GRASP - Graduate Research Advanced Skills Program RESEARCH

GRASP - Graduate Research Advanced Skills Program RESEARCH

GRASP - Graduate Research Advanced Skills Program RESEARCH WRITING SERIES 3 Better sentences in research writing This workshop focuses on sentences, and demonstrates how clear expression and accurate grammar/punctuation are fundamental to effective scholarly writing. 3 Better sentences in research writing AIMS OF TODAYS CLASS By the end of the workshop, participants will have revised their existing knowledge of basic sentence structures. understand the structure and function of control units and support units in sentences. be able to define and identify simple, complex and compound sentences. understand the importance of correct punctuation for accurate meaning in sentences.

understand how to more effectively use active and passive voice in scholarly writing. have been introduced to the concept and some conventions of Plain English. have practiced punctuating an unpunctuated piece of scholarly writing. have practiced writing better sentences using the writing conventions of their field of research. 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS A sentence is a complete unit of language, usually containing a subject and a predicate. A sentence, by itself, is empty of meaning. Only an utterance that is a sentence expressed in a specific context has meaning. Constructing a sentence requires choices about which words are SELECTED and how they are COMBINED. Punctuation conventions in English significantly affect how meaning in a sentence (and between sentences) is constructed.

3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS This workshop will consider three types of sentence: Simple sentence = control unit Complex sentence

= control unit + support unit Compound sentence = control unit + control unit The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS

1. A simple sentence consists of a control unit control unit = subject + predicate subject contains the group of words that does or is something predicate - contains the group of the words expressing action (read, walk) or state of being (is, am, are, was, will be). It contains the VERB. (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 1. A simple sentence consists of a control unit control unit = subject + predicate The sun shines.

The area under agricultural use is rapidly declining. A new technique is being developed. Climate science is a growing field of research. (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 1. A simple sentence consists of a control unit control unit = subject + predicate In simple sentences, do not separate subject from predicate with a comma; use commas only to separate nouns, adjectives, verbs, or items in a list within the subject or within the predicate, but not between subject and predicate.

(The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 1. A simple sentence consists of a control unit control unit = subject + predicate 1. Bananas, mangoes, papaya, rambutan, lychee, and durian are tropical fruits. 2. The new management system is efficient, innovative, and cost-effective. 3. Reading carefully, taking notes, and making summaries are essential stages in writing an academic research paper. (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at

http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 2. A complex sentence has a control unit plus a support unit complex sentence = control unit + support unit. The support unit is a group of words adding more meanings to the control unit. The support unit cannot function by itself it needs the control unit. The control unit and support unit can be separated by a comma.

(The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 2. A complex sentence has a control unit plus a support unit. complex sentence = control unit + support unit. Although his proposal was rejected, he went ahead with the research. Results are largely unreproducible, which has led to a crisis of confidence in research. to revise. These support units begin with a word (called a subordinator) which tells the reader that the phrase ahead does not stand alone but is subordinate to or dependent upon the control unit for its meaning. (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/)

3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS Common Subordinators although after when because before where

since while as whereas whenever which if who unless whom

until whose (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS 3. A compound sentence has two or more control units (simple sentences). compound sentence = control unit + control unit. to revise. Control units cannot be joined by a comma, they must be joined by a

- comma PLUS conjunction or a - a semicolon (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS compound sentence = control unit + control unit.o revise. Examples of control units joined using a comma plus a conjunction Coordinating conjunctions are: for, and, not, but, or, yet, so. 1. The interpretation of the data was difficult. The experiment contained too many variables. 2. The interpretation of the data was difficult, for the experiment contained too many

variables. (The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS compound sentence = control unit + control unit.o revise. Example of control units joined using only a semi-colon. 1. The interpretation of the data was difficult. The experiment contained too many variables. 2. The interpretation of the data was difficult; the experiment contained too many variables.

