Final projects

This part of the Llibre d’estil provides advice to students who are writing the final project of their bachelor’s or master’s degree in English (at the UB, the “treball final de grau” or “TFG”, and the “treball final de màster” or “TFM”, respectively). Final projects are basically academic papers and so the focus is on how to write the most typical parts of an academic paper in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences. Specifically, the section refers to style, structure, references and bibliography, and it offers tips on editing. It also provides real examples of the recommended way to organize each section of an academic paper and suggests how to use a simpler writing style and adapt the tone to the subject matter.

Because many academic writing skills are equally important in all disciplines, the advice does not always distinguish between the three ambits. However, where writing practices do differ, we highlight the differences and describe appropriate structure and content for one ambit or another. To give just one example, the main body of an academic paper in the natural sciences generally consists of the three parts Methods, Results and Discussion, whereas the main body of a humanities paper consists of only one part, also called Discussion but very different to the part with that name in the sciences.

Of course, there are also other differences between the three ambits and not all of the parts examined here are indispensable in papers in all of them. It is also true that there is no set formula for writing some of the parts, as is the case with the discussion section in humanities papers. To sum up, academic writing is a complex process, but you can make your TFG or TFM more manageable if you are sure of two things: first, that the parts, structures and techniques you have chosen are serving your research objectives; and second, that your paper clearly considers the requirements of the specific academic community you are addressing.
Further reading
Alley, M. (1996). The craft of scientific writing . Springer.

Anderson, G. (2014). How to write a paper in scientific journal style and format. Bates College, Department of Biology, On-line Resources website. <>

Bhakar, S., & Nathani, N. (2015). A handbook on writing research papers in social sciences. Bharti Publications.

Gibaldi, J. MLA Handbook . 9th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Haggan, M. (2004). Research paper titles in literature, linguistics and science: Dimensions of attraction. Journal of Pragmatics, 36(2), 293–317. <>

Letchford, A., Moat, H. S., & Preis, T. (2015). The advantage of short paper titles. Royal Society Open Science, 2(8). <>

Modern Humanities Research Association. MHRA Style Guide . 3rd ed. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2013.

Millar, N., & Budgell, B. S. (2019). The passive voice and comprehensibility of biomedical texts: An experimental study with 2 cohorts of chiropractic students. Journal of Chiropractic Education, 33(1), 16–20. <>

Mohammed, C., & Radix, C.-A. (2020). Creating rhetorical complexity: Using popular science articles to teach abstract writing. Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (137–140). <>

Schimel, J. (2012). Writing science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford University Press.

Scientific Style and Format: the CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 7th ed. Reston, VA: Council of Science Editors in Cooperation with the Rockefeller UP, 2006. Print.

Shipman, J. T., Wilson, J. D., & Higgins, C. A. (2012). An introduction to physical science (13th ed.). Cengage Learning.  

Soler, V. (2007). Writing titles in science: An exploratory study. English for Specific Purposes, 26(1): 90–102. <>

Sword, H. (2012). Stylish academic writing. Harvard University Press.  

Zeiger, M. (2000). Essentials of writing biomedical research papers (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill.  

Articles cited

Mayhew, B. (2018, May 13). Scatter graphics: Premier League, 2017/18. Experimental 3-6-1.

Poyato Sánchez, P. (2014). La transducción al cine de la novela Tristana: La forma cinematográfica buñueliana. Signa: Revista de la Asociación Española de Semiótica, 23, 731–752. <>

Reddy, J. I., Cooke, P. J., van Schalkwyk, J. M., Hannam, J. A., Fitzharris, P., & Mitchell, S. J. (2014). Anaphylaxis is more common with rocuronium and succinylcholine than with atracurium.  Anesthesiology, 59(3), 39–45. <>

Final projects cited

Ciberta, J. (2014). WebGraphEd, an open source graph drawing editor for the web [master’s thesis, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya]. O2.

Cuadrat, C. (2012). Route optimization and customization using real geographical data in Android mobile devices [master’s thesis, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya]. O2. <>

Duval, D. (2016). The nature of food poverty: Literature review and qualitative study in Greenwich (UK) [master’s thesis, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya]. O2. <>

Terpugova, I. (2017). Protein classification from primary structures in the context of database biocuration [master’s thesis, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya]. UPCommons. <>
Darrera actualització: 11-7-2023
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Recommended citation:
«Types of document: final projects» [en línia]. A: Llibre d’estil de la Universitat de Barcelona. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Serveis Lingüístics. <> [consulta: 21 setembre 2023].
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