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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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1
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1answer
73 views

Can a casual comparison of phenomena and assumptions based on it be presented in a journal/conference paper?

In comparison to the size of the universe, humans on earth are like bacteria on a speck of dirt. Much like in the animated movie "Horton hears a who". When writing a journal/conference paper, if ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Are there any guidelines for labeling axes in plots/graphs when the “unit” is “number of people”?

I have read the question Are there any guidelines for labeling axes in plots/graphs? and related answers and they cover the case where the unit is from the International System of Units (SI), but what ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Using an abbreviation of another language in the abstract

I'm writing the abstract of my bachelor’s thesis and need to refer to a German research project. The abbreviation of it refers to a German spelling – so I can’t write it out. The English translation ...
4
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4answers
160 views

Tense in summary chapter of a thesis

I am currently writing a cumulative dissertation which is based on several published papers. I am supposed to shortly (one page) summarize each of the papers. These summaries come before the actual ...
1
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2answers
65 views

Pagebreak within tables of scientific articles

I do not know if this the suitable forum for this question but I would like to give it a try. In my thesis I have several very long tables that cover almost one page. Because of this I am getting ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Parentheses to indicate the word can be singular or plural (APA style)

The pilot for the study involved two props, one for the participant to keep and another to give to someone else. The study involved three props, one for the participant to keep and two to give to two ...
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3answers
176 views

What is the name of the style where research papers are written in a story-telling fashion?

The following research paper is written in a story-telling manner: One Mentor-teacher's Personal Narrative of Collaborative Research on the Teaching Practicum What is the name of this style of ...
4
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1answer
101 views

Repetitively citing studies in a literature review

I am writing my first literature review (not using a systematic methodology) and I am trying to put some thought into the underlying structure of the literature review. I have considered these two ...
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0answers
48 views

How to format the in-text citation of a Book's title, its authors, and its publication year?

I have been stuck on this for a while. My concern is regarding the correct formatting of an in-text citation of a book. I have to mention 3 things in one sentence: "titled", "edited by", and "...
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5answers
298 views

Can lowlighting less important text improve readability? Are there alternatives?

I think many experience the following: Sometimes I want to get the main message of a paper within 10 min then I am annoyed by any less important details distracting me. And sometimes I spend days or ...
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3answers
199 views

Can I put the proofs to my lemmas/theorems/corollaries in my appendix?

I have proofs that run on for up to 10 pages. To aid in readability, I would like to discuss my theorem, and the lemmas that support it, without the noise of these lengthy proofs. Can I move the ...
1
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2answers
102 views

Order of “List of”s in TOC

Is there an accepted order in which "List of"s should appear in a thesis? For example, I have a section dedicated to "List of (Code) Listings", another for "List of Figures", and another for "List of ...
3
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4answers
462 views

“Beyond the scope of this paper” phrase

I am writing a scientific paper and I won't be able to go in the details of a certain topic. I am considering to write something like: "The topic XXX is beyond the scope of this paper.". I know that ...
1
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1answer
91 views

To what extent should relevant background be discussed vs. just referenced?

Is is perfectly appropriate to refer reviewers to other papers for understanding a concept or writer must include the concept in his paper too? What should be done while keeping brevity, plagiarism ...
3
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4answers
575 views

Should I 'admit' a weakness of a paper even if it's 'obvious'?

Example: I have a simulation to run that requires social media data sets. The data sets that actually matter are too big to be able to simulate anything useful on. Instead, I picked a data set that's ...
1
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2answers
354 views

Can I use 'Fortunately' in an academic paper

When using "Fortunately" in a technical paper, the appending statement can appear subjective; and hence shouldn't be used in an academic context (?). When used to highlight, for instance, the solution ...
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1answer
73 views

Statement of purpose and career shift

My B.Sc degree was in an unrelated field. However, I have a strong interest in physics, and mathematics. I'm currently writing my statement of purpose for graduate school applications. I have a ...
16
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5answers
3k views

Writing style in academic English

[comments from my supervisor] You still have a tendency to use phrases such as "All in all", and "To this end". Not a serious problem of course, but be aware that the editors/reviewers for some ...
12
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6answers
2k views

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

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 ...
1
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1answer
93 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 ...
7
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2answers
408 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 ...
1
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2answers
159 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,...
0
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1answer
147 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 ...
0
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2answers
170 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. ...
2
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2answers
90 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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2answers
121 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
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1answer
354 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 ...
1
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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 ...
5
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3answers
178 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
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1answer
60 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
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1answer
85 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,...
10
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1answer
463 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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1answer
92 views

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

Should I add PCB layouting and manufacturing process pictures in dissertation?
4
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2answers
259 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
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2answers
254 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
0
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 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
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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 ...
1
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1answer
131 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 ...
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votes
1answer
114 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?
1
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1answer
62 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.
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 ...
4
votes
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", "...
4
votes
1answer
112 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... ...
0
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1answer
578 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....
4
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5answers
346 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 ...

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