Questions tagged [academia]

Questions related to academic English or English for academic purposes, i.e. the English used in higher education.

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Why do the titles of scholarly works sometimes begin with the word "on"?

For example, one of the articles in volume 183 issue 1 (January 2016) of Annals of Mathematics is titled "On the fibration method for zero-cycles and rational points". Why not just call it "The ...
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20 votes
6 answers
29k views

Word for going to a university class but without being enrolled?

Not sure if this only happens in my country, but a university student can go to a class without actually being enrolled. The student is either there because he wants to "try" the class first, or ...
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12 votes
8 answers
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Is "seminal" safe to use in a formal text?

I am writing an academic text, and I want to describe an important book as "seminal", since it has made a profound impact on the field. However, the first entry on the dictionary.com page is "...
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9 votes
3 answers
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What is the origin of the "towards a new" used in the titles of some research articles?

Examples: "Towards a new agenda for transforming war economies" "Towards a new agenda for Japanese telecommunications" "Towards a new age in the treatment of multiple myeloma" As I mentioned in the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the use of the construct "loss in" acceptable in the following context?

Is the use of the construct loss in acceptable in this context? Symptoms of stroke include loss in sensory perception According to Grammarly, 'loss in' should be replaced with 'loss of'. But there ...
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7 votes
3 answers
66k views

What is an alternative way to say "Note that" in academic writing? [closed]

In my academic writing, when I want to connect the context and emphasize something, I almost always use a sentence structure like this: Note that... An example in an academic paper is given ...
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6 votes
4 answers
6k views

Passive voice in academic writing; why is it not recommended? [duplicate]

When writing academic papers in English I use three different spelling and proofreading tools: Word, Grammarly, and Ginger. In the settings of all these tools, I specify that the document is an ...
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5 votes
4 answers
6k views

Difference between "rule" and "law" in scientific context

In general, according to an article in DifferenceBetween.net The main difference between rules and laws is the consequences associated with breaking them. While each is developed to invoke a ...
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5 votes
1 answer
11k views

"confer" ("cf.") vs "see also" [closed]

I used to think that "confer" ("cf.") is to be used to refer to another source discussing the same issue, or making the same argument etc. But it seems some (many?) people use it instead of "see also",...
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5 votes
3 answers
7k views

What are the replacements for "i.e." and what are their differences?

I can think of "that is to say", "in other words", "put differently". And I'd like to know if there are any subtle differences in the usage of these synonyms. Can they always be used interchangeably ...
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  • 349
5 votes
5 answers
9k views

What is the word to describe an advanced vocabulary?

Instead of using a common word like "sad", one can use "morose" to make a more vivid image. Or in professional fields words like "pedagogy" are used instead of a more common word like "education". We ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the stylistic form to use for including foreign text in an English article?

Academic texts often include translations of terms, and these are included in parentheses. Is there a standard to use when including foreign language text (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Chinese, etc.)? Let'...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is a scientific term for a "game trail"

I've been trying to find scientific research concerning animals' tendency to adhere to certain worn paths, or "game trails". However, I have found very little and suspect the problem to be that a ...
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4 votes
4 answers
4k views

Word describing multiple paths to the same abstract outcome

I am looking for a word I came across but forgot to note down. It describes that multiple pathways can lead to the same outcome — not in terms of physical paths but rather in terms of an abstract ...
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4 votes
3 answers
414 views

What can I call a longer passage in an academic work (text equivalent to "Figure")?

I want to number blocks of texts in my work (parts of a movie script or something the creators said) so that I can refer to them throughout the essay. Is there an equivalent to 'Figure' to label these ...
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does "business optional" mean?

A recent question at Academia SE elicited an answer that used the term "business optional": In the corporate work environment it is quite common for things to not really be entirely ...
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4 votes
2 answers
10k views

Term for completion of a Post-graduate degree

When someone completes their Bachelors degree, we say that he/she has graduated. Is their any such term for completion of a post-graduate degree (Masters or PhD)? Also, sometimes I have heard ...
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  • 402
4 votes
2 answers
144 views

Tasks for tutorial class sessions, not at home

Writing worksheets for students at university, I'd like to distinguish tasks intended to be solved in tutorial classes from tasks intended as homework. What would be the appropriate term to refer to ...
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  • 214
4 votes
4 answers
24k views

Formal way to say "from scratch"?

I want to write something along the lines of: For the purposes of this study, X was developed from scratch. But the "scratch" here doesn't sound very formal, does it? Is "from the ground up" any ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Academic name for graphs which curve like a bridge

These are the images of the graphs I want to know the academic names: I've googled and learnt that their names are Concave Down Curve and Concave Up Curve. However, I want to know if there are ...
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4 votes
1 answer
910 views

How not to avoid using reference numbers as nouns in an academic article [closed]

I wrote a scientific article for a conference, and a reviewer criticized it as he said that in my manuscript “references are used as nouns”. I assume he was refering to instances of the following type,...
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  • 155
4 votes
1 answer
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Is "research" as a countable noun actually used by native speakers?

I see this phrase being used often by non-native speakers, and it never fails to strike me as incorrect: "In this research, [...]" I also note that Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster consider that ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Would using "ergo" be appropriate in social sciences-related academic writing? [closed]

An example would be Yet, this process is by definition neutral, ergo affecting all factors in the same way. I would like to use it sometimes, as an alternative to therefore, so, in consequence, ...
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3 votes
6 answers
2k views

A more appropriate phrase regarding a thesis than "putting forward"?

