We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [writing-style]

Questions about the tones, turns of phrase and other writing patterns that are appropriate for writing in an academic context.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Why shouldn't I quote famous scientists in my SOP?

In one of Ben Bitdiddle's comment, he confirms that quoting famous scientists in the SOP is generally bad. But I don't know why. Isn't SOP the place to tell our stories, our inspirations, our ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Protocol for writing a recommendation letter for someone you only know on a personal basis

I am a graduate student. A close friend of mine is applying to post graduate research position and has asked me to provide a recommendation for her. I have never written a formal recommendation letter ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Unacceptable quality of writing in a letter of recommendation

I have received a letter of recommendation which clearly has been written by my referee's assistant, rather than himself. That in itself wouldn't be a problem if it didn't contain phrases such as what'...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Using typographical variants of the same letter as mathematical symbols in a paper

Sometimes I struggle in choosing notations for a mathematical paper. There are probably no explicit rules, but unwritten conventions. In a discussion, is it proper to use different typographical ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

When should I appropriately use adjectives and adverbs?

I heard using adjectives and adverbs should be avoided; which scenarios should I use adjectives and adverbs?
3
votes
2answers
20k views

Is use of the word “via” appropriate in an academic essay? [closed]

In many cases the words via and through are interchangeable. However, is via viewed as acceptable to use among the academic community, typically? I personally have a distaste for it, but that doesn't ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any formal format for statement of purpose?

I'm about to submit my application for various PhD programs and I was wondering how should I format my statement of purpose. Should it be addressed like a formal letter? Just contain my name and say '...
1
vote
1answer
999 views

What is the difference between “interpreting” and “reporting” research in a scientific publication?

In line with this question, I would like help with writing a results section in a Computer Science paper. There are many useful suggestions online [1 , 2], but I am confused about one of the key ...
15
votes
1answer
697 views

Is there any software to regularize British vs. American spelling in a text?

This is a minor but ongoing annoyance that takes up more time than I would like, and I am wondering if anybody knows of a solution. I often write papers with foreign collaborators, and we tend to end ...
5
votes
1answer
360 views

What tone to use when talking about oneself in statement of purpose?

In what manner should one speak in her statement of purpose for phd applications? Should she speak factually or slightly overly self-praising?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How much of humor in a formal academic writing is considered as disrespect? [duplicate]

In a formal academic writing (in the everyday sense), is it appropriate to use phrases such as "step out on" to titillate the reader? Since I am not a native English speaker, and since I have not ...
4
votes
1answer
887 views

Should I avoid using footnotes in a statement of purpose?

I intend to use some footnotes (in a restricted manner) in my statement of purpose for PhD applications, but I am not sure if doing so is suitable. Though I cannot see any reason against doing so, ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Should I write “we” or “I” in my research statement?

I am currently in the process of applying for tenure-track assistant professor jobs. I was wondering whether I should write "we" or "I" in my research statement. While it is true that I did not do all ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it okay to directly address your reader when writing a scientific paper?

I'm currently writing a paper that has some kind of tutorial parts in it. I have written sentences similar to: «... depending on your operating system, the procedure is different» Is addressing the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there general guidelines for including code in a research paper?

I'm a beginning researcher trying to write a research paper , so please bear with some of the really basic questions I might have. I've already looked around for some help online, but the websites I ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Are there general guidelines for order of front and back matter sections in a thesis?

I am writing my PhD thesis (physics in a European university) and wonder how to order the "meta-data" chapters. My university gives very few formal regulations and my adviser wasn't sure. What I ...
8
votes
3answers
411 views

Should citations be as detailed as possible?

While writing my thesis (computer science), I was wondering how detailed citations have to be. Let's assume I want to cite an article of a conference and have full information on author, editor, ...
27
votes
6answers
24k views

When and why should you write numbers less than 10 in words?

My current strategy in my thesis and in papers is to write numbers less than 10 in words. For example, if I need to write the number 6, I write 'six'. Recently though, I've been thinking this strategy ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Whether to use the author name with numeric references when describing a particular study

I am a little bit confused regarding the best way to attribute a research paper in my thesis. Example: " The work in [1] proposed a new method for ..." " John et al.[1] proposed a new method for ..." ...
78
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, ...
-1
votes
1answer
244 views

How to quote or summarise text from a reference that includes citations in Harvard Style?

I am very much confused on referencing a paragraph and have tried to find an answer on YouTube but that didn't help! So here is my question: The lines from an article (author = aaa bbb) says: (...
4
votes
2answers
341 views

Should the table of contents of a thesis include beyond heading level 3?

Should the table of contents of a thesis include beyond heading level 3? I would like to know if there is a rule specifying this issue either in MLA or APA?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Should chapter introduction and conclusion be included in the table of contents?

