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How to write a physical paper (Edit: "physics paper")

  1. Dec 8, 2015 #1
    Can you give me some links, how to write a physical paper, for instance about theoretical physics.
    I found a book "Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English" written by Hilary Glasman-Deal, but it is more general, not only for theoretical physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2015 #2


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    It's not clear what you want.

    A 'physical' paper is something written on, you know, paper.

    A 'physics paper' is an article or essay written about a topic in physics.

    If English is not your native language, then have you written any essays or articles in your native language?

    What level of familiarity do you have with the subject of theoretical physics?

    Who is this article or essay intended for? A general audience? Other theoretical physicists?
  4. Dec 8, 2015 #3
    By the time you are ready to write a decent physics paper, you'll have gone through many physics books and physics papers already. Just copy their style.
    If you have an advisor, it is their job to help you.
  5. Dec 8, 2015 #4
    If you're about to write a theoretical physics paper and are asking us how, whether it be by your fault or your institutions, you're in a heap of trouble.

    Help us out here and give us some specifics:

    What course is this for? English? Physics? History? Pop Culture? Is this for fun/curiosity?
    • This should give us mostly what we need to know. I still can't figure out if you're writing a paper about theoretical physics or you're writing a theoretical physics paper. Two very different things. If you're doing the latter, I hope you have given yourself plenty of time to complete this beast. If you're asking out of curiosity, then the advice you receive will be dictated with that in mind.
    What format are you supposed to be using? AIP (American Institute of Physics)? MLA? APA?
    • This is majorly important when writing scientific papers. Personally, I've only used AIP in any of my physics classes, but your institution might be different.
    What type of coding will you be writing equations with? Latex? Something similar? Or will you be stuck with the crappy Microsoft Office equation editor?
    • This makes a huge difference on the advice you're going to receive. Because I guarantee if you say Microsoft's equation editor, people are going to start telling you to run for the hills.
    What are the expectations of your professor?
    • It would greatly help up advise you if we knew what the professor expected from you. If he/she is only asking for a paper on a specific topic you have to investigate or something covered in class, the advice will be vastly different than if you're doing a paper on your own research (which I'm willing to be isn't the case).
    Are you responsible for error analysis?
    • This is also a huge deal. Maybe there won't be any hard data from measurements/observations in your paper, just math proofs and equations. If there is hard data and if you haven't taken a Data and Error Analysis course (or whatever your institution chooses to call it) and need to add it in your paper, then you have even more work to do. I highly doubt that you've made it to Theoretical Physics and don't know how to properly take measurements and do error propagation.

    Just give us as much information as is available to you!
  6. Dec 9, 2015 #5
    Thanks for answers.
    I writte in Latex, I do not work with data analysis, I am not in university, therefore help from Professors is rare. I have read a lot of physics papers. I obtained answers from referees, "It is correct, but style and language are not so good", "I do not find mistake, but style is not proper" etc.
    I found now:
    Is it something additional?
    If I read about MLA, or APA, it will give me new information?

    Now I am in situation about one rebuttal which I sent, that I should to correct presentation and English. One professor helped me three hour, but I wish to learn for this and also for future papers.

    I am aware that physics can be also a big problem, but now my problem is presentation.
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