Chapter 3 Breaking up long sentences (ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS)

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Summary From ENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS By: adrian.wallwork@gmail.com.

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  • 1. By: Premala Nair KrishnakuttySummary fromENGLISH FOR WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS byadrian.wallwork@gmail.com.

2. 3.0 Why this chapter is important? Short sentences earns more readers Your journal will be immediately catch the refereeseyes and the chances to be published will be more In this chapter, we will learn how to make shortsentences 3. 3.1 Think above all about the reader All readers prefer sentences that they: Only need to read once They dont have to read it slowly has it does not requireintense concentration Can understand writers logic by reading or process, word byword rather than understanding it at the end of the sentences The average length of the sentences becoming shorter andshorter over the centuries During Shakespeares 45 words 150 years ago 29 words Todays experts 15 and 18 words 4. 3.2 The longer your sentence, the greaterthe chance it will be misunderstood Below shows example of a sentence where the referee hasrejected and asked the author to write something sensible:-Even if the occurrence of this particular form of pulmonary tumor occurson a rare basis, since the behavior of these tumors is extremelydifficult to predict and the histological features resembling a discretecell tumor may lead to misdiagnose a C2 tumor as a C1 tumor, itwould be of interest to characterize those lesions and to take them intoaccount in the differential diagnosis of hereditary or congenital tumors. 5. 3.2 The longer your sentence, the greaterthe chance it will be misunderstood From the referees point of view, this sentence make no sense asfor them usually, they do not have enough time to interpret theauthors trying to explain thus they need simplified version of thecontent The author then rewrote the sentence as shown below:-This particular form of pulmonary tumor appears to be extremelyrare. Its behavior is extremely difficult to predict. Moreover, thehistological features, which resemble a discrete cell tumor, may mean thata C2 tumor is misdiagnosed as a C1 tumor. It would thus be interesting tocharacterize these lesions and to take them into account in thedifferential diagnosis of hereditary or congenital tumors. 6. 3.2 The longer your sentence, the greaterthe chance it will be misunderstood The authors view is more clear when the sentences hasbeen break down to 11, 7, 22 and 24 words, making atotal of 64 words as the original version was 71 words There are few more example in the book, you may referthe diagram, showing the original and revised version 7. 3.3 Short sentences are not a sign ofinelegance and superficiality Some non-native researchers feels that they couldnt express themselves as they would byusing their own language Humanity and social sciences author usually expresses opinions rather than hard facts A survey has been done by author to PhD students before the writing course, particularstudents expresses view as below: Question: What for you is the most difficult aspect of writing in English? In Art History, long sentences used to descriptions, attributions and reasons Hard to translate an article into English because of difficulty in choosing the rightwords Sometimes the student feels she lose some shades of meaning long sentences are NOT absolutely necessary E.g. : the Viennese art historian, Ernst Gombrich wrote many of his books in Englishrather than in his native German most widely accessible art history books ever published, because it is written ina clear, simple, unpretentious style After 4 years, the author contacted the student to check whether he could use her quoteabout art history in this book. Since the writing course she managed to write 7 books in English She now writes directly in English using simpler way to get her work published 8. 3.4 Why and how long sentences arecreated Long sentences contain one or more of the following: a link word/phrase (e.g. and, moreover, in fact, etc) a list of items, most of which are qualified (e.g. specifying a characteristics) one or more semicolon or colon also caused by adding too many parts to the main clause S1: We did several surveys, which all gave the same result.(Easy to read) S2: We did several surveys aimed at investigating whether stress increases inproportion to the number of children a couple has and each survey led to the sameresult, i.e. that there is no correlation, thus confirming the hypothesis that stress inthe family is generally connected to factors other than size.(Possible to understand on a first reading but reader might want todivide it Into 3 parts to get better understanding) S3: We did several surveys aimed at investigating whether stress increases inproportion to the number of children a couple has. Each survey led to the sameresult, i.e. that there is no correlation. This confirmed the hypothesis that stress inthe family is generally connected to factors other than size.(Reader can understand easily because it is written in 3 blocks clearly) 9. 3.5 And And is used in 2 different ways to join two verbs (speak and write) and two nouns (English and Italian) to add additional information (and that this is true .. and to this end) Eg1: Using AND creating long sentences In this comparison the RV replaces first and with full stop to reduce the length The second and cannot be simply replaced with full stop instead it is replaced with also 10. 3.6 as well as Used to add some additional info Used as alternative for and If use as well as, it will make longer sentences so it is better to break thesentences However, cannot start a sentence using as well as instead we need to repeatsome part 11. 3.7 Other link words that introduce additionalinformation: moreover, in addition, furthermore these words have similar meaning as and 12. 3.8 Link words that compare and contrast: whereas,on the other hand; although, however take note that not all link words can be used at the beginning of a sentence this example shows the usage of although and however some link words such as because, since, as are used in the middle of sentences, when yousplit the sentences, it cannot be used to begin the sentence 13. 