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    The Most Common Habits from more than 200 English Papers written by Graduate Chinese Engineering Students

    Download Citation | The Most Common Habits from more than 200 English Papers written by Graduate Chinese Engineering Students | This paper presents some of the most common Chinese-English habits observed from over two hundred English technical papers by Chinese writers. The... | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

    Article

    The Most Common Habits from more than 200 English Papers written by Graduate Chinese Engineering Students

    January 2007 Authors: Felicia Brittman

    To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

    Abstract

    This paper presents some of the most common Chinese-English habits observed from over two hundred English technical papers by Chinese writers. The habits are explained and in most cases, example text from an actual paper is given along with preferred text. An attempt is made to explain how to correct and prevent such mistakes. In some cases a possible explanation of why the habit occurs is also given. This paper can serve as an individual guide to editing technical papers especially when a native English-speaking editor is unavailable.

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    Reading Notes: The Most Common Habits from more than 200 English Papers written by Graduate Chinese Engineering Students

    This is an article written by Felicia Brittman. My supervisor suggested us Chinese students to read it. This article points out a lot of bad habits that most Chinese students may have, which is really useful for me. I noted down some of the habits I may have. "a, an, the" The single most common…

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    READING NOTES: THE MOST COMMON HABITS FROM MORE THAN 200 ENGLISH PAPERS WRITTEN BY GRADUATE CHINESE ENGINEERING STUDENTS

    This is an article written by Felicia Brittman. My supervisor suggested us Chinese students to read it. This article points out a lot of bad habits that most Chinese students may have, which is really useful for me. I noted down some of the habits I may have.

    “a, an, the”

    The single most common habit: omission of articles a, an, and the.

    Incorrect: Figure shows the distribution of relative velocity on surface of main and splitter blades

    Correct: Figure shows the distribution of relative velocity on the surface of the main and splitter blades.

    Very long sentences

    Avoid long sentences by limiting each sentence to one or two topics. Semicolons should be used where the writers really want to emphasize the relationship between ideas.

    Another type of super-long sentences that frequently occurs: The writers wants to give a large amount of data, usually parameter values, and puts this information into one long, paragraph-sized sentence. However, the best way is to tabulate it, or put it in a bulleted list.

    Prefacing the main idea of a sentence by stating the purpose (reason, etc) first

    This is definitely one of my habits.

    Incorrect: For the application in …, this paper studies the … problem.

    Correct: This paper studies the … problem for the application in …

    Incorrect: Inside the test box, the space was filled with asbestos.

    Correct: The space inside the test box was filled with asbestos.

    Incorrect: To ensure …, CMMs are widely used in …

    Correct: CMMs are widely used in … to ensure …

    Other similar examples: “based on”, “when”, “in practice”.

    “in this paper”, “in this study”

    Don’t overuse them (three or less). These phrases are reserved for primarily two uses

    1. In the introduction and conclusion to emphasize the content of the paper.

    2. In the body of the paper, after referring to work not done by the author such as in other journal articles or in standard.

    Awkward: In this paper, IDEAS was used to …

    Correct: In this study, IDEAS was used to …

    Numbers and Equations

    Arabic numerals should never be used at the beginning of sentences. In addition, Arabic numerals are overused. Arabic numerals should be used to give data in technical papers, however they should not be used to give general information.

    Equations should be introduced as much as possible, not inserted in place of words. Most journal discourage the use of even short expressions within the text.

    Incorrect: If the power battery …

    Correct: If the power battery is greater than …

    “figure” and “table”

    The abbreviations for figure and table are Fig. and Tbl, respectively. Be consistent in a paper to use them. In addition, abbreviations are not used in the beginning of sentences.

    “such as” and “etc”

    Such us means ‘for example’ and implies that an incomplete list will follow.

    Therefore, using such and etc. together is redundant.

    Other tips from my supervisor“formally prove” and “formally show”

    Avoid to use the first one since a proof is always formal. The second one is okay.

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