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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.

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12 votes
5 answers
7k views

What should I do when a coauthor suggests I fluff up a manuscript?

I have worked on a project almost entirely on my own with some input from my main advisor. Now I've drafted a manuscript, and I have received comments from my secondary advisor, who is also a coauthor,...
square potato's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
258 views

List of words to present equations in an article

I have 13 equations (LaTeX: \eqref) (constraints more precisely) to present in an article's paragraph and, as a non-native, I would welcome any other suggestions to present these constraints in order ...
JKHA's user avatar
  • 380
8 votes
5 answers
4k views

Double parenthesis in academic writing [duplicate]

I have the following question. I have a text in which I want to insert a small mathematical formulation, namely between parenthesis. Unfortunately, this mathematical formulation also contains a ...
manofthousandnames's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Should the information within a caption be repeated into the main text?

My understanding is that a caption should be here to help someone read a caption independently from the text (without reading the paper/book/etc for example). This question answers whether a long ...
JackRed's user avatar
  • 800
3 votes
1 answer
146 views

Institution wide style guides for theses - rationale and context

Under this answer here on Academia StackExchange, Xander Henderson and I observed that there seems to be a large difference between the United States and, for instance, Germany regarding how specific ...
Jochen Glueck's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

Publishing no-longer state-of-the-art results in machine learning

I co-authored a method, which yielded state-of-the-art results in several machine learning benchmarks. However, the paper got rejected from two conferences and then from a super slow journal. With the ...
Dominik Filipiak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
354 views

My footnotes are too long and too many due to my anxiety. How to shorten/reduce them?

I am a historian and I have noticed over the last few years that my footnotes have become too long. It goes so far that for a recent article manuscript the word count of my footnotes is only slightly ...
Metronom2343's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
176 views

In mathematical essays, is "at x=a", "for x=a", "when x=a", "if x=a", or even "with x=a", a better choice? [closed]

Which one of the following sentences sounds better to a native ear? At $x=a$, $f(x,t)$ is an even function of $t$. For $x=a$, $f(x,t)$ is an even function of $t$. When $x=a$, $f(x,t)$ is an even ...
LiR's user avatar
  • 107
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

What methods to contain in an abstract?

It is my first time writing an abstract for an assignment and I am wondering if I need to include all of the methods used within a piece of research. I understand I don't need to include every tiny ...
adso509's user avatar
  • 23
0 votes
1 answer
152 views

How many related concepts should I try to fit into a research article?

When writing a journal article, I've noticed I have a habit of name-dropping concepts that are related to my argument. This has the benefit of increasing the links between my paper and other research, ...
Piethon's user avatar
  • 863
11 votes
5 answers
8k views

In a grant proposal, should I write that I have a paper very likely to be accepted by a very prestigious journal? and how?

I am facing a problem that is new for me and I don't know to whom to ask. My current supervisor and I are very busy and we both have barely some time to discuss pressing bureaucratic issues and ...
zenso yusho's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Convention: Comma and period in an enumeration

I am writing a master thesis in maths and I use lots of enumerations in theorems. I am not sure, how I use a comma and period correctly. As I was told, there has to be a comma after an item, except ...
Lereu's user avatar
  • 398
0 votes
0 answers
76 views

Master thesis mistakes with in-text citing and grammar [duplicate]

I recently re-read my publicly available master's thesis which was made public a month ago. I found a lot of grammatical mistakes and also inconsistency of putting references in relation to ...
BrajkovicM's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
121 views

How would you characterize or cite common social media posts?

I am investigating a complaint that comes up on social media "often" for a particular institution. The complaint is about a particular type of bad interaction with the institution. I could ...
Liam's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
233 views

Does case of the first letter in disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics, etc. need to be capitalized?

Does the first letter of disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics, etc. need to be capitalized in research papers of computer science?
goahead97's user avatar
  • 113
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is "e.g." ever needed in parenthetical citations?

It seems to me that "e.g." is rarely needed in parenthetical citations because readers assume that the works listed are examples taken from all works on the topic. For example: "This ...
Eggy's user avatar
  • 1,445
0 votes
1 answer
154 views

How to shorten references [duplicate]

How to shorten the reference format to maximum one line per reference so that it fits to the guidelines. I have already used APA format. But is there any other format for doing so?
XINDA's user avatar
  • 53
17 votes
4 answers
6k views

What is a good way to phrase "in my experience" in a journal paper?

