Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about proper use of grammar specific to academic writing. General questions about grammar not specific to academia are off-topic, and will be close.

0
votes
0answers
18 views

Speech Versus Quotation Marks for Interview/Video Data (Chicago Style, British English)

I'm using British English and Chicago style guide. I'm quoting a mixture of interview data, and data from videos available on the net, as well as academic literature. I know obviously the academic ...
1
vote
3answers
197 views

Not grammatically strong [closed]

I am an undergraduate student from India. English is my third language and I am not grammatically sound in it. How bad could it be for my career (in academia) and how can I improve on it.
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a citation typically considered plural or singular in academia?

My question parallels that of https://english.stackexchange.com/q/99886/117318, which asks whether "Gamma et al." should be considered singular or plural for verb conjugation. The top and accepted ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Which tense to use?

So I'm writing a paper and I want to define the experimental process. I have two challenges. Firstly, when I define the experimental process, I want to write it in a way that is independent of the ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

How to improve the language of my master thesis by myself?

I have written my thesis on my own (with my limited English skills) and I gave it to my supervisor to check it. He said the work is fine but the writing is a bit bad and I need to proofread it by ...
-1
votes
2answers
158 views

Where to check my paper grammars for free of charge? [closed]

Where to check my paper grammars for free of charge? Do you have some suggestions?
4
votes
4answers
207 views

Academic Writing: Numbered points in text etiquette

I am writing a computing conference paper, it's for a high quality conference, and my friend and I have a mini dispute. The loser pays for drinks, so no pressure! Which of the following is better/...
8
votes
1answer
137 views

Use of future tense to refer to following sections

While writing papers (computer science, on the border with digital humanities), I find it quite natural to write In the following section we will present some examples of such and such. or To ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Proper pronoun in a response letter for a single author manuscript

I am currently in the process of responding to reviewer comments for a journal article submission, and I realized I was using the scientific/royal "we" in my response letter, even though I am the only ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Paper submitted with repeated sentences in the introduction

I have submitted a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal two months ago. It is my first submission. I have noticed two unfortunate elements in my introduction: I wrote the same sentence twice in ...
5
votes
2answers
630 views

Upper or lower case in figures?

Is there any rule concerning the use of lower/upper case letters in figures, charts, diagrams etc. to be used in scientific papers? I tend to use lower case only (e.g., axis labels and legends), but ...
6
votes
3answers
355 views

Is it appropriate to contact a journal about grammatically erroneous editing?

Recently, I submitted a paper to a maths journal (which is a decent journal with a solid editorial board). It was eventually accepted after making some revisions suggested by the referees, at which ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Acronyms at the start of a sentence

I was wondering if there was a rule regarding the use of acronyms at the start of the sentence in Journal Papers. If so, is there a difference between the state of use of that acronym (i.e., whether ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

Necessary to state power when using 'billion' in UK publication?

In British English, a billion traditionally had a different meaning to in American English (10^12). In modern writing the American convention has pretty much taken over. Is it therefore okay in a ...
4
votes
0answers
183 views

When should one's field of study be capitalized? [closed]

I've seen people capitalize their field of study: I'm studying Planetary Science. She teaches Computational Physics at the university. Other people leave it uncapitalized: ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Tenses in introduction and summary of every chapter

I am writing an undergraduate dissertation. I am not quite sure what tenses should I use when introducing a chapter and summarizing it. Should I refer to that chapter in present, future or past tenses....
-1
votes
2answers
120 views

Is it possible to contribute a native speaker for editing the paper and add him/her as authors? Is there anyone? [closed]

I'm working on SIMDization and Optimization. I usually do some great jobs. But writing a good article needs a good knowledge of writing skill. I've implemented many programs. I can write and organize ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Does citation refer to paper or authors?

I imagine this question is asked before, but I could not find the answer. This is the example sentence that got me wondering: Gneiting and Ranjan (2013) generalize/generalizes these findings and ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Describing a still working self developed software system in a research paper. Which tense to use?

Hello, Ive developed a Software system, consisting of different parts for research purpose. And need to write a research thesis about this. Which will be my first scientific work in english ( iam not ...
23
votes
6answers
3k views

Correcting grammatical errors versus content in post-graduate coursework submissions in the sciences

During an intramural teaching forum, I was interested to learn from a Head of Department (HoD) that she didn't consider it her role to correct grammatical errors when evaluating coursework submissions ...
7
votes
1answer
491 views

“Master's” vs. “master”

I have to write a letter about a graduate course abroad. I began it like this: I am writing this letter to apply for XXX Master in XXXX. and ended with: I am absolutely sure that I will ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Tense for the notational conventions

When writing the notational conventions of a paper, do you explain them in present or future tense? For example, which of the following is preferrable: In order to not confuse the meta-level ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How should I adress (grammatically) a referee whose gender is unknown? [closed]

I'm responding to an anonymous referee who made comments and suggestions on an article I wrote. Since I don't know the gender, I thought of two possibilities: We agree with the referee on its ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Reporting in first person singular where two authors are listed

I am proofreading a text where two authors are listed (one of which is the writer, and the other, apparently, only a "supervisor") and in reporting the author(s) use first person singular (instead of ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

Relative pronoun 'who' or 'which' when referring to article by authors' names

In an academic paper, when I refer to an article by author's name and publication year, then use a relative pronoun, should I use 'who' or 'which?' For example, We referred to the method proposed ...
8
votes
2answers
167 views

What is the grammatical number of an inline citation?

