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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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
520 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Which tense to use?

So I'm writing a paper and I want to define the experimental process. I have two challenges. Firstly, when I define the experimental process, I want to write it in a way that is independent of the ...
0
votes
3answers
757 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
6k views

How to improve the language of my master thesis by myself?

I have written my thesis on my own (with my limited English skills) and I gave it to my supervisor to check it. He said the work is fine but the writing is a bit bad and I need to proofread it by ...
1
vote
1answer
286 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
508 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
votes
2answers
161 views

Where to check my paper grammars for free of charge? [closed]

Where to check my paper grammars for free of charge? Do you have some suggestions?
1
vote
2answers
485 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
233 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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
195 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
697 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
596 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
265 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
118 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
9k 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
266 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
89 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
312 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?
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Should I always force the use of active voice in my dissertation?

I decided to use first person ("we") and active voice as the primary style of writing my dissertation in the domain of Computer Science. I have read some discussions about this topic and the people ...
-3
votes
1answer
123 views

Is this kind of email formal or beneficial to use in a submitted manuscript? [closed]

Is this kind of email formal or beneficial or even acceptable to use in a manuscript: yours@xxx.edu? yours@xxx.edu or authorname@xxx.edu? which is better? can it increase the acceptance rate?
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
85 views

Writing papers: do I include citation into an unrelated parenthesis?

Consider the following sentence: "We can also divide calls into stereotyped (discrete) and graded (continuous) (Marler & Mitani, 1988)" My supervisor corrected it including the citation in the ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Differences between writing a report for a company and for an academic reader

I have been hired for a small consulting gig and need to write a report. The people reading this report are not scientists, but rather process engineers and in general people with a more business-like ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

Use of future tense to refer to following sections

While writing papers (computer science, on the border with digital humanities), I find it quite natural to write In the following section we will present some examples of such and such. or To ...
8
votes
1answer
967 views

Writing a function name in a normal paragraph in my dissertation [duplicate]

I want to mention the name of an specific function (or method) that I used in a experiment in a normal paragraph in my dissertation. What is the best way to do it? Considering that the official ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

MLA: How to write translations of terms?

I am finishing my MA thesis and in the process of polishing it. I adhere to MLA style and I cannot find anything online concerning: I am translating a few terms. How do you write a term when in ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Is the usage of “vice versa” appropriate in academic writing?

I have written: In an oil-water system, if the particle contact angle is larger than 90°, showing greater affinity for the oil phase, then the system is likely to be a W/O emulsion and vice versa. ...
-3
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are reports written in the third person passive? [duplicate]

Generally it is considered to be "good practice" to write reports in the third person passive voice for a wide array of academic writing. It is even a requirement of publication in several journals. ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Deciding on which equations to number

I’m writing a master’s thesis in theoretical and mathematical physics, specifically in general relativity. To better organize the thesis, I’m using the well-known division in works in mathematics to ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Normalizing other people's data on number of significant figures

I am presenting a table in my paper which summarizes and compares data from other papers. I'd like the data to be presented uniformly, with the same number of significant figures for all data. However,...
0
votes
1answer
642 views

Welcoming collaboration in a cover letter

Let's assume you are writing a cover letter for a tenure-track position in the US in computer science. In the cover letter, you would like to express your affinity to potential research areas and your ...
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 ...
8
votes
9answers
3k views

Typographical emphasis on text is ambiguous

I am writing a paper and part of my thesis, and I need some advice to improve the readability of my manuscript(s). Working in computer science and machine learning, there is a lot of technical stuff ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Scientific research paper – how broad should the introduction be?

My research answered a very specific question. But the hypothesis I was testing will also likely have very broad application. I want to make sure to convey that importance in my paper. Is the first ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Proper pronoun in a response letter for a single author manuscript

I am currently in the process of responding to reviewer comments for a journal article submission, and I realized I was using the scientific/royal "we" in my response letter, even though I am the only ...
2
votes
1answer
673 views

Should I Quote Scholars (Dead or Alive) in Past or Present Tense?

In a research paper, when quoting previous literature on a given topic, should the scholar and position quoted be presented in past tense? (i.e. Johns suggested ...) Or should it be simple present ...
4
votes
2answers
339 views

Paper submitted with repeated sentences in the introduction

I have submitted a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal two months ago. It is my first submission. I have noticed two unfortunate elements in my introduction: I wrote the same sentence twice in ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Plural-active, singular-active or another voice when writing a paper by yourself? [duplicate]

I'm working on a draft paper which will likely have no coauthors. I'm wondering how to phrase my paper, and the abstract especially, in terms of voice. Which of the following should I prefer? "We ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Upper or lower case in figures?

Is there any rule concerning the use of lower/upper case letters in figures, charts, diagrams etc. to be used in scientific papers? I tend to use lower case only (e.g., axis labels and legends), but ...
1
vote
2answers
388 views

Math papers and open problems

Most published math papers are answers to open questions posed by the authors of the papers, right? So why is this problem that the paper responds to is never explicit in the text by the authors? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it a must to write a paper in passive third person, for all types of papers in all journals? [duplicate]

As I read in some papers, most verbs in a paper are written in the passive third person. For example: "This method was experimented; satisfying results were achieved..." My question is, is this a ...
40
votes
7answers
12k views

Is it wrong to start your abstract with a question?

My abstracts starts with three specific questions that my proposed research will answer. But when my friend saw this, he said: "I will never start an abstract with questions, and I will never read ...

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