3.9 Link words that give explanations:because, since, as, in fact Words like since and although are usually used in a subordinate clauseat the beginning of the sentences When use since at the beginning of a sentence, we should have someidea on how it relates to the main clause 14. 3.9 Link words that give explanations:because, since, as, in fact words like since and as also require a dependentclause, look below example 15. 3.10 Link words that express consequences: owing to,due to, as a result of, consequently, thus etc. These words are used to explain or describe something, example showas belowSplit into 3to getclearerpicture 16. 3.11 Which and relative clauses used to add information 17. 3.11 Which and relativeclauses When the sentences are long, it will be difficult to understand, example as belowOriginal Version (ov)English is now the worlds internationallanguage and is studied by more thana billion people in various parts of theworld thus giving rise to an industry ofEnglish language textbooks and teachers,which explains why in so many schoolsand universities in countries where Englishis not the mother tongue it is taught as thefirst foreign language in preference to, forexample, Spanish or Chinese, which are twolanguages that have more native speakersthan English.Revised Version (rv)English is now the worlds internationallanguage and is studied by more thana billion people in various parts of theworld thus giving rise to an industry ofEnglish language textbooks and teachers.This explains why in so many schools anduniversities in countries where English isnot the mother tongue it is taught as the firstforeign language. For example, English istaught in preference to Spanish or Chinese,which are two languages that have morenative speakers than English.Using THISeitherstandalone orwith a noun ithelp toreduce thelength of thesentence 18. 3.11 Which and relativeclauses More example using which 19. 3.12 - ing form Used to link phrases which will make the sentences longer Another word can be used to form a new sentenceoriginal version (ov)Using automatic translation software (e.g.Google Translate, Babelfish, and Systran)can considerably ease the work of researcherswhen they need to translate documents thussaving them money (for example the feethey might have otherwise had to pay to aprofessional translator) and increasing theamount of time they have to spend in thelaboratory rather than at the PC.revised version (rv)Using automatic translation software(e.g. Google Translate, Babelfish, andSystran) can considerably ease the workof researchers when they need to translatedocuments. Such software saves themmoney, for example the fee they mighthave otherwise had to pay to a professionaltranslator. It also increases the amount oftime they have to spend in the laboratoryrather than at the PC. 20. 3.13 in order to Used to express rationale of a procedure or line If rationale is more than 15 words, need to split it to a newsentences 21. 3.13 in order to Two technique used in RV- either say what you did and then why you did it-or give your rationale and then say what you did 22. 3.14 Excessive numbers ofcommas Commas used to lists (OK) Commas used in sentence, make the sentence longer, as shown beloworiginal version (ov)As a preliminary study, in an attempt toestablish a relationship between documentlength and level of bureaucracy, we analyzedthe length of 50 European Union documents,written in seven of the official languagesof the EU, to confirm whether documents,such as reports regarding legislative andadministrative issues, vary substantially inlength from one language to another, andwhether this could be related, in some way,to the length of time typically needed tocarry out daily administrative tasks in thosecountries (e.g. withdrawing money froma bank account, setting up bill paymentswith utility providers, understanding theclauses of an insurance contract). The resultsshowed that revised version (rv)Our aim was to see if there is a directrelationship between the length ofdocuments produced in a country, and thelength it takes to do simple bureaucratictasks in that country. Our hypothesis was:the longer document, the greater the level ofbureaucracy.In our preliminary study we analyzedtranslations from English into seven of theofficial languages of the European Union.We chose 50 documents, mostly regardinglegislative and administrative issues. Wethen looked at the length of time typicallyneeded to carry out daily administrative tasksin those countries. The tasks we selectedwere withdrawing money from a bankaccount, setting up bill payments with utilityproviders, and understanding the clauses ofan insurance contract.The results showed that ...LazywritingMorewords,easiertofollowLogicalorder andseparatesentences1.Rationale2. Investigation3. Connection 23. 3.15 Semicolons Not commonly used Instead replace it with full stop Semicolon also do make the sentence long 24. 3.16 Semicolons in lists Only use when dividing lists where the lists relates toeach otherS1: *The partners in the various projects are A, B and C,P and Q, X and Y and Z.S2: The partners in the various projects are A, B and C;P and Q; X; and Y and Z. 25. 3.17 Phrases in parentheses Do not use it unless to list It also make the sentences longer Should be avoided to give explanations or examples 26. 3.18 Summary Doesnt matter if your sentence is short the information will still be thesame The slides above teaches you on how to make reader understand on thefirst reading To increase readability dont separate the subject from its verb using more than 810 words avoid adding extra information to the end of the main clause, if the mainclause is already about 1520 words long check to make sure that a sentence has a maximum of 30 words, and dontuse more than three or four 30-word sentences in the whole paper consider beginning a new sentence if the original sentence is long andcontains one or more of the following (or equivalents): and, which, a linkword, the -ing form, in order to maximize the use of periods (.). Use the minimum number of commas (,),avoid semicolons (;) and parentheses dont worry about repeating key words. If dividing up a long sentenceinto shorter sentences means that you have to repeat key words, this is not aproblem.

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