given thereafter. For example the above-mentioned “Euphrasiarostkoviana” is abbreviated as “E. rostkoviana” after its first mention in the text. If the text covers several species, a reference to a list of species or a classification guide can be made. In this case, the authority names do not need to be written in the text and the reader can check them in the list or the guide if he or she so wishes. It is recommended to use the established English-language names of common species. However, this does not remove the need to make authority references. For example, if the thesis deals with the lynx, it should be written as “Lynx lynx L.” in the beginning of the thesis, after which the common English-language word lynx can be used. Latin terms describing methods are written in italics, e.g. in situ, in vivo and in vitro.
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