Questions tagged [writing]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
3answers
22k views

Position and prominence of 'Acknowledgements' in a publication

What is the appropiate position for the 'Acknowledgements' in a paper? Are there policies by (mathematical) journals where to put them? Furthermore, is it common to make acknowledgements a \paragraph ...
15
votes
3answers
378 views

What are good strategies for not losing sight of the novelty and nontriviality of one's work?

I would like to ask this community for help in finding good strategies for avoiding an aspect of my mindset that I don't much like, which I get when I've been working on a given project for a while - ...
14
votes
5answers
13k views

What's a novel way to say “all errors are my own”?

Typical disclaimer is now just common fodder for all papers and books. Any advice on a more original take to this generic statement would be appreciated!
14
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I cite a mathematical definition replicated verbatim?

I am writing a paper, in which I must include a definition of a particular mathematical structure. It's a structure with which very few people would be familiar, thus I wish to include it verbatim, as ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

How to keep track of line numbers in response to reviewers?

I am working on resubmitting a paper to a journal and am working on my response to reviewers. I need to refer to a bunch of line numbers in my response to reviewers and it is frustrating because every ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How detailed should one be in writing the referee's report?

When writing a referee's report for an editor of a journal, does one always aim and try to be as brief as possible, saying yes or no to the publication (giving a couple of sentences in support of one'...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
901 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
734 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?
14
votes
3answers
10k views

How to send a research proposal to find potential PhD supervisor?

I am trying to look for a PhD position by contacting potential supervisors through email. I have made a list of professors who I found interesting through searching some papers and their department ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

When and how do I start writing a conference paper?

In some areas, like Computer Science, peer reviewed conference are as important as Journal Papers. Unlike most Journals, Conferences have hard deadlines to submit the papers as well as page limits. ...
14
votes
3answers
744 views

What information should I include in a letter of support for a grant?

What are the key information that should be included in a letter of support on a grant application? What information should I avoid? I'm a theorist and I am planning to list my expertise and ...
14
votes
1answer
14k views

Is the phrase “We can see that …” appropriate in research papers?

Today at work, we had a discussion about writing styles of research papers. One of the topic was if the phrase "We can see that..." is appropriate for research papers or not. While some people were ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How to hire editor to improve my paper

I'm thinking of hiring a contact/freelance editor to help me improve my paper, before I submit it. I'm looking for someone to perform proofreading and copy editing as well as broader, substantive ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

When should an author disclaim historical knowledge?

Gilbert Sheldon was born at Ashbourne in Derbyshire on July 19, 1598. Very little is known of his family background. It drives me crazy to read about some historical figure that "not much is known of ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
8k views

Use of words like “herein” in research articles

A colleague of mine recently used the word "herein" in a research article (of which I am a co-author) to mean essentially "in this paper". To me it makes the paper read more like a legal document than ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

in which language should I write my first draft a paper? [duplicate]

This might sound like a silly question, but I am not a native speaker of English, so I find it sometimes difficult to write my first draft in that language. What I usually do is write my first draft ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to include footnotes in mathematical proofs?

When writing a technical article that includes mathematical proofs: Is it acceptable to have footnotes within the body of a formal proof (to elaborate/clarify non-essential points) or is the use of ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to improve writing skills when writing a manuscript for the first time?

After a year of researching for my Masters project, I am writing a manuscript for publication. I have spent nearly 3 months writing it now. My advisor has read my drafts, but after nearly 4 drafts ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to ask someone for help revising your paper?

I am an undergraduate and I was wondering if it was appropriate to ask someone (who isn't an author) to help revise the draft of a conference paper that I am writing. I am new to writing and this ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it bad style if a section has exactly one subsection?

In a discussion on why subsubsections are evil, egreg comments: If you have subsubsections, you must have at least two of them in a subsection; you must have at least two subsections and, of course,...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

If the same paper had many contributions in many fields, can I cite each contribution separately?

I am writing my thesis in computer science and have some issues. I have several papers with more than one contribution in many fields (enhancement on several algorithms). I want to mention each ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How to improve the narrative in a piece of academic writing?

I have recently finished a year of Doctoral School, and am about to start my PhD. During the last taught year I have written two research papers which were reviewed by several people both internal and ...
13
votes
2answers
912 views

What is the best way of breaking a mathematical development into a sequence of articles?

