English for writing research papers (chap 2 and 11)

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Published on September 28, 2014

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ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS adrian.wallwork@gmail.com.

ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPER BY HENG (CHAPTER 2 AND 11-> FROM ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS ADRIAN.WALLWORK@GMAIL.COM

ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPER Chap 2 •Word Order •16 Subtitles Chap 11 •Titles •16 Subtitles

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.1 Basic word order in English Keep the subject, verb, direct object and indirect object as close to each other as possible. Examples: •The researchers sent their manuscript to the journal. √ •Last week the researchers sent their manuscript to the journal for the second time. √ •The researchers last week sent for the second time to the journal their manuscript. X View slide

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.2 Compare word order in your language with word order in English Analyze how you do it in your own language and then analyze the differences with English. Examples: •Germans don’t like to begin sentences with the subject. For example, instead of “We have received your letter” they prefer “Your letter has reached us”. German syntax dictates that the verb sometimes goes at the end of the clause or sentence, also making you wait for the main thrust of the sentence. View slide

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.3 Choose the most relevant subject and put it at the beginning of the sentence Put the one you want to emphasize as the subject. Examples: •X was elicited by Y. •Y elicited X. Your choice will depend on whether you want to emphasize X or Y.

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.4 Choose the subject that leads to the most concise sentence If your sentence is short and you have 2 possible subjects, then choose the subject that will give the shortest sentence. Examples: •The most significant values are highlighted in Table 1. •Table 1 highlights the most significant values. Use active rather than passive verbs.

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.5 Don’t make the impersonal it the subject of the sentence Putting it first often delays the subject. Use modal verbs (might, need, should etc.) where possible. Examples: •It is possible do this with the new system. X •This can be done with the new system. √ •It is mandatory to use the new version. X •The new version must be used. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.6 Don’t use a pronoun (it, they) before you introduce the noun (i.e. the subject of the sentence) that the pronoun refers to It is OK to use a pronoun at the beginning of the sentence, provided that this pronoun refers back to a noun in a previous sentence. Examples: •Although it is a very stable and chemically inert material, studies have verified that the composition of beeswax is … X •Although beeswax is a very stable and chemically inert material, studies have verified that its composition is … √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.7 Put the subject before the verb Say what something is before you begin to describe it. Examples: •Among the factors that influence the choice of parameters are time and cost. X •Time and cost are among the factors that influence the choice of parameters. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.8 Keep the subject and verb as close as possible to each other Do not force the reader to wait too long to find out what the verb is and thus delay important information. Examples: •People with a high rate of intelligence, an unusual ability to resolve problems, a passion for computers, along with good communication skills are generally employed by such companies. X •Such companies generally employ people with a high rate of… √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.9 Avoid inserting parenthetical information between the subject and the verb More than a couple of words between the subject and the verb will interrupt the reader’s train of thought and take the information to be of less importance. Examples: •The result, after the calculation has been made, can be used to determine. X •After the calculation has been made, the result can be used to determine Y. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.10 Don’t separate the verb from its direct object Place the direct object (i.e. the thing given or received) before the indirect object (the thing it is given to or received by). Examples: •We can separate, with this tool, P and Q. X •We can separate P and Q with this tool. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.11 Put the direct object before the indirect object Place the direct object (i.e. the thing given or received) before the indirect object (the thing it is given to or received by). Examples: •This occurs when in the original network there is a dependent voltage. X •This occurs when there is a dependent voltage in the original network. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.12 How to choose where to locate an adverb •Before the main verb •Before the second auxiliary when there are two auxiliaries •After the present and past tenses of ‘to be’ Examples: •The mental functions are slowed, and patients are often confused. •Late complications may not always have been notified. •The answer of the machine is always correct.

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.13 Put adjectives before the noun they describe, or use a relative clause Relative clause = Which is, that is, who is Examples: •This is an interesting paper. √ •This is a paper particularly interesting for PhD students. X •This is a paper that is particularly interesting for PhD students. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.14 Do not insert an adjective between two nouns or before the wrong noun Do not put an adjective before a noun that it does not describe. Examples: •The editor main interface. X •The main interface of the editor. √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.15 Avoid creating strings of nouns that describe other nouns Verify on Google Scholar that your proposed string of nouns already exists and has been used by native English-speaking authors. Examples: •art state technology. X •state-of-the-art technology. √ •mass destruction weapons X •weapons of mass destruction √

CHAP 2: WORD ORDER 2.16 Ensure there is no ambiguity in the order of the words Ambiguity arises when a phrase can be interpreted in more than one way. Examples: •To obtain red colors, insects and plant roots were used by indigenous people. X •To obtain red colors, primitive people used insects and plant roots. √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.1 How can I generate a title? •What have I found that will attract attention? •What is new, different and interesting about my findings? •What are the 3–5 key words that highlight what makes my research and my findings unique?

