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Questions tagged [writing-style]

Questions about the tones, turns of phrase and other writing patterns that are appropriate for writing in an academic context.

3
votes
1answer
145 views

References must be cited vs. need not be cited

In reviewing publishing guidelines prior to submission to a journal, it is listed that "References need not be cited in text." This is also listed in the style guide for the associated professional ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

How do I phrase (in my thesis) that results in an important study are wrong?

The title probably comes off wrong, I tried to keep it short. I do not necessarily want to make an absolute statement like "that is wrong". But I do need to address the problems I am facing with a ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

How can I refer to multiple equations with “Eq. (i)” style?

Assume the manuscript format for referencing the equations is as "Eq. (i)". How can I properly refer to multiple equations at once? For example which of the followings is more acceptable? In Eq. (1), ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Experience with paid English grammar and style software for writing papers?

I'm looking to suggest to our institute to invest in a paid software for helping writing, along the lines of Grammarly Premium, Antidote 10 or something similar. Does anyone have any experience with ...
3
votes
5answers
189 views

If I define acronyms in the abstract, should I define them again in the rest of the paper?

I've noticed in some papers (CS) that even if the authors define acronyms in the abstract, they restate them once again in the rest of the paper. It is like "what happens in the abstract stays in the ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Flow of the Discussion section

Some journals expect the Discussion to have the following structure and order (with some flexibility): summary of results strengths and weaknesses interpretation/context/comparison with previous ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

see/cf. followed by e.g. / for example

Consider the following sentences: foo is bar (see, for example, baz). foo is bar (see, e.g., baz). foo is bar (cf. for example baz). foo is bar (cf. e.g., baz). Which of these are valid to use, and ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Using well-established abbreviations for new concepts in the same field

Should a researcher try her best to avoid using existing abbreviations (such as IEEE, WHO, DNA, ANOVA, BMI, CERN, NASA, UNESCO, OPCW, NHS, CDC ...) that are (well-)known in her fields, when creating ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to phrase omissions correctly in a thesis?

This might be a strange question, but I am currently thinking about a good phrase to use if I want to emphasize that the theoretical omissions I am making are not caused by neglect, laziness, or ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Inline referencing chapters, sections, subsections, etc [duplicate]

I am currently in the process of writing my Master's thesis using the LaTeX class supplied by my university. This class uses a document structure similar to report: Starting with chapters, then ...
7
votes
1answer
952 views

Do I need to cite a source when defining terms?

In my research paper, I have set aside space to define terms (each having a bullet point). My confusion is how I go about defining these terms. Do I quote a dictionary, another research paper in the ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

More or less sections/subsections in a journal article?

When writing an academic paper, sections help organize the paper and make it more navigable for the reader. I can imagine a number of pros/cons of having more or less sections in a paper, but I'm not ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

What tense should we use when referring to a paper or experiments from other researchers?

While writing the literature review section, I am confused about which tense should I use (past, present perfect, or present) while referring to other people's work. I understand that established ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Writing a thesis: how to organize the content?

I have to start writing a thesis for my master's degree. The thesis itself is about machine learning. In particular, I developed an environment that simulate a real world robotic system and applied ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

How to use “can” or “could” when referring to a methodology?

If I say "This methodology can/could be used in the research in this area, e.g. (the relevant paper)", should I use can? If no examples is given, should I use could? (to emphasize possibility?)
3
votes
3answers
293 views

Is it OK to use “/” in scientific writing?

For example, would it be OK to write: Many of these articles belong to School of Thought A and/or School of Thought B. What about the other cases in general just to replace "or" with "/"? E.g. This ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

How to italicize technical which is explained in Introduction but defined in another section later according to APA?

I am currently writing a paper, which starts with an "Introduction" which is followed by a "Definition" section. I plan to briefly explain a technical term in "Introduction" and define it more ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

How to properly write a brand, corporations in my report?

I have a lab report where I have to show my results using PSpice simulation software. I take screenshots from my screen to illustrate my results and paste those images inside my report. Below a figure,...
5
votes
3answers
970 views

Writing High-Quality Research Papers [closed]

I have submitted a manuscript to a reputable journal, the article was rejected because it didn't pass the grammar check. The journal editor also mentioned the low quality of the figures. My ex-...
2
votes
2answers
864 views

If I have a list of abbreviation at the beginning of a paper, do I still need to give the full word when I first mention the term in paper?

Do I still need to write e.g. "willingness to pay (WTP)" when there is already a list of abbreviations containing WTP at the beginning of my paper?
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Can I have two system models in the same paper, for the same research?

I am writing a paper in the field of telecommunication. I would distribute my paper into two parts. In the first (more general) part, the system performance for all mobile-phone towers is considered. ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

How to change a style guide

I'm an engineering graduate student whose high school English teachers drilled to use active voice. Now that I'm reading and writing technical papers, I can't stand the often ambiguous and verbose ...
3
votes
2answers
100 views

The best way to refer readers to other paper(s) for more details

Sometimes you need to refer readers to a reference for more details about a subject. I wonder what is the best way to accomplish this. Or if there is a specific way to do it for scientific papers that ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Possessive case when there are post nominal letters [closed]

If a person's name comes with post nominal letters, e.g., John Smith PhD or Mary Green MD, which of the following is the correct/better way of forming the possessive? (A): John Smith PhD's student; ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I make the introduction of a paper more “scientific” and less “popular”?

