Total Pageviews

Monday, 23 January 2012

Language of Scientific Paper- Part 1

Hello everyone! This is going to be a series of blog posts on language of scientific research papers. When you write a paper, there are many do's and don'ts to follow. If you practice, then definitely someday your paper will become immune from grammatical or typographical error. This is one of the strengths of research papers. However, when you learn how to write scientific papers and submit some papers for proofread to your supervisor, you may have heard this things from her- "Your paper is well written, I just need to change the STYLISTICS/ RHETORICS and/or I need to modify some of the languages". Well, what type of change they do? Did you ever notice? If not, this is the right place for you. From my experience, I am going to give some tips on how to improve your stylistics or rhetorics and hence the language of your paper. Remember, this is the second line of strength of your paper. The most important strength is your work.

As are
A very good term to start with. "As are" is used in the place of "which".

For example, "The non-character tokens, which are any tokens that do not contain letters, are deleted" is a fine sentence. Strong one. But what follows is a stronger sentence- "The non-character tokens are deleted, as are any tokens that do not contain letters".

Most common use of this term is replacing "disadvantage". For example, "The disadvantage of the algorithm is that it picks some garbage characters" can be re-written with much more strength as "The giveaway of the algorithm is that it picks some garbage characters".

This is very possible that your algorithm does not defeat other benchmarks but performs almost similar or very close to them (or perhaps sometimes better and sometimes not). This is the right term to use in these cases- "Our approach performs comparably to the state-of-the-art."

It goes on
I use this when I describe my methods, other people methods or reference other peoples' work. "The paper of X et al. [1] goes on to state their performances against the gold standard"

You know this word for sure! But I did not know that the word has powerful effect if you re-arrange the sentence "We could not achieve better F-score because the dataset was small" with "Because the dataset was small, we could not achieve better score."

As well as/As good as
This is a synonym of what we learnt already "comparably" as in the sentence "Our approach performs as well as/ as good as the benchmarks"

A Priori
A substitute for "beforehand". Sometimes you may like to state something like "There is no way to answer questions like this before calculating crop factor". This gets a professional essence when you use a priori. "There is no way to answer questions like this a priori calculating crop factor".

Among them
Exclusively used when you give any example. "The algorithm uses many parameters- among them x and y- but z" means that the algorithm uses parameters like x and y but not z.

Couch in
Used to illustrate "formulate in the same way". "Couched in the same terms as in arithmetic mean, geometric mean can be expressed in different way."

As well as
Simply, this means a conjunction "and". But also, this can be used at the beginning of a sentence. "It includes a wide range of processing tools and a variety of algorithms" can be written as either "It includes a wide range of processing tools as well as a variety of algorithms" or "As well as a variety of algorithms, it includes a wide range of processing tools".

Getting to know
To express a reason, why you do follow a method, this is a good word to pick. "As we know that the data is a part of the work, we developed data visualization tools" can be written as "Getting to know that the data is a part of the work, we developed data visualization tools".

When you explain the ways of doing some thing, you can follow the pattern as follows "One way to use the tools is .... Another is .... A third is ......"

Close second
An excellent phrase to depict something important (but also not that important you previously mentioned about a thing beforehand). For example, "This is the most valuable tool in the package. A close second is its visualization capabilities".

(To be continued)