Re: [isabelle] Don’t Make Your Readers Scream



I hope you find my little note useful. There are some good books on academic writing out there, but I wanted to be as concise as possible.

The real issue with We is that a paper is about your subject matter, not about yourself.  (Consider the difference between “I claim that” and “we can see that” (“we” = “you and I”) or “it follows that”.) Using We instead of I is a very thin disguise, and can sound even more ridiculous. But there are occasions when it is appropriate to refer to “my previous paper", “my approach" or “my supervisor". 

No referee should reject a paper simply because it is shorter than some arbitrary limit. They can complain if it is too concise to be understandable. This can be a problem with complicated mathematical definitions. If you experiment was small, padding out the paper with waffle will only make matters worse.

Larry

> On 16 Dec 2014, at 22:54, Joachim Breitner <breitner at kit.edu> wrote:
> 
> Dear Larry,
> 
> Am Dienstag, den 16.12.2014, 14:31 +0000 schrieb Lawrence Paulson:
>> We are starting to see calls for papers, so I’ve decided to circulate a brief note offering advice on how to get your paper accepted:
>> 
>> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~lp15/Pages/Scream.html
> 
> Thanks a lot! I still miss the „great comprehensive manual to
> academics“, so little bits of advice like this are very appreciated.
> 
> 
>> Comments are also welcome.
> 
> as an academic beginner, it’s more question than comments. You write
> 
>> Avoid the royal “we”.
> 
> and I wonder how commonly accepted that is. I have been told to use "we"
> even in single-author-papers (and by now it feels natural), but I would
> be happy to use "I", I guess.
> 
> 
> Also, I’m a bit worried about:
> 
>> Yes, even if you are below the page limit: that is not a failure, but 
>> an achievement.
> 
> Will surely no referee think „Oh, only 10 instead of 12 pages. That
> can’t be as substantial as all those 12 pages papers where I can’t help
> but assume that there is even more to their work than they talked
> about“?
> 
> Or in other words: Can I risk staying below the page limit even in
> papers of just average quality?





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