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Writing Review Thread - Style/Grammar Nazis Welcome

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
In the present thread, post, if you wrote something, for a report or CV, perhaps your clothing blog and you're not sure whether it's good writing or even understandable, your question here, and someone will offer suggestions, which are helpful, and perhaps your old writing and new writing could then be characterized as clunky and elegant, respectively; clear as mud? My question to start. I've written: "greater [effect] using [Method A] than [Method B]." I feel an urge to put another "using" or a "with" between the last two.
post #2 of 7
It's not necessary to include another "use." "...greater effect using Method A than Method B..." is correct.
post #3 of 7
1) I endorse this thread. 2) We really need the rest of the sentence, for, as you know, good writing is not merely a matter of grammar. Though the second "using" is not strictly necessary, I'd probably use it for the clarity and force that parallelism brings. I might restructure the whole sentence as well, depending on the rest of it. ~ H
post #4 of 7
Splendid idea for a thread, HomerJ.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
In the present thread, post, if you wrote something, for a report or CV, perhaps your clothing blog and you're not sure whether it's good writing or even understandable, your question here, and someone will offer suggestions, which are helpful, and perhaps your old writing and new writing could then be characterized as clunky and elegant, respectively; clear as mud?

My question to start.

I've written: "greater [effect] using [Method A] than [Method B]."

I feel an urge to put another "using" or a "with" between the last two.