I am a master's student about to start writing my thesis. After I wrote my research proposal, my advisor said that when I write my thesis, I should make it less "popular" (I believe he referred mainly ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

How to improve scientific writing skills?

What do you do to write better proposals, grants, and papers? Do you think reading books about how to write scientific content is a good way to improve it?
2
votes
2answers
226 views

Why do so many researchers in CS fail to clarify their symbols and notations in research papers?

I am exploring some new research fields in CS from my unrelated field in math. Many papers I have stumped upon during research seem to completely ignore the fact that notation and symbols have ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I use double quotes throughout the paper even after defining the terms in the introductory section?

Say I have introduced/defined some not-so-common terms like "clock register", "ancilla", etc. in the first section of a research paper, and while doing so I kept them within double quotes. However, I ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the recommended level of detail for published mathematical proofs?

Suppose I am writing a Mathematics paper to a peer review reputed journal. I have to go from step 1 to step 2 in the paper which needs the knowledge of some well-established theorem X. Can I go from ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Presentation of Research Hypotheses (APA 6th) [closed]

How is the research hypotheses presented in a qualitative research? For example, the statement of the problem is stated this way: The study generally aims to -----. Specifically, it seeks to find ...
0
votes
3answers
200 views

Confusion about writing acronyms in section title

In writing one article, I came across situation where my section title has one long word which I wanted to use with acronym later on. Now should I put acronym in section title or repeat word in text ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Introduction depends on preliminaries. What to do?

I am writing a paper but have the following problem. The introduction section requires basic knowledge of things introduced in the preliminaries. As I understand it, it is customary (in computer ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

We or “the authors”?

Now, say authors A and B are writing their second paper. Which is more appropriate, or which sounds better. Referring to their previous work as "we researched/we surveyed" or "the authors researched/...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

How to correctly mention people in a PhD thesis?

I'm currently looking for some advise concerning the correct way of mentioning people (i.e. inventors or scientists) in a (PhD) thesis. To clarify, I'm looking for a good way of phrasing "Method X was ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

how to specify 'pseudo-random seed' in publication, any reference?

Following suggestions for my post here "Should results of a journal paper always be reproducible?", I have done the simulation using a particular seed in the first part of my result section. Now the ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Should poor syntax in a peer-reviewed article raise a red flag? [duplicate]

I am currently reading an article and I find the syntax is very poor. The journal I got it from claims to publish peer-reviewed work but I would think that there would normally be more attention paid ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

U.S. abbreviation in APA style

APA says that "U.S." should be typed out with periods if the abbreviation is being used as an adjective. If you are using this "common" abbreviation, do you need an earlier parenthetical explanation ...
7
votes
1answer
362 views

Capitalising terms like “machine learning” and “natural language processing”

Currently I’m proofreading my master thesis in computer science. I am not sure about terms machine learning or natural language processing. Is it common to write them capitalized?
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Why would an author use a different symbol for the same meaning?

People often use a different symbol to denote the same meaning. For example, an author used symbol a for a data sequence. However, the same author, in another article, uses the symbol x to denote ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

Put a forward reference in the introduction

I'm currently writing a paper and in the introduction I have something in this vein : [...] Algorithms of this type have the following characteristics (we discuss this in Section 6). [...] The ...
9
votes
2answers
439 views

Citation: refer to author or paper? [duplicate]

What is the British English way of referring to a source in-text. Is it plural because there are two authors, like this: X and Y (2011) describe ... Or is it singular because you are ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Citations when mixing of factual evidence and interpretation in one sentence

I have a bit of a technical question about constructing narrative while writing as a historian (I guess it also applies to other humanities). This never really occurred to me as an issue during ...
4
votes
4answers
199 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/...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Where can i study academic english in an English-speaking country? [closed]

I am an electrical engineering PhD student, from an African country and the official language here is French, but since most of journals and revues are in English, I always struggle to write my papers ...
35
votes
11answers
8k views

Reviewer of PhD thesis doesn't allow me to write in the first person singular

In my PhD thesis, I often used the first person singular during the description of the problem and the discussion of the results. One comment from the reviewer states that because I did not use the ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

Is 15 sections too many for a journal article?

I am planning to write a journal article about real-world algorithms solving a practical problem for an IEEE Computer Society transactions journal. The section outline currently is as follows: ...
3
votes
1answer
516 views

Repeat acronym in conclusion

Can I use acronyms and abbreviations in the conclusion of a scientific paper or should I avoid them? Even though the main idea of acronyms and abbreviations is to avoid repetition, my impression is ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

What is the best technique to represent similarily among different methods?

Lets say I have 3 different methods. I am trying to find the best technique to represent similarities (or differences) among these methods. One way I thought of is to create a table and create my ...
1
vote
3answers
52 views

Should I present future research directions in a separate section while writing a scientific paper?

Should I present future research directions in a separate section while writing a scientific paper? Or to mention it in its related section?