Writing texts in a scientific or educational setting: peer-reviewed articles, theses, text books, and others.

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141 views

When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?

Within my students' college writing, I found much writing referring to essentially imaginary, or not well-defined groups of people. Here are some examples: These days, more and more people carpool ...
9
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4answers
251 views

How to improve my skill at writing a question?

I'm a member of some SE sites, like SO and CSTheory. In those sites I'm an active member, I'm reading Q&A and also answering some questions or asking questions, but I think my writing is poor. I ...
8
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3answers
4k views

What's the difference between academic and journalistic writing?

I'm not talking about "boring" academic papers that are 99% science and 0% interesting. But in comments on a draft of my senior thesis, my teacher made the comment that my writing style was quite ...
8
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1answer
186 views

Tools for exploring and analysing document structure?

I'm currently writing a thesis. Just the introduction is 25 pages/8000 words. The whole document will probably be 70 pages or so. With a document this large, and on such a complex topic, it can be ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Legality of Academic Ghostwriting

I recently learned of the concept of academic ghostwriting (see, e.g. this article) - by which I mean the situation where a student goes to another person, or perhaps a service, and pays them to ...
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2answers
146 views

How do I escape my own experience?

When writing academic text, you're often in the position of having to write introductory or explanatory material for your audience. Usually you write this kind of material after you've explored the ...
7
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1answer
934 views

How to work with in-text markup for figures and captions in Scrivener?

I like the writing tool Scrivener because of the organisation tools like the corkboard and the no-frills full screen mode. I'm starting out my thesis using the Windows trial and intending to buy if I ...
6
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1answer
134 views

Is it acceptable to use many footnotes to share additional ideas?

I teach a course in remedial academic writing. The students should learn to write at the graduate level. Some of the students are ELLs. They tend to include many extraneous thoughts and ideas in ...
5
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5answers
144 views

Interesting and easier-to-read alternatives to the scientific academic article

Short version: What is an equally informative, but more interesting alternative to typical academic-article-style scientific writing? Longer version: I love writing, I do a lot of it – fiction and ...
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3answers
227 views

How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?

I am a professor in a science department and I am working with a student that has significant anxiety about writing, such that they have opted to receive a lower final grade rather than turn in ...
5
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2answers
1k views

How to convert DOI to citation information

The DOI website will redirect to the article webpage on the journal official website. Is there is a public automated system to translate DOI to citation information? This can be beneficial for ...
5
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2answers
256 views

Correct order for Thesis Front Matter

What is the correct order of the following pages comprising a doctoral thesis: Title, Abstract, Colophon, Copyright, Dedication, Preface, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of ...
5
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1answer
338 views

How can I improve my analytical writing for a standardized test?

I will be taking the GRE test, which is an exam for students from non-English speaking countries who want to go to the US for graduate study. The test basically tests your English ability and your ...
5
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1answer
74 views

Guidelines of reviewing journal manuscripts

Are there good books give guides in reviewing manuscripts for inclusion in scholarly journals? I'm working in area of computer, education, training and psychology. There are some scattered resources ...
4
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5answers
793 views

Is it good style to use latin phrases in english scientific literature?

I don't know how much and deep actually school kids in the US get in touch with Latin. In Europe you can choose it on many high schools and the use of it common in mainstream media. For some areas of ...
4
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3answers
113 views

How can I get my students to better integrate their sources into their writing?

A common problem I observe in student papers the use of source material in a sequential as opposed to an integrated fashion. For example, the first paragraph will be based on source 1, the second ...
4
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3answers
134 views

Does excessive use of prepositions make writing unclear?

This site's writing reports claim that excessive use of prepositions makes writing unclear. For example: "The principle of keeping nouns and verbs as close to each other as possible for the benefit ...
4
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3answers
130 views

What's the appropriate way to write numbers in educational contexts like papers?

I want to know if numbers should be written alphabetically in educational contexts, for instance: 10 plasma samples out of 1016 cannot be ignored. Or Ten plasma samples out of one thousand ...
4
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4answers
128 views

Is extraneous language appropriate in academic writing?

I teach a course in academic writing. My students, who do not have much writing experience, add many phrases, as in What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?, to the ...
4
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4answers
164 views

Are there straightforward instructions for MS WORD 2013 for numbering in different formats, yet maintaining a chronological count?

I have a master's thesis in the humanities undergoing its final throes before readers' examinations. The university's formatting rules are, understandably, very strict and, unfortunately, demand a ...
4
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1answer
148 views

How to do literature review

We often hear that literature review (LR) is not mere summarizing the writings of other, rather it is scrutinizing finding the material relevant to one's own research and the gaps to be filled. Can ...
4
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2answers
68 views

Should subsection headings sometimes repeat section headings?

In a technical or scientific text, such as a PhD thesis, should headings for (sub)sections be complete and sometimes repeat information from the headings of the levels above, or is it sufficient to ...
4
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1answer
208 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
3
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4answers
324 views

Can I use “We” to refer to me and the reader?

I am writing my thesis and in many cases I want to take the reader through an example. For example: Besides the advanced composition rules, it is also important to have a set of basic rules to ...
3
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4answers
737 views

Where to put counter-examples within a 5-paragraph essay?

I am tutoring some students in the very basics of writing a 5-paragraph essay to present an argument, in preparation for more advanced academic writing. I am instructing them to include: An ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Are contractions antithetical to academic writing?

