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Academic Grammar Guide for Doctoral Students – Series 1

This entry was posted in Academic Writing , on August 25 , 2016.

Scientific documents, most often are neglected with accuracy in grammar.  They are more often than not, filled with grammatical errors. If you are Ph.D. in the making, you will be writing a lot of lengthy documents at various stages in the journey. It is important that you are thorough with grammatical rules so that you don’t make such mistakes in your journey.

  • Some of the most common mistakes that scholars make are:
  • Application of “Utilise” and “Use”: The job of a scholar is to not make his document fancy but simple and easy to understand by the readers. They should refrain from using heavy words. Though the words “utilise” and “use” are often used as synonym but it is always suggested to put the word “use” more often because of the simplicity that is associated with it.
  • Giving space between a quantity and the unit:  This is one of the most commonly made mistake and these small spacing related mistakes go unnoticed. “6mL” is wrong and “6 mL” is correct.
  • Putting the correct tense of verb: In a research, correct use of the verb tense is very important. Most of the research is written in the present tense or the past tense.  The command over grammar is necessary to know which among the two is applicable in a particular situation. Some common norms to know of regarding the use of tenses can be:
  • Present Tense: For knowledge that is recognized
  • Present Tense: For Data presentation
  • Past Tense: Methods and Results
  • Past Tense: For credit and Acknowledgement
  • One should avoid using Apostrophe, to the best possible capacity in scientific writing process

Capitalising: Always ensure to capitalise the words when they are proper nouns. If you are unsure about a noun, whether it is proper or no, always verify from an authentic source to be sure.

  • Use of “Since” and “For”: A lot of people who are not thorough with the language, happen to confuse with the application of “Since” and “For”. They are both used for present perfect continuous tense but have specifically distinct use. “Since” is used specifically for point of time and “For” is used for Period of time. With this minor demarcation, the use should be very careful.
  • I hope these small but important grammar rules are going to help researchers to improvise the understanding as well as the presentation of their document.


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