Questions tagged [writing]

Academic writing is intended for a critical and informed audience, based on closely investigated knowledge, and posits ideas or arguments.

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45
votes
9answers
20k views

The use of words such as “clearly”, “obviously” etc. in a technical paper

Is there any hidden rule for using the words "clearly", "obviously" or similar ones in a technical paper? It can be offensive to the readers in many cases (especially in mathematical proofs), since ...
40
votes
6answers
11k views

What to check when examining paper proofs?

When you receive a paper proof and review it prior to publication, what exactly should you be looking for? The things that come to mind are any changes in the annotation of author list and the ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

How to reuse complete paper for my thesis?

I am currently writing my PhD thesis, and I have published an article together with my supervisor. The third chapter of my PhD thesis (1/3 of my whole thesis) is basically the paper. I plan to include ...
34
votes
10answers
17k views

Writing someone else's master's thesis: Unethical and illegal?

It is really difficult for me to decide on this situation: when someone calls me and asks for work-for-hire for his/her thesis. I don't know what to do. I want to help and earn money but I think this ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How best to present long equations in two-column papers?

How best to present long equations in two-column papers? I've tried splitting them in two or more lines along operators, but that still looks a bit weird to me, especially when parentheses have to ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How do journals and conferences verify if the results in paper are genuine

Most of the conferences and journals doesn't ask for code to be submitted along with the paper. How common is it to detect fake or incomplete results in such conference/journal review ? In my field of ...
5
votes
2answers
666 views

Referring to previous work “by the authors”

Let's consider two papers, one by authors A1, A2, A3 and one by authors B1, B2, B3. In the case of two publications by the same research group, some of the authors may be the same, some may be new… ...
20
votes
8answers
8k views

What to use instead of academic 'we' when describing an experiment?

My research is in software engineering, but in a sub-field which is very close to social science. My papers normally contain sentences like "We conducted a study with 56 participants." and "Our ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Acknowledging the discussion with someone in the paper but excluding this person as a reviewer: how to do this?

While writing a paper I discussed its first draft with a certain colleague (he is from a different university, so it is not likely that he will be automatically ruled out as a reviewer as suggested in ...
9
votes
4answers
478 views

Citing papers, that are cited within a paper?

I am reading a paper which discussing the change in a specific idea in a field of science over time. I would like to basically summarize the points in the paper but in a smaller fashion by taking some ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Advantages or disadvantages of using public repositories for paper writing?

What are pros and cons of using public version control system such as github for writing my papers and reports ? Is it good to store copies of papers/reports being submitted to conference/journals on ...
7
votes
3answers
675 views

Shall acronyms in scientific papers be expanded exactly once?

There's no way to evade having a lot of acronyms in a scientific paper, often already in the title. I use the latex package glossaries to automatically expand the first use of every acronym (except ...
6
votes
1answer
271 views

How to Refer to Enumerated Subsections and Subsubsections?

Body There is Subsection 1.2. There is Subsubsection 1.4.1. Referring in the body now See Subsection 1.2. See Subsubsection 1.4.1. I would like to replace all sub parts simply by section etc the ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How to write and publish a literature review [closed]

In Computer Science, you find yourself overwhelmed by the huge number of literature available over a certain subject. I searched online on how to proceed and write a literature review (in a way that ...
11
votes
2answers
807 views

Can I write a paper on a method that is novel but yields similar results compared to existing methods?

I have developed a method that gives similar results (in few cases: better) compared to existing methods and I want to publish it. Can I do this and if yes, how do I motivate it? More specifically: I ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it reasonable to use full word and abbreviation in parenthesis in a chapter title?

Can I use full word plus its abbreviation in parenthesis in a chapter title? here is my case: Chapter 2 Human Immune System (HIS) is it correct? Is there any differences if the the full word have ...
7
votes
3answers
538 views

Is hiring a proofreader beneficial in the long term?

I am an Early Stage Researcher in a bigger project. I am non-native speaker of English and I find my level of English in my articles not satisfactory, especially when I consider that it is not just my ...
6
votes
3answers
281 views

Coauthoring with a reviewer possible?

I recently submitted an article to a math journal and got a response from a reviewer, with an attachment. In it, I have found some good advice that could improve my article tremendously. I am a bit ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it common to cite the numbers of results a search engine yields as evidence for the prevalence of something online?

Is it common in academia to include the number of results a Google search on a keyword yields as an evidence for the prevalence of something online? I'm not intending to base my research paper on ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How extended must my extended paper be?

I have been approached to submit an extended version of a research paper in a journal. The original paper is already published in a conference proceedings by publisher A. What "degree of extension" ...
-2
votes
1answer
582 views

Is putting the statement/conclusion first considered to be cliched?

This question was inspired by the following comment by Johanna on another question: I just had to say: including the idea "I believe I was born for scientific research" is a terrible idea. Did no ...
81
votes
10answers
36k views

What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications

What are objective advantages or disadvantages of using the markup language LaTeX instead of a WYSIWYG word processor like MS Word or LibreOffice Writer? Please use objective arguments to prevent a ...
83
votes
11answers
10k views

How to train students to write high-quality research papers?

As someone supervising postgrad students, I wonder what is the best way to train these students to write high-quality research papers? The best way seems to be through coauthorship but ... On the ...
77
votes
16answers
12k views

Should I learn to use LaTeX to write up a History Masters Thesis?