(The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing SENTENCE BASICS compound sentence = control unit + control unit.o revise. 1. Students who want real knowledge could buy e-books. The cultural and critical functions of universities could left to the media and the Internet. (Marginson, 2011, p.413) 2. comma + conjunction Students who want real knowledge could buy e-books, and the cultural and critical functions of universities could left to the media and the Internet. 3. semi-colon Students who want real knowledge could buy e-books; the cultural and critical functions of universities could be left to the media and the Internet.

(The above is adapted from the online learning program Better Sentences, The Learning Centre Online Programs, available at http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/) 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH Some tips from Umberto Eco You are not Proust. Do not write long sentences. If they come into your head, write them, but then break them down. Do not be afraid to repeat the subject, and stay away from too many pronouns and subordinate clauses. (Eco, 2015. p. 147-148) DO NOT WRITE: The pianist Wittgenstein, brother of the well-known philosopher who wrote the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that today many consider the masterpiece of contemporary philosophy, happened to have Ravel write for him a concerto for the left hand, since he had lost the right one in the war. (One long sentence.) WRITE, INSTEAD:

The pianist Paul Wittgenstein was the brother of the famous philosopher, author of the Tractatus. The pianist had lost his write hand in the war. For this reason the composer Maurice Ravel wrote a concerto for him that required only the left hand. (Three shorter sentences.) 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH An example from science writing. As the fiber content increased an increase in hydraulic conductivity was observed. Recently, Moghal et al. (2016) reported that hydraulic conductivity of fiber mixed lime treated soil increases with increase in fiber content. According to Pl and L (2012), a fiber content of 0.6% was found to be suitable for maintaining the hydraulic conductivity within acceptable limits for barrier applications. However, further studies are required in this direction by varying fiber content, fiber length and fiber type to evolve a rational methodology and wide

acceptance in landfill cap barrier applications. Divya, P.V. et.al. 2018. Hydraulic conductivity behaviour of soil blended with geofiber inclusions. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 46. (2018) 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH Another example from science writing. (Gopen and Swan, 1990. P.553) The smallest of the URFs (URFA6L), a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phase the NH2 terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene has been identified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H+ - ATPase subunit 8 gene. Q: WHAT MAKES THIS SENTENCE SO DIFFICULT TO READ?

A: The technical language? B: The 23 word separation between subject (the smallest) and verb (has been identified)? 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH An example from the Humanities Again at the time of the first writing of this chapter, some of us had hoped that, if these facts were remembered, not only in the study of British literature but also in the study of the literatures of the European colonizing cultures of the great age of imperialism, we would produce a narrative, in literary history, of the worlding of what could once be called the Third

World, and now increasingly, taking the second World into uneven account, is called the South. (Spivak, 1999, p.114) 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH An example from the Humanities Again at the time of the first writing of this chapter, some of us had hoped that, if these facts were remembered, not only in the study of British literature but also in the study of the literatures of the European colonizing cultures of the great age of imperialism, we would produce a narrative, in literary history, of the worlding of what could once be called the Third World, and now increasingly, taking the second World into uneven account, is called the South. Q: WHAT MAKES THIS SENTENCE SO DIFFICULT TO READ?

A: Too many modifying clauses or support units? Abbreviated: Some of us had hoped that we would produce a narrative of what is called the South. 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH Some tips Use short and medium length sentences: about 20-25 words.(Note: this is disputed by Gopen & Swan 1990, p.555.) Where possible, put the subject at the beginning of the sentence. Where possible, keep the subject near the verb, and the verb near the object. Try to put the main subject and verb toward the beginning; dont pile up conditions before the main clause. Where possible, save the main point or important information until the end of the sentence. (Periodic sentence) Aim for a good balance between active and passive voice. If you want to be published in particular journal, follow closely the stylistic conventions of a typical article in that journal.

