80 votes
Accepted

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

A common term is audit North American - Attend (a class) informally, not for academic credit. Oxford Dictionaries Online
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  • 72k
69 votes
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Why do the titles of scholarly works sometimes begin with the word "on"?

This naming convention extends back to ancient times. Many of Aristotle's (384–322 BC) works are titled On --- Lucretius (99 - 55 BC) wrote De rerum natura or On the Nature of Things In 44 BC Cicero ...
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  • 4,781
26 votes

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

If a student intends to sit in on a course without registering, this is indeed called auditing. Auditing can be formal, in which case it might not even be free and could require arrangement with the ...
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  • 641
24 votes

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

The phenomenon appears to be a result of translation that dates back to early Greek writings. Early works by Greek writers would introduce a topic with Περὶ, meaning about, which Latin scholars ...
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22 votes

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

While all the other answers are very well thought out, let me point out a case where "On" keeps a title from being misleading. The paper On large subsets of 𝔽qn with no three-term arithmetic ...
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14 votes
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How to say "we thought about" in an academic way?

Since there are many row values at each step of the process, one approach we considered was to aggregate all the row values into a single value Since there are many row values at each step of the ...
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  • 1,793
12 votes
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What is an alternative way to say "Note that" in academic writing?

The best advice is: don't. Just leave it out. Readers do not like being constantly (or even repeatedly) reminded to pay attention. If it is a fact, state it as a fact. If it is an opinion, clarify ...
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9 votes
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"confer" ("cf.") vs "see also"

comment reposted as an answer, extracted and edited for brevity from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citation_signal : Signals that indicate support: [no signal] - a simple citation of another source. ...
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8 votes
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What is the origin of the "towards a new" used in the titles of some research articles?

The earliest example I can discover of an academic work whose title included the phrase towards a new is George Berkeley's An essay towards a new theory of vision, published in 1709. However, this ...
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8 votes

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

It is to be observed that (/Please/One should/) Observe that (One should) Bear in mind that (One should) Keep in mind that
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  • 7,538
8 votes

Gendered Pronouns for Privacy-Masked Individuals

I see no need to eliminate gender from the pronouns, since the gender was already revealed. There is a reason not to eliminate gender from the pronouns: it makes the text harder to follow. Why tie ...
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8 votes
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Word describing multiple paths to the same abstract outcome

Perhaps equifinality? From Wikipedia, Equifinality is the principle that in open systems a given end state can be reached by many potential means. Also meaning that a goal can be reached by ...
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  • 3,096
8 votes

Noun opposite of a theoretician?

Consider practitioner which is defined here as A person actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession, especially medicine.
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7 votes
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Alternative for "as high as" for an academic text

The editor is right to object to your phrase, or at least, I wouldn't use it in formal writing either. It might depend on the field but it just doesn't feel "right" to me. I don't, however, ...
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  • 20.7k
7 votes

What does "business optional" mean?

Can it mean what they described it as? Sure. The adjective "business" is qualifying the sense of "optional" which is intended... in their case, allegedly, the ironic sense that the business will ...
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7 votes
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Passive voice in academic writing; why is it not recommended?

In any type of writing—academic or informal or anything in between—passive voice can be used. As was noted in the posted question, in a number of word processing programs any passive constructions are ...
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  • 151k
6 votes

Should I use interchangable terms in academic writing?

In an academic paper you should not use words interchangeably. Once you start referring to an experiment or to a study, then you should use the same term throughout the paper. In the example you ...
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6 votes

How to report "Ocean of Knowledge"

I think in my neck of the woods it'd be more idiomatic to speak of a (vast) sea of knowledge. But a (great) ocean of knowledge is okay, indeed if you google around you will see many many people using ...
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6 votes

What is the origin of the "towards a new" used in the titles of some research articles?

The earliest example I can find is the 1668 work by John Wilkins: "An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language"¹ , where he proposed a universal language and a decimal system of ...
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6 votes

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

My opinion- propound a thesis present a thesis When you propound an idea, you put it forward. (vocabulary.com)
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6 votes

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

I would use the word submit: 3.0 [WITH OBJECT] Present (a proposal, application, or other document) to a person or body for consideration or judgement: the panel’s report was submitted to a ...
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6 votes

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

The only way I've ever heard rule used in a scientific context is with various conventions for solving problems — eg. Right-hand rule (for finding cross-product directions), Kirchhoff's Rules, etc. ...
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  • 2,390
6 votes

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

Contra some previous posters I would submit that there is a semantic distinction in using the prepostion 'on' in the title, and that it concerns not the subject of said text, so much as what kind of ...
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6 votes

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

@SvenYarg's answer here and particularly his fuller one on the page linked to in the OP's question are a good analysis of when the active is to be preferred to the passive, and vice versa. Just a ...
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6 votes
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What can I call a longer passage in an academic work (text equivalent to "Figure")?

If they are all pieces of another published work, See excerpt 6.1 on page 43. An excerpt in writing is a quoted passage taken from a longer work, such as a book, or poem, or an article. ...
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  • 1,107
5 votes

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

auditor - a university student registered for a course without credit and without obligation to do work assigned to the class. dictionary.com definition
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  • 141
5 votes
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What do you call someone who studies Russia?

The word Russologist is used to refer to persons who are experts on Russia. Examples: Stanford's most accomplished Russologist returns home, to cheers (...) I took McFaul's Russian Politics ...
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5 votes

Word describing multiple paths to the same abstract outcome

While 'equifinality' seems to be the term you were looking for, I thought I'd mention an adjective that's sometimes used to express the same idea: convergent. From Merriam-Webster: tending to ...
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