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I have the following statement:

that strongest items were among the features associated with X, but were not among those associated with the course content views.

However, I think that this statement is a bit hard-to-follow and it could become more concise. I am also not sure about its grammar.

My point is actually to stress out the second part starting with "but not among...". Any suggestions?

  • Yes, you can drop some words. Have a look at ellipsis. – Lawrence Mar 8 '17 at 8:38
  • "The strongest items were not among the features associated with the course content views, as they were among X's features". OR "The strongest items were not among the features of the course content views, as they were among the features of X". – mahmud koya Mar 8 '17 at 8:48
  • @mahmudkoya thanks! Does as suggest causality? – renakre Mar 8 '17 at 8:51
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    @renakre, you can use 'while' also: "The strongest items were not among the features of the course content, while they were among X's features". – mahmud koya Mar 8 '17 at 9:10
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    None of the strongest features were associated with the course content views. Rather, they were found to be associated with X. – Jim Mar 8 '17 at 9:50
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By imposing the criterion on the features rather than the items, you can remove even more words to make it both more concise and more readable.

... that the strongest items were among the features associated with X, but were not among those associated with the course content views.

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Sounds perfectly fine to me. Maybe the repetition and negation of among can be avoided: Synonymously, absent can be used. (edit: which leads to the concise antonym "present" instead of "among")

PS:

To omit repetition of "were" (ellipses, thanks to the comment) makes the sentence a tad harder to parse but shorter. There's a small trade-off and as it stands it tends to a formal tone.

"among the features associated" is a triple redundancy but repetition (edit: at various levels of detail) is a valid stylistic choice.

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