(adapted from https://www.plainlanguage.gov/resources/articles/elements-of-plain-language/) 3 Better sentences in research writing ACADEMIC WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH Some observations (Gopen and Swan1990) Improving the quality of writing actually improves the quality of thought. Write with the reader in mind. Readers do not simply read; they interpret. Keep subject and verb as close as possible in the sentence. Leave the stress position until the end. No rules about how long a sentence should be: a 10 word sentence could be impenetrable and a 100 word sentence flow smoothly. It all depends on structure. 3 Better sentences in research writing

REFERENCES Better sentences. 2015. The Learning Centre Online Programs. Accessed 13 th April, 2018. http://studyskills.curtin.edu.au/better-sentences/ Dawson, Jean. 2007. The little red writing book. Bentley: CEA Publications. Divya, P.V. et.al. 2018. Hydraulic conductivity behaviour of soil blended with geofiber inclusions. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 46. (2018) Eco, Umberto. 2015. How to write a thesis. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press. Elements of plain language. accessed 13th April, 2018. https://www.plainlanguage.gov/resources/articles/elements-of-plain-language/) Gopen, George D. and Judith Swan. 1990. The Science of Scientific Writing. American Scientist. (78) 550-558. Greene Anne E. 2013. Writing Science in Plain English. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Marginson, Simon. 2011. Higher education and public good. Higher Education Quarterly, 65 (4) 411-433. Spivak, G. 1999. A critique of postcolonial reason. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press Williams, J. 1996. Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. New York: Longman.

Recently Viewed Presentations

  • Lenguaje de ADA 95 - UAM Azcapotzalco

    Lenguaje de ADA 95 - UAM Azcapotzalco

    Lenguaje ADA 95 David I. Morales A. MCC- IIMAS- UNAM Lenguajes de Programación Dra. Ana Lilia Laureano Cruces Dra. Ana Lilia Laureano Cruces Introducción Diseñado para aplicaciones militares.
  • Henry Ford

    Henry Ford

    Brave New World and Henry Ford. Ford is worshipped in Brave New World instead of God. Phrases like "Oh Ford" and "Cleanliness is next to Fordliness" Brave New World strongly supports having something to believe in, and in the case...
  • Inference on averages Data are collected to learn

    Inference on averages Data are collected to learn

    The larger the sample, the more accurate the normal approximation is. If the distribution of the population is not symmetric, the normal approximation is less accurate, and you need a larger sample. Problem: We want to estimate the unknown population...
  • America in the 1920s - ComancheISD

    America in the 1920s - ComancheISD

    America in the 1920s The darker side. Threats. Scandals. change. The 1920's were certainly a time of celebration and excess. We often think of the "Roaring Twenties" as one big, continuous party with people laughing and dancing.
  • Comparing Treatment Results Of PROSTATE CANCER Prostate Cancer

    Comparing Treatment Results Of PROSTATE CANCER Prostate Cancer

    Comparing Treatment Results Of PROSTATE CANCER Prostate Cancer Results Study Group 2012 Peter Grimm, DO Prostate Cancer Center of Seattle**
  • Diapositiva 1 - Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

    Diapositiva 1 - Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

    Los pronombres demostrativos Son aquellos que nos sirven para mostrar los objetos que tan cerca o lejos están de nosotros. Pronombres demostrativos en singular
  • Arrow's Theorem - George Mason University

    Arrow's Theorem - George Mason University

    Quasi-transitivity allows X~Y and Y~Z but X>Z. e.g. X is 4 grams of sugar in coffee, Y is 4.5 grams and Z is 5 grams. Surprisingly, if weaken transitivity of the outcome to quasi-transitivity then all of Arrow's other axioms...
  • Author(s): Paul Conway, 2008-2011. License: Unless otherwise noted,

    Author(s): Paul Conway, 2008-2011. License: Unless otherwise noted,

    Intentionality [camera | scanner] Processes [darkroom | Photoshop] Materiality [content | artifact] Digitizer User Digital Surrogate Document Axis of representation Axis of communication [Derived and adapted from: W.J.T. Mitchell 1990] * Winter 2011 SI 675 Digitization for Preservation Materiality and...