In my thesis, I have five chapters, each of which includes sections and subsections. Each of the five chapters has an introduction and conclusion. Should chapter introductions and conclusions be ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Good style for frequent references to some paper

I have an document extending paper [A & B, 2000] On my work, I make many references to [A & B, 2000], some times several times on the same paragraphs as there is some need to compare both ...
1
vote
2answers
285 views

Including many pages of serialization code and generated source code in Master's thesis?

I'm working on my Master's thesis in Computer Science. Shortly, I am "drawing" a diagram, which is then serialized and from the serialization I generate some source code. So, my question is not about ...
15
votes
2answers
451 views

When to use inline versus displayed equations in a publication?

On a publication (thesis, paper, other), when should I write an equation inline and when should it be separated and numbered from the text? I've seen publications containing both styles, but I don't ...
1
vote
2answers
243 views

How to indicate when quotation marks are not used to quote someone in APA?

I am careful about placing attribution to quotes in assignments. Occasionally, in assignments, I must use quote marks for purposes other than quoting, but my instructor misinterprets this as a "quote ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it a good academic practice to tell the reader in the introduction what the essay is about directly?

Is it academic to tell the reader in the introduction what the essay is about directly? For example, after some introductory ideas, you tell the the reader this essay or section discusses so and so. ...
0
votes
1answer
501 views

Signature for Doctor of Information Technology prefix and suffix

How can I sign my name with the degree of "Doctor of Information Technology"? Is this all correct? Dr. Full Name Full Name D.I.T Dr Full Name (Doctor of Information Technology) Dr. Last Name ...
48
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
245 views

Standard style when citing different authors from the same group

I want to cite a series of three papers (condensed-matter physics, if it matters) where the first author is a different person in each case, say authors A, B and C, but all the papers come from the ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Using relative numbering for tables and figures

I'm producing documentation for an A-Level Computing project. Throughout my project I've been numbering my tables and figures relative to the chapter and section they're contained in. So for example, ...
19
votes
4answers
17k views

Are there any guidelines for labeling axes in plots/graphs?

What are best practices (if any exist) for labeling axes in plots/graphs for academic documents, such as theses, publications, or presentations? Possible options are to use the variable, spell out ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a difference in academic writing styles between engineering and women's studies?

Coming from engineering, when you write a paper, the goal is to be objective and analytical. We use references and try to define terms for a clear understanding. The goal at least is to provide ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Style guides on structured/ordered bibliography?

Edit: The best guideline I have found so far is the Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed, section 14.58 "DIVIDING A BIBLIOGRAPHY INTO SECTIONS" (I have boldfaced the part which best answers my question): ...
9
votes
1answer
445 views

Has anybody had any success with a college level “flipped classroom?”

The "flipped classroom" seems quite successful and growing in popularity in high school. Students get their lectures at home from youtube or kahnacademy, write clarifying questions about the material ...
0
votes
7answers
2k views

What is a fast way to get the reference in a specific style?

For example, if I want to get the reference in APA, what web resources provide this style? I found a way through Refworks, but it requires several steps. Is there a faster way?
17
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it better to start the paper title with a verb?

I heard one of my lecturers says that it is always better to start the paper title with a verb. According to the lecturer, the verb leave that impression about something has been accomplished. For ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
344 views

Is there a standard system example for writing papers which introduce a newly developed programming language?

I am writing a paper that describes a programming language that I am developing as part of my PhD. I think that writing the paper using an example can greatly improve how the paper is understood. Is ...
5
votes
3answers
193 views

Short reference on writing numbers and units

What's a quick and useful reference, either in print or online, for writing numbers and reporting measurements in scientific texts? Something I could distribute to all new students, which would cover ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Label based in text citation

In german computer science it is quite common to use citations like [HoBo12] or [HoBo12, pp.1-4] for say, Hoy, Jane; Boy, John 2010: The great story. The rules for composing this label depend on the ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Methodology as a Body of Methods?

I'm currently having a hard time understanding if authors are using the word methodology correctly, or if their papers should be classified as BS. Hence, I set out to get a better feeling for the ...
4
votes
3answers
170 views

In text listing style - how to use? Any downsides?

I'm currently considering to use a in line (in text) listing style, such as: 'Some things are quite good. (i) Thing A can do this and that, which is awesome because of this and that. (ii) Thing B can ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Style for first introduction sentence - citation required for lurid statement?

I'm trying to write my first introduction sentence, which should be catchy. I came up with a sentence along the lines of "imagine the world without this super thing, all these things wouldn't be ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

Citing in two connected sentences

I read the answers to this, however I'm searching for an elaborated answer on how two (or more) sencentes are oubviously from one source, and hence can be cited with one citation at the end of all ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Active or Passive Voice in International research journal, within the field of microorganism?

I have been composing the International journal for microbiology research. I learn that research journal should consist of active voice not passive, but I find that the previous researchers for ...
30
votes
6answers
14k views

Using first person or third person in papers?

Are there written or unwritten rules for avoiding the use of first-person while writing research papers? I was advised at the beginning of my grad school to avoid use of first person - but I still don'...