Do I... "put forward a thesis"? "propose a thesis"? "put a thesis forward"? "promote a thesis"? "promote the thesis of X"? "present a thesis"? "raise a thesis"? "postulate"/"theorize"/"speculate"/"...
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3 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to report "Ocean of Knowledge"

I would write an academic research report and i would like to know how to write : "Ocean of knowledge" to describe an enormous source of knowledge ?
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3 votes
4 answers
171 views

Gendered Pronouns for Privacy-Masked Individuals

I was editing an academic paper for a friend, and she used several internet users as case studies to document their behavior on social media. For privacy reasons, she omitted their names, and referred ...
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3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Alternative for "as high as" for an academic text [duplicate]

I am writing a scientific paper that was sent to a language revision (proofreading) service. Unfortunately, the whole process runs via a web portal so that it is not possible for me the reply to the ...
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Word for the opposite of universality

I am looking for a word that implies the unique/non-translatable aspects of a specific place or culture. It's for an academic paper, so feel free to pull suggestions from theory etc. The author ...
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3 votes
2 answers
155 views

English equivalent of Greek "στο πτυχίο"

I am looking for a translation to the Greek "επι πτυχίω" or "στο πτυχίο". The meaning of the phrase is that an undergraduate student has completed the necessary semesters in order to graduate but ...
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  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Comma or semicolon before "see [reference]"

Motivated by this question on [academia.se]: a copy-editor changed the semicolon in This can be proved via the method of Gauss; see [1]. to a comma. Is the version with a comma grammatically ...
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3 votes
1 answer
22k views

Quality of life Vs. Life Quality

In the context of the following excerpt, what expression should I use? And why? The husband's role is a fundamental element for the sick wife's well-being and life quality/quality of life. Note ...
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  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

"increase of" vs. "increase in" in connection with abstract quantities

I'm aware of two other questions with a similar title (here and here), but I'm not sure they answer my specific question. An editor of a journal has changed The observed increase of x ... to ...
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3 votes
0 answers
1k views

How to say "In order to keep a smooth reading" in a good academic way? [closed]

I'm currently writing my (math) thesis. Some properties of the objects I'm studying are used often and are relatively elementary. So, I would like to state them once and then avoiding referring to ...
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2 votes
3 answers
471 views

How to say "we thought about" in an academic way? [closed]

In the following sentence: Since there are many row values at each step of the process, one approach we thought about is to aggregate all the row values into a single value What is the alternative ...
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2 votes
6 answers
196 views

Noun opposite of a theoretician?

What do you call someone who is concerned with / active in practice and application rather than theory? That is, what is the noun opposite of "theoretician"? I've looked on thesaurus.com, WordHippo....
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?

I learnt English as my second language right from my school level and for the British colonial history of my country, my education was mostly in British English. In fact, during my school years, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

What is the word for a specific release of an academic journal?

For a journal which is published periodically (e.g. monthly) what is the world for a specific period's published version? For example, "The past ten _____'s of Nature have each contained an article ...
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2 votes
6 answers
696 views

What is the adjective to describe research approaches lacking theory proof?

When I write an academic paper and describe one of the previous researches, I found that the method is only based on the authors' own claims and lacks theory proof. I am looking for a weak and ...
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  • 129
2 votes
2 answers
938 views

A term to explain my progress in an incomplete undergraduation

Here in Brazil, all the undergraduations last for 4-5 years and each year is divided by 2 academic periods and we refer to each one as period. Thus as I am a Mining Engineering undergraduate student ...
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  • 81
2 votes
2 answers
118 views

left arrow, left-pointing arrow, or leftwards arrow? [closed]

In the context of a figure caption referencing a left-pointing arrow in the figure in the following parenthetical way: Fig. 1 | ... Here I describe some process (left arrow). ... A colleague ...
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2 votes
3 answers
74 views

Adjective for combining some lower dimensional objects to form a higher dimensional object

Are there some English words that describe the dimension of objects changed, by combining some lower dimensional objects to form a higher dimensional object. For example, from the lower dimensional ...
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  • 237
2 votes
2 answers
596 views

What do you call someone who studies Russia?

This is my first post and I was wondering what do you call someone who studies Russia For a living like has an academic researcher or Scholar. A sentence would be I work has a -word-. Thanks in ...
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2 votes
2 answers
540 views

Synonym for "swearing" [closed]

The actual word "swearing" is considered to be inappropriate in IELTS's acadamic writing. Then, what is the most suitable synonym for "swearing" in academic writing? I'm now taking an IELTS course. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
442 views

'There is no such a thing as a free lunch' in academic writing [closed]

In the context of an academic publication in British English, I'm tempted to paraphrase the expression "There is no such a thing as a free lunch". Does it sound too informal and, if so, are there ...
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  • 213
2 votes
1 answer
176 views

"The problem under consideration" vs "The considered problem" vs "The problem considered"

I'm writing a research essay. Is there any difference between the provided three variants? If there is, which is best to use?
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2 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do I have to use "I" or "we" when orally presenting my scientific thesis written by a single author? [closed]

I know that in a scientific paper or thesis made by a single author, it is common to use we. (This is also recommended at our university.) But what about when you alone are presenting a thesis work ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it proper to use iff to denote if and only if in academic writing (papers)?

if and only if (shortened iff) is a biconditional logical connective between statements. Is it proper to use iff to denote if and only if in academic writing (papers)?
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2 votes
2 answers
24k views

"people aged from 15 to 24" vs "people ages from 15 to 24": which is grammatically correct?

Here is a sentence excerpted from an APA psychological research paper, Teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed ...
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  • 1,024
2 votes
2 answers
87 views

How to use a oxford comma in situation given below

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 ...
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  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a distinction between "ceteris paribus" and "other things held constant"?

Wikipedia defines Ceteris paribus as: a Latin phrase meaning "with other things the same" or "other things being equal or held constant". It has always struck me as strange that we (primarily ...
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