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【科研写作】中国作者撰写英语论文中的一些常见问题

中国作者撰写英语论文中的一些常见问题

——STYLE, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, AND OTHER ISSUES

1、逗号误用:

逗号误用是指两个独立单句(即每个句子都可以是一个单独的完整句子)间只用逗号相连。独立单句可使用适当连接词(例如:and、but)或用分号隔开;或使用句号取代逗号,并开始新的句子。

2、先行词(antecedent)不清晰:

我发现很多个句子中,代词(pronoun)的先行词不清晰。意思就是说读者难于理解代词所指代的是哪一个名词或名词短语。读者常常会回头看就近出现的名词,但有时会出现指代不明的情况。如果使用代词代替名词有可能出现误解,则应重复使用该名词而不用代词。

3、尽量避免使用“most”来描述已证实的研究文献。

如果你写“大部分研究者发现什么什么(most researchers find such-and-such)”实际上你用了统计学的表达,意思是你知道一半以上的研究者已经发现什么什么。如果对含有“大部分(most of…)”的句子要求你证实其数量你能做到吗?这就是该单词(most)所蕴含的意思。你可以使用“many”或 “several” 或“a number of”来代替。

4、RESEARCHES(research的复数形式):

Research(研究)是一个集合名词,一般理解为包括大量的研究工作。因此,它实际上不应该使用复数形式,你可以使用“studies”或“investigations”或其他相似词来代替。

5、拟人化的名词:

“研究结果(Results)”不会发现(find)任何东西,例如在句子中"our results found that….";“量表(Scales)”也不能观察(observe )任何东西。而应该是研究者发现结果,由结果引出结论。所以,结果(Results)往往是用“证实(document)”或“显示(show)”或“表明(demonstrate)”或者是你(由研究结果)得到了什么想法。对于“报告(report)”的应用也是一样的道理,“研究结果(Results)”不会报道任何东西,而是由研究者报告的;“量表(Scales)”不能观察任何东西,而是研究者观察到的。【PS:意思就是别把一些动词的主语由“人”误用为“物(如结果、量表等)”】

6、嵌套括号、背靠背括号:

一般来说,不要在括号内再使用括号;也不要使用背靠背的两组括号以添加不同信息。

7、缩写和首字母缩写:

在第一次使用时,对一个缩写或首字母缩写要进行定义(即写出全称),此后出现即一致使用该缩写。

8、主谓语不一致:

单数主语(名词或名词短语)使用单数动词,复数主语使用复数动词。一个常见的错误是将最靠近的名词或名词短语作为主语来使用动词,这可能是也可能不是真正的主语。

9、当标点符号出现在引用短语结束处时(如:引号出现在句末)

句子结束的标点符号(如:逗号、分号、句号或问号)应包括在引号内。比如 “…shows A is higher than B.”, “…what is the question?”

10、罗马数字或数字单词:

一般对10或10以上的数字采用罗马数字表示;而个位数一般采用数字单词表示(如“one” 、“six”)。

STYLE, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, AND OTHER ISSUES

COMMA SPLICE: A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses (that is, each of them could be a separate complete sentence) are connected only by a comma. Either separate independent clauses with an appropriate conjunction (for example, "and," "but"), or with a semi-colon; or put a period in place of the comma and start a new sentence. There are very many comma splices in this paper. I correct some, but you should proofread the manuscript carefully to correct any I missed.

UNCLEAR ANTECEDENTS: I found multiple instances of pronouns with unclear antecedents. That means that the reader cannot easily tell to which preceding noun or noun phrase the pronoun is supposed to refer. Typically, the reader looks back to the most recently occurring reasonable noun; sometimes that is ambiguous, though. If there is a possibility of misunderstanding to which noun the pronoun is supposed to refer (i.e., what it's antecedent is), repeat the noun instead of using a pronoun.

Avoid the use of “most” when describing the state of the empirical literature. If you write “most researchers find such-and-such,” in effect you are making a statistical statement, saying that you know that more than half the researchers have found such-and-such. Could you, if called upon, justify that “most of…” statement with numbers? That’s what the word implies. Instead, use “many,” or “several,” or “a number of.”

RESEARCHES: Research is a collective noun, generally understood to include a body of work. As such, it really should not be used as a plural (i.e., researches). Instead, use "studies," or "investigations," or some similar word.

ANTHROPOMORPHIZING NOUNS: Results don't find anything, as in "our results found that…." Scales don't observe anything. Researchers find results; results lead to conclusions. Results therefore document, or show, or demonstrate, or… you get the idea. Ditto for "report:" Results don't report anything; researchers do. Scales don't observe anything; researchers do.

NESTED PARENTHESES, BACK-TO-BACK PARENTHESES: Generally, do not put parentheses inside parentheses. Generally, do not information in one set of parentheses back-to-back with other information in a second set of parentheses.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS: Define an abbreviation or acronym on its first use in the paper. Once you have defined an abbreviation, use it routinely and consistently.

SUBJECT-VERB DISAGREEMENT: Singlular subjects (nouns or noun phrases) take singular verbs; plural subjects take plural verbs. A common mistake is to have the verb agree with the closest noun or noun phrase, which may or may not be the actual subject of the sentence. There are noticeable instances of subject-verb disagreement throughout this paper. I changed many of them, but you should carefully check to make sure that all your subjects and verbs agree.

When punctuation occurs at the end of a quoted phrase (e.g., quotation marks occur at the end of a sentence), the end punctuation (e.g., a comma, semi-color, period or question mark) should be enclosed within the ending quotation mark.

NUMBERS AS NUMERALS vs. NUMBER WORDS: It is common practice to use numerals for numbers 10 or greater and number words (e.g., "one," "six") for single digits.

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