Dashes or Rules
The most common use of en or em dashes (also called ‘rules’) in the running prose of a scholarly paper is to mark parenthetical clauses, in which case the dashes indicate a more pronounced break in the sentence than commas would and highlight the parenthetical clause more than parentheses would. If the clause appears in the middle of a sentence, dashes should surround the clause (e.g., ‘I just saw a bear – a big black one! – raiding the bird feeder’), but when the clause appears at the end of the sentence, the opening dash functions rather like a colon and a closing dash is not required (as in ‘I just saw a bear – a big black one!’ or ‘The frost destroyed some of the vegetables – the tomatoes, beans and carrots’). No punctuation should precede an opening parenthetical dash, and while the closing dash of a parenthetical clause can be preceded by a question or exclamation mark (as I have used in the first example above), it should not be preceded by a comma, semicolon, colon or full stop. Although en or em dashes are acceptable in scholarly prose, they are less formal than colons and often suggest an aside or afterthought, so excessive use of this construction (in every sentence, for instance) is poor style, and as a general rule no more than one parenthetical or explanatory clause marked by dashes should be used in a single sentence. In running text either en or em dashes but never a combination of the two should be used, and spaces should appear around the en dash (as in the examples above) when used in the ways described in this paragraph, but not around the em dash (e.g., ‘The frost destroyed some of the vegetables—the tomatoes, beans and carrots’).
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.
Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.