I am currently in the process of turning my math doctoral thesis into articles to submit to journals. This is my first time writing anything mathematical for publication. My thesis was on the long-...
13
votes
1answer
4k views

Are there examples of highly cited papers that very poorly written?

We've had a little debate at work about whether a paper that presents good research, but that is at the same time very poorly written (either sloppy presentation, or not written in the native language ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Should you place accents on letters in academic writing in English?

Is there a standard practice in academic writing regarding the use of accented letters when the underlying language is English? I'm specifically thinking of the word naive, which often has a dieresis ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

How to write research results when some study participants dropped out?

The research (Delphi study) started with NN study participants in Round 1 (gathering demographics). Ten percent of the participants dropped out and did not complete Round 2 or (of course) Round 3. I'...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How should I cite a website URL?

I am currently writing a report and I have been compiling a list of references (from IEEE mostly) and I also have a number of websites. My question is, what is the best way to note a website URL? ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the general protocol to name something after somebody (some people)?

In mathematics (and other sciences) there are thousands of concepts, theorems, lemmas, etc which are named after some mathematicians (scientists). However, this nominations are not always very ...
12
votes
2answers
36k views

How to write a “Related Work” section in Computer Science?

I'm a new PhD student, wrapping up my first year of coursework. To date, I haven't published any papers, and my body of work is essentially null. For this semester's class project in one of my courses,...
12
votes
4answers
564 views

Does helping a PhD student with proofreading violate school policy in general?

I am proofreading and editing a dissertation proposal for a student for whom English a fourth language--cleaning up the language for clarity and grammar, etc. The student has asked me to paraphrase ...
12
votes
7answers
889 views

How to improve student seminar presentations and seminar papers

During the last semester my supervisor Prof. X held a seminar for bachelor and master students (mostly computer scientists). According to the study regulations the students have to give scientific ...
12
votes
4answers
866 views

Should I add a non-requested work to my major revision of a scientific journal paper?

I am wondering if I should follow the advice of my co-advisor or a relative of mine who is also a researcher and used to write a scientific paper in the same field (but currently with less experience ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to avoid disrupting the narrative in a scientific paper when you have done too much work

I have been working on a project for almost a year now. This project involves the implementation of a computational method to calculate material properties and the application to different material ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Cumulative versus monographic dissertation

I am in the beginning of my phd studies in computer science. Specifically, I am in the area of machine learning and linked data. I have talked with my professor about these both types of dissertations,...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How exactly does a conference abstract differ from an article abstract?

I am currently taking a brief course in Technical/Academic Writing. At one point, in passing, the lecturer (who's a researcher in linguistics himself) mentioned that one should not confuse a ...
12
votes
2answers
574 views

Some advices regarding the first research paper

I am an undergraduate student in Mathematics and I think that I have discovered something significant in Mathematics. My friends and some professors to whom I have sent my ideas also confirmed its ...
12
votes
2answers
273 views

Contents of the discussion section

In an academic paper, we sometimes have a "Results and Discussion" section. It is not uncommon to add the explanation and discussion of the results together with the results section. What are the ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What should a progress report contain?

What are the key components of a progress report? There are no official guidelines from the funding agency; all I have is a set of project objectives listed in the original proposal and a target ...
12
votes
2answers
325 views

When did English come to lead in published research?

As any modern student knows, nearly all published research these days is in English. That's just the way of the world. But it didn't used to be that way. Many of the most pivotal pieces of scientific ...
11
votes
4answers
77k views

How to cite sources written in a different language than English?

Assume one wants to cite a paper written in a different language than the article citing said paper (e.g., ones own article is written in English, but the source is French). How to properly handle ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

How to rephrase this statement in a paper? “Due to a limited number of pages, …”

How do you say in your paper that "due to a limited number of pages allowed, I'm not going to discuss the details how and from where this equation is derived..." It is a conference paper, and they "...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

Gnuplot in thesis and articles or not?

I'm doing an astrophysics thesis with a lot of programming in Python. I'm currently using gnuplot for my plots, but I wonder if this is actually looking quite professional. Are there other options ...
11
votes
3answers
949 views

Is it normal to spend a whole day reading and writing about a single paper for a literature review?

I'm not native speaker and I'm doing a lit review at the moment. My Question is it normal to spend a whole day reading and writing about one paper? So I read the paper deeply and then write about it. ...