Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Language of Theses & Academic Papers

The following list of phrases and their definitions might help you understand the mysterious language of science (including psychology) and medicine. These special phrases are also applicable to anyone reading a PhD dissertation,  academic paper or undergrad thesis:

"IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN"... I didn't look up the original reference. 

"A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT"... These data are practically meaningless. 

"WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS"... An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.

"THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY"... The other results didn't make any sense.

"TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN"... This is the prettiest graph.

"THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT"... I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

"IN MY EXPERIENCE"... Once

"IN CASE AFTER CASE"... Twice

"IN A SERIES OF CASES"... Thrice

"IT IS BELIEVED THAT"... I think.

"IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT"... A couple of others think so, too.

"IT MIGHT BE ARGUED THAT" ... I have such a good answer for this objection that I now raise it.

"CORRECT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE"... Wrong.

"ACCORD1NG TO STATISTICAL ANALYSIS"... Rumour has it.

"A STATISTICALLY-ORIENTED PROJECTION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE FINDINGS"... A wild guess.

"A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF OBTAINABLE DATA"... Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.

"IT IS CLEAR THAT MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHENOMENON OCCURS"... I don't understand it

"AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES"... They don't understand it either.

"THANKS ARE DUE TO JOE BLOGGS FOR ASSISTANCE WITH THE EXPERIMENT AND TO CINDY ADAMS FOR VALUABLE DISCUSSIONS"... Mr. Bloggs did the work and Ms. Adams explained to me what it meant.

"A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AREA FOR EXPLORATORY STUDY"... A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

"IT IS HOPED THAT THIS WILL STIMULATE FURTHER WORK IN THIS FIELD" ... This paper isn't very good, but neither are any others on this miserable subject.

"IT IS HOPED THAT THIS STUDY WILL STIMULATE FURTHER 1NVESTIGATION IN THIS FIELD"... I quit.

No comments:

Post a Comment