Which of the following is correct? a) Johnson et al. (2010) prove that all snow is yellow. b) Johnson et al. (2010) proves that all snow is yellow. I suppose the question boils down to ...
7
votes
4answers
603 views

Revision letter and grammatical errors

I got a major revision and I will prepare a revision letter. The editor asked me to review my manuscript for grammatical errors, in addition to the scientific comments he made. Should I present all ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How to write proper nouns such as company names whose spelling is nonstandard in reports?

I am currently writing a paper on accessibility and I am talking about some companies in my report. How do I write a company name, product or otherwise when the word is not spelled correctly? For ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Paper keywords: singular or plural?

When listing keywords for a paper written in English, is it better to write keywords in singular or plural form? I am interested in both keywords stored in meta-data: and keywords listed at the ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

Which tense to describe the analysis on a dataset?

It is normal to analyze a dataset in a paper. I am not sure when to use present/past tense to describe how you analyze the data and what your results are. Here I use a short example text to illustrate ...
28
votes
5answers
9k views

Should you correct grammar mistakes during peer review?

In almost any paper there is an abundance of classical errors, such as omitting the "s" at the end of a third person singular verb. I am growing tired of painstakingly listing the page and line for ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Switching tenses?

I finished writing a paper but haven't sorted out the abstract yet. Currently it looks something like this, but I'm not sure if this is OK. Hello, my name is _____ and I am currently a ______ in ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

What tense to use when referring to self publication in a monograph chapter?

I have a question regarding what tense form should I use to refer to an earlier self publication in a monograph chapter. For example, if I want to say (in the chapter), "most of the results were ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

Writing a report/paper etc. - How to deal with citations that have poor English?

I've tried looking for suggestions on the internet to my question but haven't found any useful information. I'm writing a paper and I'm quoting/citing various books, journals etc. However, I'm coming ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Plural or singular for a multi-authored paper

Suppose Jackson and Kim wrote a paper in 2014. When I cite this paper, should it be Jackson and Kim (2014) show that ... or Jackson and Kim (2014) shows that ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it poor grammar to replace normal phrases with mathematical symbols in sentences in a mathematical paper?

English is not my native language and when I read mathematical papers, sometimes I saw sentences such as The matrix A has rank ≥ n. I am wondering if this sentence should be considered as ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Plural or singular in CV section titles?

In a CV for graduate school application, should one use plural or singular for the section titles? My main confusions are at Research Experience or Research Experiences Publication or Publications (...
15
votes
1answer
661 views

Is there any software to regularize British vs. American spelling in a text?

This is a minor but ongoing annoyance that takes up more time than I would like, and I am wondering if anybody knows of a solution. I often write papers with foreign collaborators, and we tend to end ...
-1
votes
1answer
539 views

Capitalization of “Subsection” [duplicate]

I write a mathematical paper. Do you capitalize "subsection" when you refer to a specific subsection? For example, I would write: "In Subsection 3 we show ..." But I would write: "In the previous ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Placement of period in sentence that ends with “et al.” followed by reference number?

I have a citation that is at the end of a sentence with dual punctuation. What I mean is that I have a sentence of the following form: Blah blah blah is mentioned by Author et al. What is the ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Are spelling and/or grammar mistakes a cause for submitting Errata?

During my studies I've read a number of published articles where spelling mistakes have somehow squeaked through the review process. For example, I have found a paper with a section entitled ...
-3
votes
3answers
244 views

Is there an academia-specific convention for possessive nouns?

I am fairly certain academic papers do not use apostrophe " ' " for contraction, like "won't", but what is the academic way (in engineering) to do this. For example, " A humans walk cycle " , it is ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Referring to the thesis itself

I am currently writing my thesis. How should I refer to the thesis itself? "This thesis", "this text" or maybe "this work"? I think that the fact that the text is currently used for my graduation (...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Usages of “sic” when citing old spelling

I am citing a Dutch work from the late 19th century. Not surprisingly, the spelling differs from the contemporary spelling. In APA, how would I use [sic] in such cases of old spelling? In the ...
20
votes
8answers
7k views

What to use instead of academic 'we' when describing an experiment?

My research is in software engineering, but in a sub-field which is very close to social science. My papers normally contain sentences like "We conducted a study with 56 participants." and "Our ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Where should a question mark be placed in a short citation?

According to Modern Language Association (MLA) norms we should use punctuation marks after the page number, within parentheses, that follows the closing quotation mark. For example: According to ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Resources for English speaking students with poor command of grammar and writing style

I sometimes read student assignments where the grammar and writing style is poor. Paragraphs don't really flow. Sentences go on for ever. The ordering of words is awkward. Instead of concisely ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Article grammar and spell check

I'm not a native English speaker. My supervisor and I have read our manuscript at least twice, but after two months the reviewers say the grammar is unsatisfactory. I want to know if there is any ...
82
votes
7answers
35k views

Use of first person in a PhD Thesis

Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using "We" in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something. Recently, ...
108
votes
7answers
19k views

Choice of personal pronoun in single-author papers

Which personal pronoun is appropriate in single-author papers - 'I' or 'we'? Could the use of 'I' be considered egotistical? Or will the use of 'we' be considered to be grammatically incorrect?