What's the focus of the sentence? If the method is, then I might say "Method A results in a greater effect than Method B." for example.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bumping with an article on how to write a scientific paper. Hope this is helpful.
Quote:
How To Write A Scientific Paper
by E. Robert Schulman Charlottesville, Virginia Abstract We (meaning I) present observations on the scientific publishing process which (meaning that) are important and timely in that unless I have more published papers soon, I will never get another job. These observations are consistent with the theory that it is difficult to do good science, write good scientific papers, and have enough publications to get future jobs. 1. Introduction Scientific papers (e.g. Schulman 1988; Schulman & Fomalont 1992; Schulman, Bregman, & Roberts 1994; Schulman & Bregman 1995; Schulman 1996) are an important, though poorly understood, method of publication. They are important because without them scientists cannot get money from the government or from universities. They are poorly understood because they are not written very well (see, for example, Schulman 1995 and selected references therein). An excellent example of the latter phenomenon occurs in most introductions, which are supposed to introduce the reader to the subject so that the paper will be comprehensible even if the reader has not done any work in the field. The real purpose of introductions, of course, is to cite your own work (e.g. Schulman et al. 1993a), the work of your advisor (e.g. Bregman, Schulman, & Tomisaka 1995), the work of your spouse (e.g. Cox, Schulman, & Bregman 1993), the work of a friend from college (e.g. Taylor, Morris, & Schulman 1993), or even the work of someone you have never met, as long as your name happens to be on the paper (e.g. Richmond et al. 1994). Note that these citations should not be limited to refereed journal articles (e.g. Collura et al. 1994), but should also include conference proceedings (e.g. Schulman et al. 1993b), and other published or unpublished work (e.g. Schulman 1990). At the end of the introduction you must summarize the paper by reciting the section headings. In this paper, we discuss scientific research (section 2), scientific writing (section 3) and scientific publication (section 4), and draw some conclusions (section 5). 2. Scientific Research The purpose of science is to get paid for doing fun stuff if you're not a good enough programmer to write computer games for a living (Schulman et al. 1991). Nominally, science involves discovering something new about the universe, but this is not really necessary. What is really necessary is a grant. In order to obtain a grant, your application must state that the research will discover something incredibly fundamental. The grant agency must also believe that you are the best person to do this particular research, so you should cite yourself both early (Schulman 1994) and often (Schulman et al. 1993c). Feel free to cite other papers as well (e.g. Blakeslee et al. 1993; Levine et al. 1993), so long as you are on the author list. Once you get the grant, your university, company, or government agency will immediately take 30 to 70% of it so that they can heat the building, pay for Internet connections, and purchase large yachts. Now it's time for the actual research. You will quickly find out that (a) your project is not as simple as you thought it would be and (b) you can't actually solve the problem. However -- and this is very important -- you must publish anyway (Schulman & Bregman 1994). 3. Scientific Writing You have spent years on a project and have finally discovered that you cannot solve the problem you set out to solve. Nonetheless, you have a responsibility to present your research to the scientific community (Schulman et al. 1993d). Be aware that negative results can be just as important as positive results, and also that if you don't publish enough you will never be able to stay in science. While writing a scientific paper, the most important thing to remember is that the word "which" should almost never be used. Be sure to spend at least 50% of your time (i.e. 12 hours a day) typesetting the paper so that all the tables look nice (Schulman & Bregman 1992). 4. Scientific Publishing You have written the paper, and now it is time to submit it to a scientific journal. The journal editor will pick the referee most likely to be offended by your paper, because then at least the referee will read it and get a report back within the lifetime of the editor (Schulman, Cox, & Williams 1993). Referees who don't care one way or the other about a paper have a tendency to leave manuscripts under a growing pile of paper until the floor collapses, killing the 27 English graduate students who share the office below. Be aware that every scientific paper contains serious errors. If your errors are not caught before publication, you will eventually have to write an erratum to the paper explaining (a) how and why you messed up and (b) that even though your experimental results are now totally different, your conclusions needn't be changed. Errata can be good for your career. They are easy to write, and the convention is to reference them as if they were real papers, leading the casual reader (and perhaps the Science Citation Index) to think that you have published more papers than you really have (Schulman et al. 1994). 5. Conclusions The conclusion section is very easy to write: all you have to do is to take your abstract and change the tense from present to past. It is considered good form to mention at least one relevant theory only in the abstract and conclusion. By doing this, you don't have to say why your experiment does (or does not) agree with the theory, you merely have to state that it does (or does not). We (meaning I) presented observations on the scientific publishing process which (meaning that) are important and timely in that unless I have more published papers soon, I will never get another job. These observations are consistent with the theory that it is difficult to do good science, write good scientific papers, and have enough publications to get future jobs. References Blakeslee, J., Tonry, J., Williams, G.V., & Schulman, E. 1993 Aug 2, Minor Planet Circular 22357 Bregman, J.N., Schulman, E., & Tomisaka, K. 1995, Astrophysical Journal, 439, 155 Collura, A., Reale, F., Schulman, E., & Bregman, J.N. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 420, L63 Cox, C. V., Schulman, E., & Bregman, J.N. 1993, NASA Conference Publication 3190, 106 Levine, D.A., Morris, M., Taylor, G.B., & Schulman, E. 1993, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 25, 1467 Richmond, M.W., Treffers, R.R., Filippenko, A.V., Paik, Y., Leibundgut, B., Schulman, E., & Cox, C.V. 1994, Astronomical Journal, 107, 1022 Schulman, E. 1988, Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, 17, 130 Schulman, E. 1990, Senior thesis, UCLA Schulman, E. 1994, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 26, 1411 Schulman, E. 1995, Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan Schulman, E. 1996, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 108, 460 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Collura, A., Reale, F., & Peres, G. 1993a, Astrophysical Journal, 418, L67 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Collura, A., Reale, F., & Peres, G. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 426, L55 Schulman, E. & Bregman, J.N. 1992, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 24, 1202 Schulman, E. & Bregman, J.N. 1994, in The Soft X-Ray Cosmos, ed. E. Schlegel & R. Petre (New York: American Institute of Physics), 345 Schulman, E. & Bregman, J.N. 1995, Astrophysical Journal, 441, 568 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Brinks, E., & Roberts, M.S. 1993b, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 25, 1324 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., & Roberts, M.S. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 423, 180 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Roberts, M.S., & Brinks, E. 1991, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 23, 1401 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Roberts, M.S., & Brinks, E. 1993c, NASA Conference Publication 3190, 201 Schulman, E., Bregman, J.N., Roberts, M.S., & Brinks, E. 1993d, Astronomical Gesellschaft Abstract Series 8, 141 Schulman, E., Cox, C.V., & Williams, G.V. 1993 June 4, Minor Planet Circular 22185 Schulman, E. & Fomalont, E.B. 1992, Astronomical Journal, 103, 1138 Taylor, G.B., Morris, M., & Schulman, E. 1993, Astronomical Journal, 106, 1978 Copyright © 1996 The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). All rights reserved.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
In the present thread, post, if you wrote something, for a report or CV, perhaps your clothing blog and you're not sure whether it's good writing or even understandable, your question here, and someone will offer suggestions, which are helpful, and perhaps your old writing and new writing could then be characterized as clunky and elegant, respectively; clear as mud?


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