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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0answers
33 views

Question of what constitutes an original contribution [on hold]

Is using one other who is not directly conversant, referring to, or part of the same school as another to refute, object, or expand on the latter's argument with my own supplementation considered an ...
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6answers
1k views

What is the advantage of m·s^(-1) over m/s? [on hold]

It's everywhere, but no matter who I ask I can never get a straight answer, only "I don't know"s. What is the advantage of using multiplication and negative powers over just using division when ...
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4answers
261 views

Colloquial forms (let's…) in articles

I am writing an article for a peer reviewed journal in the field of literature, and I am wondering about the use of colloquial expressions like: "Let's take a step back", or "Let's look at the data", "...
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5answers
2k views

Switching between active and passive voice

I realize writing in active vs passive voice is a heated debate in academia, with arguments being made for and against both styles. My adviser prefers passive voice.. But is it acceptable to switch ...
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1answer
146 views

Professional writing tips

I just started my post doc and currently writing a paper but I don't have any professional writing experience. Is there a learning curve or forums that can help with improving writing skills? E.g. I ...
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1answer
85 views

How do I properly cite a research paper?

I know this question already has a similar answer but, please bear with me. I am writing my thesis and I realize there are cases I do not know how to properly cite, as illustrated in the following ...
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8answers
4k 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?
7
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2answers
389 views

The decoration of language in proposal writing [closed]

I am a newbie to proposal writing although have been writing research papers for several years. After the rejection of my first NSF proposal, I am becoming aware that the proposal language is quite ...
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3answers
412 views

Balanced number of sections in paper?

Longer monographs should have an odd number of chapters [the Internet,1700-xxxx]. Does this rule also apply for papers? I've got a paper with four chapters and I'm wondering if I should make it ...
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2answers
134 views

“I” versus “we” in grant application

I am writing a grant application as a sole PI, and it is not clear to me whether I should use singular or plural terms. As an example, currently I have a sentence like this: "Based on previous work,...
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1answer
342 views

What's the proper way to (APA) reference a settlement agreement?

I want to reference an exhibit from the following document (it's been split into separate parts): Exhibits: https://targetbreachsettlement.com/Portals/0/Documents/Settlement%20Agreement%20Exhibits....
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7answers
13k views

Is using the phrase “… is left as an exercise for the reader” considered good style in academic papers/theses?

Possible arguments: Pro For brevity for trivial deductions Contra Looks like the writer could not be bothered to write an extensive explanation Definition of what is trivial to which reader and ...
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2answers
166 views

Finance paper with different decimal places [closed]

I am writing a finance paper and I change my data frequency from monthly to daily data, With monthly data, two decimal places is fine. However, my daily results look strange with two decimal places. ...
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2answers
65 views

Does the related work section need to be strictly about other's work only?

I would like to clarify a writing style issue concerning separating related work from my own work: Does the related work section need to be strictly about other work only? Or may you also explicitly ...
6
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3answers
3k views

What tone to use in the personal statement?

The guide in Berkeley states: The personal statement should give concrete evidence of your promise as a member of the academic community, giving the committee an image of you as a person. So what ...
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1answer
45 views

Remarks/Comments inside a translation

I'm currently writing up my Masters Dissertation and in one of my sections I have translated an article that was written in German. To the best of my knowledge no current translation of this specific ...
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1answer
41 views

How to refer to the empirical study involved in the thesis?

Should I always refer to it as "the empirical study of/ involved in this thesis"? I found it too lengthy when I need to refer to it frequently in the thesis. Is there another shorter term to refer to ...
10
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1answer
441 views

What is the Latin term “pace” used for when referencing other scholars?

I frequently come across references to other scholars like: In period P, syntactic construct C did not have function F (pace Smith 2000). I understand that pace here signals that Smith (2000) ...
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2answers
103 views

Referencing earlier passages: Cross reference or “as discussed earlier”

I am looking for stylistic advice regarding the (over) use of cross-references. For instance, using cross-references in Latex through \ref{...} for major structural blocks like chapters and sections ...
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1answer
163 views

Difference between inclusion and exclusion criteria [closed]

Authors frequently report criteria of selecting subjects in studies in two separate categories, inclusion and exclusion criteria, e.g.: Inclusion criteria: age between 18-60 has the ...
46
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5answers
7k views

Contractions (“can't”, “don't”) in a mathematical paper

I am refereeing a paper (a good one) for a mathematical journal. The author repeatedly writes like this: "we can't do", "we don't know" etc. He is not a native English speaker, and this paper is his ...
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4answers
177 views

In a paper, how would you name a part that describes the big picture before the technical details

I have been struggling with finding the right title for a section in a scientific paper (in computer science but I think it can apply to many other fields). I know it's not the first time I encounter ...
13
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6answers
337 views

How to best approach literature with low information content for good retention

My question relates to a certain type of opaque pseudo-technical prose that unfortunately is so pervasive in management literature. Authors with this kind of writing style like to make completely ...
5
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3answers
164 views

Placement of numerical references (“[1]”)

I kind of struggle with my students. I always told them to put the reference number (identification) close to the cited object - to make really clear what is the cited object. For example: The ...
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1answer
57 views

Is it unnecessary to write “Please refer to xx paper for detail” after talking about framework presented in this paper?

