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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46
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

Finance paper with different decimal places [on hold]

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. ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Scientific language and answers to Essay Questions [closed]

I am good with essay questions in Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry because they just want something done. Demonstrate X. Solve y. I actually was a Mathlete. Always praised by everyone. I just was ...
2
votes
2answers
56 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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
votes
1answer
432 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) ...
0
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
87 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
173 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
161 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 ...
0
votes
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.
0
votes
1answer
68 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
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

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

Should I add PCB layouting and manufacturing process pictures in dissertation?
4
votes
2answers
252 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
155 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....
0
votes
2answers
560 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
431 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
votes
6answers
150k 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
1
vote
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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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
votes
1answer
109 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
57 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.
2
votes
2answers
138 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", "...
5
votes
2answers
682 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
votes
1answer
97 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
votes
4answers
5k 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'...
0
votes
0answers
20 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
votes
5answers
332 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
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
77
votes
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, ...
5
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
39
votes
4answers
44k views

How to handle swear words in quote / transcription?

In my research, I interview practitioners/real users. One of them, a native english speaker, used a lot a swear words (basically the f-word). Question: how to deal with curse words in content you ...
28
votes
4answers
19k views

150%, 1.5 times, 1.5× or 1.5-fold

If some measure of quality improves to 150 % of its original value in a study from condition A to condition B, would it be most appropriate, in terms of scientific writing (computer science ...
0
votes
1answer
126 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
68 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
237 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
81 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
507 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 ...