54 PRS Proofreading and Editing Service PhD Experts • All Academic Areas • Fast Turnaround • High Quality study, for instance, or a third party (or parties) working at some other time who ought to be cited. Some academic and scientific authors will deliberately use the passive voice in an abstract, perhaps due to a misconception that the passive voice is scholarly, but a scholarly voice is never vague as the passive voice can be, and some journal guidelines will actually ask that the passive voice be avoided, especially in abstracts where precision expressed via as few words as possible is particularly important. So do check the guidelines and when you use the passive voice, do so sparingly and with careful attention to what it actually says and does not say. 4.4.3 Using Pronouns Professionally and Clearly Pronouns are among the most friendly features of language: they allow the author (or speaker) to say what needs to be said with much greater efficiency and elegance than would be possible were he or she obliged to repeatedly use the same noun or noun phrase several times even within the same sentence. However, pronouns can also be among the most user-unfriendly features of academic or scientific prose. There are times in creative writing when ambiguity about the meaning of a pronoun is deliberate and effective, but in scholarly writing, the meaning of a pronoun should be obvious and certain (and any rare instances of deliberate ambiguity explained, as I explain the use of ‘them’ for both ideas and readers in Section 4.4.1 above, or clearly justified by the material). This means that the relationship between a pronoun and its antecedent should be clearly established so that no doubt about the meaning of the pronoun exists. For example, in ‘The mother thought the boy was lost. He was actually at a friend’s house,’ ‘He’ can only refer to the boy, so there’s no risk of confusion. However, in ‘The boy lost his old dog Jake. He was actually at a friend’s house,’ the antecedent of ‘He’ is not clear. Since the ‘boy’ is the subject of the PARt II: PRePARIng, PResentIng And PolIsHIng YoUR woRk