I wrote a paragraph about a framework from a paper xx. Is it still necessary to mention "Please refer to xx paper for detail" at the end of this paragraph? It is a thesis.
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1answer
69 views

What pronoun should theses use? [duplicate]

It is generally courtesy to use the plural 'we' or 'our' in papers, even when the primary author was the only contributor. While using personal pronouns in academic papers is typically a very bad idea,...
70
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12answers
11k views

Is there any good reason to write “it is easy to see”? [closed]

Many academic papers, particularly in mathematics and similar fields, use the phrase "it is easy to see that..." (e.g. in a mathematical proof). I never understood why this sentence is used. Such a ...
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1answer
91 views

Is PCB layouting and manufacturing process added in dissertation? [closed]

Should I add PCB layouting and manufacturing process pictures in dissertation?
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2answers
257 views

In a mathematics article, how much of the argument can be given outside of “proof” environments?

I'm writing an article containing one main theorem, with the other results essentially corollaries of that theorem. The largest part of the article is thus spend proving this main theorem. It feels ...
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2answers
182 views

Conjunctive adverbs in academic writing

As scientists, researchers and scholars, how do you feel when you read a scientific document that contains a lot of conjunctive adverbs, like however, in addition, etc? Does it sound non-scientific ...
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2answers
698 views

When to use “I” in a master's thesis

A similar question exists here however I don't feel that answers my specific question. Other questions on this topic seem to explain why "we" is primarily used in academic writing, which I understand. ...
30
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7answers
8k views

Should I simplify my writing in a foreign country?

As a native English speaker studying in the Netherlands, I often find myself writing (not published) English papers for a Dutch audience, and I worry I'm alienating my superiors with my writing. I ...
7
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3answers
439 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/...
36
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6answers
154k views

How can I cite the same reference in successive sentences?

I've just read a paper that cited the same reference in two successive sentences: This is the first sentence (xxxx 2013). This is the second sentence (xxxx 2013). Up until now, I would have ...
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1answer
45 views

Referencing cited authors [duplicate]

This problem comes up a lot when I write text that describes other's work. to enable personalized Web searches was first proposed in [32], however in [9] it was showed to be computationally ...
34
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7answers
8k views

Is it accepted to refer to your own published result by your own name?

Assume that Jane Doe has published a paper in 2010 where she has developed a model or a theorem or a similar result, let’s say, that it relates to growth. Now assume that Jane Doe is writing another ...
3
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1answer
159 views

Is the phrase “results show” appropriate in academic writing?

I once heard of a professor saying that it is not appropriate to say that "results show", because it is not the results that actually "show" anything, and a more appropriate way of putting it would be ...
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0answers
22 views

Difference between proposing a research framework and research approach

I would like to get some concrete examples as to what is the difference between saying that I am presenting a research framework and a research approach. Take the field of robotics or any other ...
55
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8answers
4k views

Can cited works hold grammatical positions in sentences?

Though I read this style quite often, I was recently told unambiguously by a reviewer that I was NOT supposed to use citations "as if they are objects in a sentence." The following sentence is an ...
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1answer
116 views

How to response to the editor for a minor suggestion given by the reviewer via a formal letter?

I submitted a paper and after about five months the editor sent an email: "I have decided that your manuscript can be accepted for publication after you have carried out the corrections as suggested ...
-2
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1answer
112 views

Hyperbole language [closed]

I received feedback from my tutor saying that my use of “in other words” was hyperbole. My understanding of hyperbole is that it’s exaggerated language. How is “in other words” an exaggeration?
49
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5answers
7k views

What's the purpose of writing one's academic biography in the third person?

I see some academics – both professors and grad students – write their biography on their university webpages in the third person, and it sounds really weird. What's the purpose of writing about ...
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1answer
58 views

What style to choose MLA or APA? [closed]

I will be writing an essay about Brexit and I am confused on which style of writing to use.
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2answers
802 views

How to cite a figure that has been already modified from another source?

I am wondering how to cite a figure that has already been modified from another source. Normally one should get the original figure from the original source, but there are cases when that is not ...
4
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1answer
101 views

Which writing style for uncertainties?

There are different ways of writing uncertainty. The siunitx manual says "In some fields, it is common to give the uncertainty in a number in brackets after the main part of the number... ...
12
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4answers
6k views

How to write research results when some study participants dropped out?

The research (Delphi study) started with NN study participants in Round 1 (gathering demographics). Ten percent of the participants dropped out and did not complete Round 2 or (of course) Round 3. I'...
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0answers
25 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 ...
4
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5answers
338 views

What's an appropriate phrasing of a caveat about self-citation?

I'm writing some report, and at a certain point I give an example by citation. The citation format is such that you don't see any names (e.g. "[123]") without visiting the bibliography; or maybe it's ...
3
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1answer
176 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 ...
78
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10answers
10k views

Do Asian authors have a different style of academic writing from European authors?

I'm an Asian student working with a European prof. My adviser told me several times that when he read my writings (our papers), he just wanted to rewrite it. He told me that my English was rather OK, ...