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.2 How can I make my title more dynamic? Similar words that are often redundant are: inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and assessment. Examples: •An investigation into some psychological aspects of English pronunciation. X •Some psychological aspects of English pronunciation. √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.3 Can I use my title to make a claim? Ensure the title reflects the truth and is supported by the rest of the paper. If the author’s conclusions are only speculations, then such declarative titles are dangerous because they give readers the initial idea that what the author asserts is now scientific fact. Examples: •The consumption of one apple per day precludes the necessity of using medical services.

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.4 Are questions in titles a good way to attract attention? •Work well for abstracts submitted to conferences. •More informal, get readers thinking about what the answer might be •Original and fun •Tend to stand out from other titles, attract attention Examples: •Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others? •What do bosses do? The origins and functions of hierarchy in capitalist production

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.5 When is a two-part title a good idea? •Less common, attract more attention. •Work well for abstracts submitted to conferences. Examples: •Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems of using long words needlessly •The role of medicine: dream, mirage or nemesis?

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.6 How should I punctuate my title? •Two parts of the titles in are separated by a colon. •Some journals require a capital letter after a colon •Titles never end with a period (.) •If they are questions, then there should be a question mark at the end Examples: •Does the ocean-atmosphere system have more than one stable mode of operation? •Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.7 What words should I capitalize? •Capitalize each initial letter, apart from articles (a, an, the) and prepositions (e.g. on, by, in, of). •Just to capitalize the first letter of the first word. Examples: •Methods for Comparing Indian and British Governmental Systems in the 19th Century •Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems of using long words needlessly

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.8 What types of words should I try to include? Use the -ing form of verbs rather than abstract nouns. This will make your title more readable as well as making it 2–3 words shorter. Examples: •The Specification and the Evaluation of Educational Software in Primary Schools X •Specifying and Evaluating Educational Software in Primary Schools √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.9 What other criteria should I use to decide whether to include certain words or not? Use an Advanced Scholar Search to check how frequently a word in your title is used. The lower the number of returns, the less frequent the adjective is and therefore the more noticeable it is.

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.10 Will adjectives such as innovative and novel attract attention? •They give no indication as to how something is novel. •Replacement: computerized, guaranteed, high-performance, low-cost, minimalstress, no-cost, pain-free. •No one is likely to include the words novel or innovative when Googling papers in their field. Examples: •A novel method for learning English X

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.11 How can I make my title shorter? •Replacing the non-key words with shorter synonyms. •Remove redundant words. •Use verbs rather than nouns. Examples: •X was used in the calculation of Y X •X was used to calculate Y √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.12 Is it a good idea to make my title concise by having a string of nouns? If you are not sure whether a combination exists or not, then check with Google Scholar. Examples: •Educational software specification definitions trends X •Trends in defining the specifications for educational software √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.13 Should I use prepositions? Most titles of more than about 5 words require prepositions. Examples: •Cancer causes: cancer avoidable risks quantitative estimates X •The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.14 Are articles (a / an, the) necessary? Must have articles where necessary Examples: •Survey of importance of improving design of internal systems X •A survey of the importance of improving the design of internal systems √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.15 How do I know whether to use a or an? •Use a before all consonants, before eu, before u when u has the sound as in university and unit. •Use an before a, i and o, before e except before eu, before u when u has the sound as in unusual and understanding, before h only in the following cases: hour, honest, honor, heir. •Some authors use an before historical too. Examples: •A unique approach to Y √ •GNRA tetraloops make a U-turn √ •The evacuation of the Machault, an 18th-century French frigate √ •An NLP application with a multi-paradigm architecture √

CHAP 11: TITLES 11.16 Is using an automatic spell check enough? No. Examples: •Incidence of Hearth Attacks and Alzeimer’s Disease among Women form East Asia X •An atmospheric tape reorder: rainfall analysis trough sequence weighing X

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