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I was hoping that the grammarians here could help me decide whether it would be better to place the phrase "far more effectively and convincingly than previous authors" after "showed," as it is in Sentence 1, or at the end of the sentence, as it is in Sentence 2,

Sentence 1:

The authors of that paper showed far more effectively and convincingly than previous authors had why exposure to the organisms in question sickened some people but failed to sicken others.


Sentence 2:

The authors of that paper showed why exposure to the organisms in question sickened some people but failed to sicken others far more effectively and convincingly than previous authors had.

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  • Although (2) can eventually be deduced on logical grounds to have the same intended meaning as (1), there's a comical garden path that it's far better to avoid. The adverbial 'far more effectively and convincingly than previous authors had' needs to be positioned right next to the verb it modifies, showed. Oct 22 '20 at 11:30
  • Try some punctuation, too: it helps a reader parse. I would suggest em dashes at either end of the boldfaced phrase in #1. Also, the had at the end of that phrase is awkward and can be dropped: previous makes it redundant. Oct 22 '20 at 12:54
  • Thanks for the suggestions. They were very helpful.
    – Skater
    Oct 23 '20 at 11:39

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