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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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29
votes
4answers
63k views

What year to use when citing second editions of books

This seems like a silly question, but I can't find a clear answer online. If Dr. Brainiac's Big Book of Science was first published in 1974, but I have the second edition, published in 1996, should I ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
735 views

Present math for non-mathematicians

I am a graduate student in mathematics, and I recently got the question why there isn't a press release to the general public whenever we publish a paper (to advertise mathematics and increase ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How much should I worry about British spelling when submitting to a U.K. journal?

I'm in the U.S. and have always written in American English. I will be submitting a paper to a U.K. journal for the first time. To conform to British spelling, I've changed the Microsoft Word ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Maximum number of citations per sentence?

I'm working on a literature review for a masters thesis in the sciences, and I have a ton of sources that cover the topic. Many specific points are covered ad nauseam, and many similar ideas can be ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

Learn to write scientific papers in medicine

I'd like to learn how to write scientific papers in medicine. I saw searching on google that there are many books regarding scientific writing but reading reviews it seems they are more oriented to ...
29
votes
5answers
4k views

Should I cite a really bad research paper published in my small research area?

I am working on a special topic in applied math. We are trying to explore a new and largely unexplored area in our line of research. Our hope is to be the first researchers to have solid results in ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Does significant editing of a paper with the possibility of minor contributions to its scientific content warrant co-authorship?

The question of whether writing/editing alone merits authorship is already addressed here. This question is about writing and editing with the possibility of minor scientific contributions. I have ...
18
votes
2answers
302 views

Abbreviations in journal papers

Do I expand abbreviations at their first use per section or per paper? This is an IEEE publication, but I haven't come across any specific instructions.
16
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3answers
44k views

Should a figure/table go before or after the first paragraph that references it?

Should a figure/table go before or after the first paragraph that references it in an academic paper? I cannot find a definitive answer on this. The general advice is to place the figure/table as ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it bad form to use the word exciting in a paper, when discussing other people's results?

When writing a paper with a collaborator, they didn't like that I used the word "exciting" in the abstract since they said that they don't like when people use personal personal qualifiers in writing ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Exact results found, but not reported

I am writing a physics paper, and I have decided not to write down explicit equations I have found since they are incredibly long. Instead I just report plots showing the behaviour resulting from ...
11
votes
2answers
252 views

Creating paper on software tool

In my master thesis I developed a software tool that improves a common workflow used in a certain industry. Currently, no such tool exists, and this workflow is conducted manually all around the globe....
9
votes
2answers
421 views

Half good and some not good results in a research paper?

I have made some research about a computer science topic. The initial idea seemed good, but when I implement the idea; this works in some cases and in some others it does not bring conclusive results. ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

Introducing abbreviations in an abstract for a repeated term

I use a long term (e.g. "artificial neural network") more than once in the abstract of a paper. Is it best to introduce the abbreviation (e.g. "ANN") after the first occurrence, or repeat the non-...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

Is it okay to discuss personal experiences or observations in literature review?

Is it okay to discuss personal experiences or observations in literature review as long as they are relevant and contribute to the presentation of the summary of literature? In other words, I am not ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it bad form to use the word “novel” when describing your own work in a paper?

Ideally any research paper should contain novel thoughts, ideas, procedures, observations, methods, etc. of some form or another. That being said, is it really necessary to remind the reader about it ...
12
votes
3answers
10k views

Can you cite other master's theses when writing your own?

I am completing a master's by research (in Humanities), and thus shall be writing a thesis with no class work. I am using both a mixture of primary and secondary source but one item that has me a bit ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

Academic writing software

General-purpose word-processing programs are OK for academic writing. But I feel the experience can be much improved with some specialized software that takes better care of the special needs of ...
9
votes
3answers
262 views

How to choose romanization for non-Latin script in an otherwise Latin script text?

While combing through English journal articles and semi-scientific articles, I noticed how problematic it is that in some cases those papers use a romanized, Latin script display of originally Non-...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How to write proper nouns such as company names whose spelling is nonstandard in reports?

I am currently writing a paper on accessibility and I am talking about some companies in my report. How do I write a company name, product or otherwise when the word is not spelled correctly? For ...
7
votes
4answers
458 views

Where to locate authors’ names in sentences?

Is it or is it not good practice to make an author the subject of sentences in a paper? When should their name be central, discreet, or absent in the sentence? Here are five variations showing ...
6
votes
3answers
445 views

Research paper feedback: “interesting idea but does not add scientific value”

Where is the border line between a novel, creative work and work that is of scientific value? I have received reviewer comments like: the ideas are creative and interesting but work adds little ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Can the word “subsubsection” be used in a thesis?

Can the word "subsubsection" be used in a thesis? For example: The next subsubsection discusses so and so. It is not listed in English dictionaries. What do you think? Thank you
6
votes
2answers
460 views

Which is the better scheme for a poster: “tell a story” or “important first”?

