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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8
votes
5answers
2k views

Do you spell out Thm., Prop., Eq., Ch. in mathematical papers?

Just as the title says: do you spell out Thm., Prop., Eq., Ch. and comparable abbreviations in a mathematical paper? I suppose that, if in doubt, it is always best to stay consistent (in whatever way)...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Resources for English speaking students with poor command of grammar and writing style

I sometimes read student assignments where the grammar and writing style is poor. Paragraphs don't really flow. Sentences go on for ever. The ordering of words is awkward. Instead of concisely ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What tense should paper titles use?

I have recently noticed that the tense of paper titles can be somewhat odd. This previous question, In what tense (present/past) should papers be written?, has some great information but it doesn't ...
23
votes
7answers
7k views

How should I cite something learned second-hand (eg, from Wikipedia) when I haven't seen the primary source?

I want to cite something that I have learned from a Wikipedia page. However, I'm loathe to cite Wikipedia because of the perception of it by my tutors, so I try to cite the original source. What ...
28
votes
5answers
71k views

Where in a thesis should a glossary be positioned?

I want to include a glossary in my master’s thesis explaining some technical terms. My university doesn't make any specifications about the usage or position of glossaries. So I'm asking myself: Is ...
83
votes
7answers
36k views

Use of first person in a PhD Thesis

Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using "We" in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something. Recently, ...
9
votes
1answer
855 views

What are the standard practices for hyphenating/spelling scientific words

I would like to know what are standard practices when words are spelled differently across the literature and/or dictionaries (when these words can be found in dictionaries). A few examples of the ...
61
votes
2answers
17k views

In what tense (present/past) should papers be written?

That is, should it be present tense or past tense? Should there be a difference between the abstract, main body and the conclusion? Does the field of publication have any impact?
11
votes
2answers
866 views

Unprofessional to write (in a paper) that something is “really cool”?

Is it unprofessional to write (in a paper) that something is "really cool", for example, when describing a colliding black hole simulation?
14
votes
2answers
733 views

Is it ok to have paragraphs that have only one sentence in a formal paper?

Or, is it a good practice? I found most papers that I read are "block by block": they have paragraphs that are not so long, and not so short. Is it a convention? Should I mimic that?
109
votes
7answers
19k views

Choice of personal pronoun in single-author papers

Which personal pronoun is appropriate in single-author papers - 'I' or 'we'? Could the use of 'I' be considered egotistical? Or will the use of 'we' be considered to be grammatically incorrect?
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I use contractions in my thesis?

I am writing my thesis (in Computer Science, if that's relevant) and I am thinking about the style, especially about using contractions. I realize that thesis is a formal text and contractions like “...
15
votes
2answers
781 views

Is there a rule or style guide on use of gender-specific pronouns in academic papers?

Some authors use "her" whenever they employ a pronoun referring to a noun whose gender is immaterial to the discussion. Is there any rule (university or journal or conference-specific) which ...