This question is very specific to academic writing: I used the contraction "don't" instead of "do not" in some of the papers. Some of the reviewers mentioned that "don't" is not a formal style of ...
3
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3answers
195 views

Writing a bibliography

In the formats I've seen for writing a bibliography, the author is always put first, and then the title. Are there some bibliographies where the title is put before the author?
3
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2answers
647 views

Writing subjectively or objectively? (IELTS writing)

I'm asking this question in the interest of getting a high score on IELTS writing, specifically Task 2, the 40-minute 250-word one. My primary confusion is whether to write subjectively or objectively ...
3
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3answers
1k views

From Markdown to .odt and vice-versa: a possible distraction-free writing workflow?

I'm writing a master thesis (Sociology) and I'm really penalized by distractions. I would happily shift to a markdown full-screen environment but I wrote an half of the thesis in .odt via LibreOffice, ...
3
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4answers
161 views

How to get over writer's block related to revising?

I'm a PhD Student in the social sciences. When I do focused free-writing on a topic, my thoughts just fly out and I can easily generate 600-800 words an hour of relatively high quality text. However, ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Typography of page numbers

I regularly write texts in LaTeX. Its book class places page numbers on pages of normal text but not on chapter-starting pages. Some books use roman letters in the beginning, and I was criticised by ...
3
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3answers
287 views

Declaring short forms in an essay

I'm writing a critical review of two essays for a university class. Both of these essays have fairly long names. The essay begins like so... This essay will compare The Propaganda of Saints in the ...
3
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1answer
166 views

Dropping articles in the title (of a article or a section) or in the caption (of a figure or a table)? What's the general rule?

It is said that "To give added punch, articles are often dropped in the titles" source: http://www.davidappleyard.com/english/articles.htm Is there any general rule or reference about dropping ...
3
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1answer
217 views

What is the process for publishing academic papers?

While studying in my first term as EPIR student I had to prepare several papers. I gave those to my family and friends, to read and comment upon. I was surprised when they advised me to publish them. ...
3
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1answer
62 views

What sections of the frontmatter are listed in the table of contents?

There is a question about the correct order for thesis front matter. If I have those sections and some order, what of them is usually placed into the table of contents? While the main chapters surely ...
3
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1answer
320 views

How Important are essay writing conventions in the university level and above?

I go to a CEGEP, which is basically pre-university in Montreal. In my Introduction to English class, I had a teacher who allowed us to go around the typical essay writing conventions. Conventions like ...
3
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1answer
116 views

Is there a great manual for technical and scientific writing?

I am looking for a reference book that details everything I must keep in mind while writing scientific and technical documents. It should include both practical advice, do's and dont's as well as ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Differences in personal statements between American and UK universities?

A friend has asked me to review a personal statement she's written for acceptance into a UK university. I have experience in assisting others with their writing, but as an American I want to ensure ...
2
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3answers
155 views

Is it acceptable for a tech book to consist of only 2 chapters?

I am interested in writing a book on a particular class of natural products. It would discuss the products' isolation and biological functions - these are the two chapters that I can fit into the ...
2
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3answers
140 views

Thesis writing: how to address “self”

This came up when I was writing my thesis: Usually it is recommended that when writing a thesis, one sticks to passive voice and use sentences that read like "The study showed the effect that blah ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Difference between an 'Abstract' and an 'Introduction' in a feature article?

I have to write a feature article for school. However, I'm confused how an abstract [a summary of my points] is different to an intro [Where you outline the points you're going to be elaborating in ...
2
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2answers
52 views

How do I claim the number of scholarly articles on a niche subject is relatively small without listing every single one of those citations?

I have a sentence in my literature review that goes something like this: ... has only been thoroughly evaluated by a relatively small number of experts in the xx literature (author1992; author1994; ...
2
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1answer
359 views

Writing a punchy paragraph opening / beginning

I am writing a paper and always want to find ways to write a punch opening for my paragraph. I'm not sure how to take an informative paragraph and find an exciting lead-in that will encourage the ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

I want my coauthor to feel comfortable making changes to my work

I'm sending a draft to my coauthor (senior and more experienced). I'm new to the world of coauthoring and was wondering what would be a good way to suggest that he has absolute liberty to change ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Preventing units from being “broken” to the next line

I'm having trouble with keeping "units" on the same line, or together. For example, g C m-2 (grams of carbon per square meter) often gets broken between the "-" and "2". I realize it's possible to use ...
2
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1answer
217 views

Structure for computer science research paper

I'm writing my first undergraduate research paper for computer science and I think my lack of experience is starting to get on my supervisor's nerves. I've written a program that collects video ...
2
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5answers
76 views

Quoting text from a country with different internationalization.

I'm writing my doctoral dissertation here in the United States, and quoting some text from an English-language paper written in Germany. In Germany, the convention for writing numbers is to use a ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Abbreviation for “figures” in scientific papers

In scientific papers, the term "Figure" -- referring to an illustration in the text -- is often abbreviated as "Fig." But is "Figures" abbreviated as "Figs", "Fig.s" or "Figs."? I am proofreading a ...
2
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1answer
24 views

Master's Thesis Structure: Separate-Page Chapters or Same-Page Sections?

I start my master's thesis the coming fall, and I have started planning how to structure and set up the document (in LaTeX). My thesis is in essence one large laboratory experiment (as analytical ...
2
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2answers
148 views

Using abbreviations after in-text citations

I am writing an academic paper, specifically a Position Paper, using APA. According to the Purdue OWL webpage, to cite an organisation: "First citation: (Mothers Against Drunk Driving [MADD], 2000) ...