Why English Verbs Should Not Be Split and Other Writing Tips

Why English Verbs Should Not Be Split and Other Writing Tips
English is a notoriously difficult language to use correctly, more so to use elegantly, and verbs are among the most troublesome aspects of English to negotiate. Care must be taken when deciding upon the tense of a verb to ensure that the temporal message it communicates accurately reflects the reality reported, that it is consistent with other verbs expressing similar temporal messages and that the tense used changes according to the nature of the content. Because the infinitive of verbs is compound in English – ‘to write’, ‘to publish’ and so on – it is essential that the individual components are not separated from each other by other words. When they are, as in ‘to successfully publish’, the result is called a ‘split infinitive’, and although some might argue that split infinitives are now acceptable, they are not a feature of scholarly English prose and should be avoided: ‘to publish successfully’ is the correct structure. The passive voice (‘the problem was investigated’) can also present problems because it tends to be less precise than the active voice (‘we investigated’). A misconception that the passive voice is a scholarly voice leads some authors to use passive constructions in abstracts in particular, but precision achieved via the use of as few words as possible is especially important in the abstract of a paper; therefore, some journal guidelines request that the passive voice be avoided in abstracts, and it is best kept to a minimum throughout an academic or scientific article. Contractions (‘didn’t’, ‘wasn’t’ and so on) are informal and should be entirely avoided in scholarly prose.
Journal Editing ServicesJournal Article Editing Services
The Careful Use of Vocabulary, Specialised Terminology and Jargon
The vocabulary used in a scholarly paper should be chosen with care. Variety is important for retaining the reader’s interest, but precision and consistency are essential in reporting results and presenting an argument effectively, so a balance must be struck with the scales always tipped slightly toward clear communication. Specialised terminology is often necessary, but it should be used in accordance with the specialisation of the relevant journal and its readers, explained thoroughly whenever there is doubt about the audience’s familiarity with it and neither overused nor used as a substitute for sound argumentation. The best scholarly writing demonstrates not only proficiency in using specialised terminology, but also a deep understanding of the ideas behind that terminology, and it explains those ideas to its readers while taking them (both ideas and readers) in new directions. Closely related to specialised terminology is the jargon peculiar to a profession or field of study. Such jargon usually includes specialised vocabulary, but also tends to use convoluted syntax or awkward word order. The fact that the word ‘jargon’ is often defined in dictionaries as ‘meaningless writing’, ‘vague language’ or ‘gibberish’ can be a helpful reminder that jargon-rich writing intended to be learned and impressive can in practice prove unintelligible (or very nearly so) to readers and should in most cases be avoided.

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.

topbanner errow