I want to say, "In our experience/as far as we know/etc., A only requires a few iterations to converge," without citing any relevant literature, particularly because I could not find any ...
Neuchâtel's user avatar
  • 5,425
-5 votes
5 answers
3k views

Two-author paper with thesis mentor, but the idea is entirely mine

I recently defended my master's thesis in artificial intelligence. Among other things, I invented a new algorithm that I would like to publish. The domain is natural language processing, with papers ...
Mew's user avatar
  • 541
0 votes
4 answers
338 views

Abbreviating authors' names in a paper

I'm writing a rebuttal to a paper that was recently published. Since I refer to the authors very frequently, I've abbreviated their names to WW for their last names Williams and Wang (I made up these ...
at.'s user avatar
  • 213
2 votes
5 answers
858 views

Proper punctuation of equations [duplicate]

What is the proper way to punctuate equations following a colon (:)? Is it: The Pythagorean Theorem can be expressed as the following equation: $a^2+b^2=c^2$ In number theory, triples satisfying the ...
user227351's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
217 views

What expression to use when citing a publication for a result bordering one, oneself seeks to publish? (replicate, corroborate, in line with)

The specific reason for citing/referencing a publication may accompany an expression signifying that. One broad reason is empirical results (other broad reasons are theoretical ideas, methodological ...
Johan's user avatar
  • 133
32 votes
11 answers
12k views

Is humor unacceptable in referee reports?

I am from a country where humor is a part of the culture, and I recently prepared the following referee report: The manuscript solves an interesting problem, but, unfortunately, the authors are a bit ...
Coala's user avatar
  • 477
3 votes
1 answer
211 views

How to refer to the work you are presenting in a scientific paper?

I am co-authoring a scientific paper. In the related works section, we discussed how our work addresses some of the limitations not evaluated in the literature. To keep style more formal, we ...
ptrchv's user avatar
  • 43
1 vote
2 answers
177 views

Does a problem statement chapter contributes / addressing a research question by establishing a deeper problem understanding?

Considering a PhD thesis that use a problem statement chapter in the middle of the thesis. The reason for the chapter is that the required background information is only, fully available at this point....
user3352632's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is the use of we / us (in the sense of the reader and writer exploring the topic) accepted in a PhD thesis or bad style? [duplicate]

Before, referring just to some other question that sounds likely to be the same, e.g., about can I write: "I/We have developed X?", what I am asking about is: "Let us (you the reader ...
user3352632's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
516 views

Best way to write an equation while explaining something in a paper

I have found it difficult sometimes to write properly an equation in the middle of some explanations on a research paper, for example: This can be rewritten by a change in parametrization a = m as, E ...
CfourPiO's user avatar
  • 903
2 votes
3 answers
216 views

No quotation marks/citation needed for common expressions/language or for using texts as a model?

This might be a stupid question, but I am asking as a non-native English speaker. Given that we all (even native speakers) will get our English expressions from somewhere, I am wondering when a ...
Fukaru23512's user avatar
26 votes
9 answers
9k views

Is it okay to criticize authors because of how poorly their paper is written?

I am currently reading a paper in my area which is very poorly written in my opinion. It is hard to understand the bigger picture of the paper. Now, I am just a student and my opinions might not be of ...
akr_'s user avatar
  • 661
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

First-person pronoun for things other than mathematical steps - singular or plural?

The question Choice of personal pronoun in single-author papers has a good discussion of the motivation for using first-person plural pronouns ("we") instead of first-person singular (“I”), ...
tparker's user avatar
  • 2,119
21 votes
4 answers
4k views

Best way to highlight the main result in a mathematical paper

I am writing a mathematical paper where I (re-)state a well-known theorem, followed by several corollaries. One of these corollaries is my main result and, naturally, it is somewhat lost in the text, ...
IljaKlebanov's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
198 views

Should I explain abbreviations after table of abbreviations in research paper?

