How to introduce two arguments in a scientific paper?

I used:

There are two arguments. On the one hand ARGUMENT1. On the other hand ARGUMENT2.

Now I was told I should not use this construct unless I am introducing two contradictory arguments. I was told to rather use:

There are two arguments. First ARGUMENT1. Second ARGUMENT2.

However I actually don't like the second way. Is there any other construct that suits better?

Note: I am not a native speaker therefore I missing some expressions. Probably there is an obvious answer.

  • 1
    "In the first place...", "in the second place..." might serve your purpose. – StoneyB on hiatus Apr 24 '14 at 14:49
  • @StoneyB Thanks, that's better than just using first and second :) – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 14:52
  • 1
    @mjsqu Do people really use Firstly? That sounds wrong to me. – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 14:56
  • 1
    Yes, it is used, but a quick Google search shows that I might be wrong! It is a word, but frowned upon by some. – mjsqu Apr 24 '14 at 15:07
  • 2
    “Argument #1, may I please present to you Argument #2. Argument #2, this is Argument #1.” – tchrist Apr 24 '14 at 16:20

Simply say:

There are two arguments. One is.... The other is...

| improve this answer | |
  • I like that. Easy but effictive. – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 15:09

You may start with:

The arguments we present in this paper are two. The first one is about...; the second one deals with.. ..

| improve this answer | |
  • I thought it would be not recommend to use future in a scientific paper? However, this is nice :) – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 15:11
  • I used something like: Throughout the paper we present to arguments. As I was told not to use future as well as present progressive. This is due to the fact that at the moment somebody reads the paper the paper is already written. Therefore I am not presenting. Is that wrong? – Robin Apr 24 '14 at 15:18
  • "The arguments we present are two" sounds a bit contrived to me (like you are going to make it into a rhyming couplet or something). Why not just "We present two arguments in this paper." – user184130 Jul 29 '18 at 13:30
  • And, if anyone else is confused by the "future tense" comment, it has been edited out of the answer! – user184130 Jul 29 '18 at 13:32
  • Some prefer the passive voice in academic writing, so: "Two arguments are presented in this paper. The first is ..." – user184130 Jul 29 '18 at 13:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.