# Elements of style. Writing an EE or IA in Maths, Physics, Bio, Chemistry or ESS, Part 2

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Remember to use the spell checking function in Word, or whatever word processor you are using. You may select the whole text (on a PC with the ctrl and right click on the mouse or shift and then the arrows). In Word, on the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.  This will be different if your Word installation is in another language than English. If you for example have a Swedish installation, then choose Granska and Ange språk (select language) and chose what suits you the best. (Get rid of those nasty wigglers….)
• Citations

When to cite and when to just put a reference? One usually doesn’t cite more than a sentence or two. Mostly because the way the original author wrote it is so good that it would be silly to try to write it in your own words.  For larger chunks of text one is usually rewriting it in once own word, and then with a reference to the original text. Instead of:

Majbjörn then writes “this could be seen as an example of how the sleeping cows would fall over when pushed with, for example, a blunt broomstick…..”1

One could write:

As Majbjörn argues one could see this as an example of the dynamics of cowfalling. He mentions blunt broomsticks as tools for this ….1

When you write down a proof of something, and you have found it in some text, you basically do the same thing. Try to write in your words, and doing the proof in your way, but still letting the original author shine:-), i.e. put a reference to the original proof.

As shown in Greebo’s Divina Algebraica one could prove the Gryhub theorem in the following way.2 Fist we rearrange the equation so that all occurrences of  x, y and z is on one side whilst all the other variables are on the other side.

One reason to include a larger piece of text from someone else’s work, is if one is to discuss the properties of the text itself, but that is rarely the case in a maths or physics EE or IA.

Be careful with the copyrights if you use images, see to that they are free for non-commercial use or something like that – or see to that you ask the copyright owner. Also, the work should be yours. The text will go through a plagiarism checker. In the end you will (hopefully) sign a paper where you state that the work is your own work.

If you make an own variant of a copyrighted figure, then  you should still put a reference to the original source. You might have seen things like “figure adapted from ….”.  This means that the figure is, more or less, a copy, but adapted to the particular work.

• Footnotes

If you want to put a footnote on an equation, number or unit – don’t! Instead, put it before the equation, as in:

The gamma function is defined as17

${\rm{\Gamma }}\left( x \right) = \mathop \smallint \limits_0^\infty {t^{x - 1}}{e^{ - t}}dt$

This because if you put the footnote on the equation it will look like a power. In the above case you could also put it after naming what we define, i.e. after the words “gamma function”.

You could also put it after the end of a sentence:

The equation c2=a2+b2 is often called the Pythagorean equation, even though Phytagoras was not the person who first came up with the idea.18 He is credited with the first recorded proof though.

Imagine the confusion you may create if you would put the footnote at the end of the equation or unit, like in “this is about 4 m3“. You could instead write “this is about3 4 m”.

Avoid using footnotes for general text, just use them for references.  IBO might think that you try to get passed the 4000 word count limit (even if Word does count the words in the footnotes too).

•  Margins

I suggest you to use a straight right margin, and to change the width of the right margin to 4 or 5 cm. This makes the text look more book like.  Do this by selecting straight right and left margins. You do this  under page layout.