In an attempt to make a poster of my work, I search for tips on the internet and books and I meet two opinions that conflict with each other: Tell a story: Why do we choose this (Objective) How do ...
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. ...
5
votes
4answers
845 views

Referencing Non-Equations (“See Eq. (15)/See Ineq. (15)”)

When I write something like x is a stochastic function of y: x ~ N(2y, 3) (1), how do I refer back to that... non-equation? Do I still put "see Eq. (1)" although (1) is not ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to write an aside in a journal article?

So the question is simple: What is the common way of saying something in parentheses in a journal paper like engineering or mathematics. Assume you are talking about a mathematical approach, but in ...
2
votes
3answers
431 views

Style in citing two authors in the same sentence

I have a sentence with two concepts and two quotations from two different authors. It goes like this Some is true because of concept one, that is "quotation one", and concept two, that is "...
16
votes
1answer
14k views

Is it formal to inform readers that a point will be discussed later in the chapter?

I mentioned an important idea in a section without developing it. Is it formal to inform readers that the point will be discussed later in the chapter? For example: This idea will be discussed in ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

How should you cite dead urls in a thesis?

I am currently writing a thesis. In the related work part I am discussing a paper from a few years ago. The paper presents several web applications which were available back then. Hence, these ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

With regards to PhD theses, what level of knowledge should one assume the reader to have? And, if needed, where should basic information be placed?

With regards to PhD thesis that spans several disciplines, at what point does one assume that an article doesn't require explanation and it is standard knowledge? I have had this discussion with ...
11
votes
2answers
276 views

Pros and Cons of including less interesting results

For the problem I am trying to solve, I considered 2 base algorithms and devised about 30 variations on each. I then threw about 2 CPU-years and ran a number of simulations to see how they went. ...
9
votes
1answer
422 views

Why do conferences have such short page limits?

These days, most of the conferences I attend provide their proceedings on a USB stick, or online only. Yet at the same time they have a strict page limit, which is usually set to something between 4 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to cite prices in academia?

In the introduction of my thesis I want to motivate the use of alternative neutron converters to helium-3 by mentioning the exploding cost of latter. I am not directly involved with helium-3, since I ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I cite in a caption?

I am using an image from a users’ manual of a piece of software, and I was wondering if I can put a citation in the caption of the image. For example: Figure 1.3 Illustration of WonderSoft’s ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How to effectively write a paper of N>2 co-authors? [duplicate]

We are writing a manuscript with 7 people. I am not sure what is a good tool to write a paper collaboratively. Other than overleaf or sharelatex which cost money. What do you do if you have ...
5
votes
3answers
778 views

How to deal with low quality software project that needs to be evaluated [closed]

I have evaluated a software project which has been created by a consortium of top scientists in the field. However, the project itself it doesn't really work, and has only been developed as a proof-of-...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

When should cited author names be included in the substantive, rather than parenthetical, part of a citing sentence?

To give credit where credit is due I strive to make it clear where ideas of others, which I use/refer to in my papers/work, are from. For this I cite and quote and this question is about the correct ...
5
votes
3answers
384 views

Is it a good practise to involve a child in a statement of purpose?

Is it a good practise to involve a child in a statement of purpose to say how my point of view has changed since the birth?
4
votes
2answers
991 views

When to offer co-authorship vs asking for feedback

I am quite new to this game and I am not sure how to ask people to be co-authors on a paper I have mostly written myself but that I think would get better with someone else's input. When is a good ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

Masters Thesis: Self-containment

So I am currently writing my thesis in nanophysics (in particular, applications of nanomagnetism). My adviser and I had a few discussions about the inclusiveness (i.e., self-containment) of the ...
3
votes
4answers
328 views

Which is better, a paper with pedantic vocabularies or a paper easy to read? [closed]

Many say that A good paper is a paper which is easily understandable by a reader. Actually when I am reading lots of papers in good journals, however, they are written with a sort of pedantic ...
2
votes
1answer
16k views

Referencing others' ideas in introductions and conclusions?

Should citations be used in introductions and conclusions if they just introduce and summarize the body of the essay where all others' ideas are referenced in details? Ideas that are not discussed ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Sense of humor allowed in academic writing? [duplicate]

I'm reading a paper at the moment and very bored and then I thought if I write a paper, I would like the writing style to be not so boring or having some kind of humor. Is that allowed in academic ...
1
vote
4answers
408 views

How to formulate in academic writing when one comes up with a novel approach

In my project work I came up with a new method for solving a certain problem which has not been used before, by extending an already existing approach. What type of wording should I use in academic ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Should results of a journal paper always be reproducible?

This question might seem silly at first read. But in my research, first I have done mathematical analysis and simulation and provided the results in section I. Later, in section II, based on Sec. I, I ...
1
vote
2answers
255 views

How to avoid using “I” in a research paper in case of referring to my previous work?

As I know, using "I" and "we" should be avoided in research paper writing. But in one of my paper, I am the only one author. And in the introduction I wrote something like AA et al. proved that ..., ...