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I have a dataset which contains three series: positive sentiment, negative sentiment and frequency of tweets.

Which of the these sentence can be used in academic writing? I am confused with the placement of oxford comma.

(A). As this dataset consists of three series: positive sentiment, negative sentiment and frequency of tweets, it is the best fit for our work.

or

(B) As this dataset consists of three series: positive, and negative sentiment, and frequency of tweets, it is the best fit for our work.

or

(C) As this dataset consists of three series: positive and negative sentiment, and frequency of tweets, it is the best fit for our work.

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Because you give a number, only A is correct. C could work, except you've already given the expectation that there will be three items, but them you only give two (the first with two parts).

B is just awkwardly wrong, unless thing that is positive isn't sentiment, and then the reader is still left wondering "positive what?"

Not asked, but: it would also help readability if you moved the last clause to the beginning, so there is no ambiguity with the list items. Like this:

This dataset is the best fit for our work, because it consists of three series: positive sentiment, negative sentiment, and frequency of tweets.

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    But of course A is correct only with appropriate punctuation -- a dash instead of a colon between series+ and _positive, a comma after each sentiment, and another dash instead of a comma between tweets and it. – John Lawler Oct 27 '15 at 3:23
  • perfect, it make sense to move the main clause to the beginning. Thanks! – squadra Oct 27 '15 at 3:32
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As mattdm said, A is the clearest statement.

But also, I think using the colon is a bit confusing/inelegent since you have the main clause "it is the best fit for our work" at the end of the list, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

If you want to use a colon, shift the main clause to the front:

This dataset is the best fit for our work because it consists of three series: positive sentiment, negative sentiment, and frequency of tweets.

Another option would be to replace the colon with a dash:

As this dataset consists of three series – positive sentiment, negative sentiment, and frequency of tweets – it is the best fit for our work.

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  • OK, I am not sure if a use of dash within a sentence is common practice in academic writing! – squadra Oct 27 '15 at 3:45
  • A dash is common practice in formal writing. – Graham Nicol Oct 27 '15 at 4:19

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