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2 tips to help researchers earn successful recommendations

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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(Your lead is not focused enough. Successful recommendation of what? Job referral? School application? And what language are we talking about when you said "keep sentences as simple as possible"? Just make it plain in your lead that you are talking about the odds of research papers written in poor English get to be published in academic journals. When you said "...that writers should use active voice in their journals unless..." there certainly was a logic flaw because writers could only choose to use active or passive voice in their writing but NOT in their journals.)


By Ma Wai Shan | Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Dr. Steve Wallace, founder of Wallace Academic Editing, revealed that the secret of earning successful recommendation was to use passive voice sparingly and keep sentences as simple as possible.


Speaking in Hong Kong Shue Yan University this afternoon, Dr. Wallace pointed out that the chance for a typical average-quality paper to get favorable recommendations from both referees was merely 11%, according to a statistic from APS Observer.


Citing Taiwanese academic journals as an example, Dr. Wallace explained that English errors were main reasons for rejection of papers. He added that misuses of passive voice and redundancy were among the most common writing errors.


Dr. Wallace said that writers should use active voice in their journals unless the author was unknown or unimportant. He added that subjects such as ecology, computer science and engineering preferred active voice whenever possible.


“Nature said, you are clearer when you are direct,” expressed Dr. Wallace.


However, Dr. Wallace said, reviewers might consider repeated expression “I” and “We” as too self-centered. He suggested writers use passive voice to take the emphasis out of authors themselves, adding that they could use “We” in the discussion part.


Dr. Wallace also said that keeping sentences short and simple was crucial in writing academic papers.


Dr. Wallace explained that writers should replace meaningless verb with a single verb to avoid redundancy, using “find” instead of “ascertain the location of”, for example.


“Short is always better when the meaning stays the same,” said Dr. Wallace.
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