So I reviewed the "What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications?" question on this forum and am sitting on the fence at the moment whether or not to use ...
38
votes
11answers
25k views

What are the key features of a short (15 min) conference presentation?

I am preparing to give a conference presentation from scratch. What is an effective ratio of introduction / methods / results / conclusion slides? How can I balance the details of research without ...
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, ...
47
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I improve my rewriting and editing skills?

When writing academic papers, I am really bad at improving what I have already written. I have heard that most of the time writing should be allotted to revisions. I know a few academics who are ...
14
votes
5answers
904 views

Are there resources for learning how to write a scientific paper?

I have very little formal training, but I believe I have some ideas to share. I have surveyed the terrain of ideas I need and have the complete picture in some haphazard form in my head. It is seeming ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Good book on English for academic writing and speaking for non-native speakers

I'm not native speaker so I always have some problems with academic writing and speaking. Any good book for English in the academic context generally or for Computer Science in particular (writing or ...
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 ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

What are good principles for creating figures?

This thought came into mind when I was reading Points of view: Elements of visual style. While there are a lot of questions on software and strategies to make and edit figures, I am more curious ...
38
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it OK to publish a book as an undergraduate?

I am a CS student at 4th year in my university. I have done a lot of real-world projects, worked as a freelancer for many years, and have released a lot of software in use by thousands of people. I ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Optimizing a thesis writing workflow for Bachelor and Master theses

We are at the moment designing a document which we can hand out to Bachelor and Master students to give them a general idea on how to efficiently write a thesis. We also do this to make correcting ...
38
votes
4answers
2k views

Choosing the title of a paper: are provocative titles better?

I am currently working on a paper that challenges some long-standing practices within my field, but am questioning how to title the paper. Basically, the old view in the research field is "we do Y ...
40
votes
4answers
3k views

How generous should I be with citations?

I am wondering if it is a bad thing to cite a paper in a scientific publication for a trivial or irrelevant reason. The specific instance I have in mind is the usage of certain terminology. I ...
25
votes
1answer
509 views

Is there an optimum time to leave between writing and self-proofreading?

Having read a number of guides on tips to do when proofreading as well as some questions on this website. They all refer to leaving some time between writing and proofreading. This time can vary from ...
32
votes
6answers
10k views

How to reduce a paper's size for a page limited conference?

This is a usual problem of mine, I have a page limited conference (usually 8) and my paper is 15 pages long, or in a less dramatic case 10. How do you go about taking stuff off the paper. Do you have ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

How detailed should proofs be in a mathematical PhD thesis?

I heard this suggestion from a mathematics professor: In writing a mathematical Ph.D. thesis, it is far more tolerable to be tediously-lengthy than having a gap in the proofs. I think what he means ...
63
votes
6answers
8k views

How should I communicate that I do not hold the views expressed in a paper I wrote

I am writing a paper for a class that requires me to write from a perspective I disagree with. To an external observer it may not be clear that I am not allowed to disagree with the premise of the ...
18
votes
8answers
817 views

I'm looking for an application or workflow which integrates data values into the writing process

Currently, on all of my projects, I do my data analysis, create my figures, put them into a word document, and then I start writing. I say things like "We saw a 35% reduction in the effectiveness of......
15
votes
3answers
21k views

How many references should be included in the bibliography of a Master thesis?

Surprisingly, I have not found a similar question to mine - all I found was a question about the maximum number of citations per sentence. However, I am more interested in the total number of ...
15
votes
3answers
424 views

How to handle multiple versions of a paper (e.g. conference and journal version)

A usual flow of a project (in my field) commonly looks like this: having a result -> (1) writing a paper (with all the proofs) -> (2) making a conference version -> (3) uploading a full version to ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

How to cite earlier work, discovered only at the end, that claims similar results to a recently completed project?

At the end of writing up our manuscript, we discover that there has been another earlier study in a very different context (but using a physical model very similar to ours) that claims a similar ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I encourage my advisor to adopt better work practices?

I'm a second year PhD student. In general I love my advisor, but recently we've run into some small bumps in the road while working on a paper together. He's controlling the "master" copy and I send ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it a good idea for a nonnative English speaker to have native speakers help make the English in statement of purpose perfect?

I am applying to doctoral programs in the US. Since I am not an English native speaker, I am wondering if it is okay to have native speakers help make my English perfect in my statement of purpose? ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Using slang in a Scientific Paper

We are writing a paper about an algorithm that takes a group of solutions and sorts them by their likelihood of being equal to the one and only 'good solution'. Internally, we refer to this 'good ...
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
730 views

Good books/resource on mathematical writing

I am a freshly graduated Ph.D. I want to improve further my mathematical writing (in English, if this matters). I am looking for books/resource that address good mathematical writing. I can find some ...
5
votes
3answers
357 views

Aside from working on a manuscript, what activities can help improve scientific writing skills?

I have been out of school for 5 years. My previous writing experience was nearly 10 years ago as I completed a BA in 18th century literature of a foreign language, and a BA in cultural ...
29
votes
6answers
4k views

My PhD advisor is writing most of an article without considering some of my inputs

We are currently writing a first article with my PhD advisor. The research was mainly designed by him; I performed all the experiments and found a model to explain the results. The article is soon to ...