I have table of abbreviations at the end of the introduction section. Should explain an abbrevation if it was explained in that table, at other sections of the paper.
Nima Aghayan's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Convention on embedding three pairs of items in a single sentence using parentheses

I am writing in a description of three items in a thesis on Particle Physics, and I can do it in one line in theory. If there were just two items, e.g. A and B, which produce results C and D, I could ...
GluonicPenguin's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

quality standards for joint paper written mostly by mentee

I am increasingly in a position where I am writing papers with students I am mentoring. Since these projects are primarily meant to expose them to research, I will often have them take the lead on the ...
overfull hbox's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Shorthand descriptions in article text

In an article I am writing for the Journal of Chemical Physics we are comparing/contrasting the behavior of methane (i.e CH4) scattering from a bare and oxidized Ni(111) surface. Often for the purpose ...
creillyucla's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
169 views

Can I suggest certain proofreading software in article review?

The questions that deal with language errors during peer-review (1 2 to name a few) typically recommend suggesting the authors seek proofreading help from a person who is proficient in English. From ...
And R's user avatar
  • 352
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What words should I capitalize in the title of a PhD dissertation?

I am unsure about how to capitalize the title of my dissertation. In my case, I am wondering about "testing" and "empirical": Four Essays on the empirical testing of the ...
TobKel's user avatar
  • 749
8 votes
11 answers
6k views

Inclusive language: alternatives to 'parent/daughter' for inanimate objects

My work deals with transformations in matter, wherein one physical form (a 'phase') changes to another. The initial form has often traditionally been called the 'parent phase' and the transformed form ...
AppliedAcademic's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
905 views

Writing academic letters of reference for Japan

Does anyone know whether Japan is like the US and China in that you must only talk about a great candidate's strengths, or like the UK where letters are dismissed unless you also talk about weaknesses?...
Joanna Bryson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
270 views

How correctly write ordinal numbers in a scientific thesis?

I'm wrtiting my Master of Science thesis in Aerospace Engineering and I've a doubt about wrtiting of ordinal numbers? Let' us consider the following alternatives:$i$th, $i$-th. What is the correct ...
g_don's user avatar
  • 261
15 votes
7 answers
4k views

Explaining why an approach is undesirable in a paper

A section in a paper I'm authoring goes something like the below: We want to do x. Upon first inspection, x could be easily done using approach A. A, however, has the drawback that <elaboration ...
Ahri's user avatar
  • 253
1 vote
1 answer
32 views

How to properly add attribution to a paraphrased list?

This question is similar to this one, however in my case, I have paraphrased the list of the original work. I'm paraphrasing a list of a paper like this A five-step model is proposed in [123]: (...
Lennart's user avatar
  • 135
6 votes
6 answers
4k views

Which academic writing style allows extensive explanatory footnotes?

I am writing an essay which involves many concepts supposedly unfamiliar to the reader. It has been suggested to me that the explanations of these terms be in the footnotes as this way they wouldn’t ...
HullBreaker's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

Separating citation and text inside parentheses

In the following examples, should the citation be separated by ; or ,? Simplistically, the goal of the investor is to maximise return (subject to risk constraints; XYZ, 2011). or Simplistically, ...
stevew's user avatar
  • 263
4 votes
1 answer
265 views

Word for a part of a book containing introduction and background/state of the art

I am writing a book (a sort of research memoir), and it is structured like this: PART I: Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Background, state of the art, description of research lines... PART II: ...
Vicent's user avatar
  • 1,164
33 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is there a rule to rather use points and not commas as decimal separators in academic writing?

I am from Europe and always use a comma as a decimal separator. Thus, in all previous publications I have used a comma as a separator, noone ever objected. We recently submitted a new manuscript and ...
Sursula's user avatar
  • 21.2k
5 votes
1 answer
337 views

Shall I start my example with "for example"?

I'm trying to give an example in my research paper. The first variant: Example 4.6. For example, this expression is true: ... The second one: Example 4.6. This expression is true: ... Which one is ...
yegor256's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
2 answers
194 views

reference footnote in a footnote

How should I reference footnotes inside a footnote. Do we have to have them superscripted? 6 For further clarification, see footnote 5. How should I style see footnote 5?
user18602524's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
317 views

Mathematics MSc Dissertation - Referring to myself and acknowledging own work

I'm in my last week of my mathematics masters dissertation and I don't really know how to refer to my own work and to myself in the dissertation. To refer to myself I'm using "this author" ...
jdxoxo's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
336 views

How should special terms be styled according to the IEEE style guide?

I was wondering how to style special terms (such as private key), according to IEEE Style Manual. I couldn't find any meaningful source nor any stack exchange discussion. In my opinion one of these ...
DIDoS's user avatar
  • 109

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