Pointers for Academic Writing (Part 3)

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In this post, we are going to deal with phrases used to compare results and those used to cite work by other authors.

Comparison to Previous Results

The purpose of the Discussion section in research articles is to compare the writer’s own results with those of other researchers. Similar results can help support the writer’s claims, whereas different (unexpected) findings require explanation. The following adjectives and verbs are typically used to present these two types of results:

 (A) Similar results

One way to show the validity of one’s results or claims is to gain support from similar results found by other researchers.

Adjectives

The results are [consistent with] those [reported] previously for [SAMPLE] by [RESEARCHER].

  • [consistent with]: similar to, in agreement with, in accord with, in line with, comparable to, compatible with, equivalent to, identical to, lower than
  • [reported]: described, documented, recorded

Verbs

This value [agrees with] that [observed] in [SAMPLE] for [RESEARCHER].

This value [agrees with] that [observed] for [AREA] by [RESEARCHER].

  • [agrees with]: coincides with, conforms with, corresponds to, accords with, concurs with, compares favorably with
  • [observed]: found, noted, seen

These data [corroborate] the findings of [RESEARCHER].

  • [corroborate]: support, match, parallel, confirm, substantiate, strengthen, validate, verify

Other Examples

  • Many researchers have reported similar… (Nash, 1989).
  • Similar results have been reported by Nash (1989) who…
  • Support for this view has come from studies of… (Nash, 1989).

 (B) Different results

The work of other researchers can also be cited in order to contrast it with one’s own results. In this case, it is usually considered necessary to give a reason for this discrepancy.

 Adjectives

This value is [contrary to/in contrast to] that [reported] earlier for [SAMPLE] by [RESEARCHER].

Verbs

This value [differs from/ contrasts with/ conflicts with/contradicts] that [presented/established] earlier for [SAMPLE] by [RESEARCHER].

Citing Other Work

A number of options are available to the writer in terms of (1) the form of the reference given to the author as well as (2) its position within the sentence.

(A) Form of Citation

The form of citation can be either “integral” or “non-integral”. An integral. citation is one in which the name of the researcher occurs in the actual citing sentence as a grammatical element of the sentence; in a non-integral citation, the name of the researcher occurs in parenthesis or the research is referred to elsewhere by a number.  Then any of the following forms could be used to report the author’s original claim, depending upon your rhetorical intention.

Integral Citation

  1. Rees & Mészáros (2005) suggested that the nonthermal emission, which is superposed on the thermal Compton spectrum, is due to synchrotron shock emission.
  1. These lines were found by Smith et al. (2005), and their results show that there is axial symmetry about the NC bond with hyperfine constants.

Non-Integral Citation

  1. The nonthermal emission, which is superposed on the thermal Compton spectrum, is due to synchrotron shock emission (Rees & Mészáros, 2005).
  2. In a previous study, such nonthermal emission was found to be due to synchrotron shock emission (Rees & Mészáros, 2005).
  3. Previous research shows that there is an axial symmetry about the NC bond with hyperfine constants (Smith et al., 2005).

(B) Location in the Sentence

In integral citations, the name of the researcher occurs as a part of the actual text; it can be placed either at the beginning or the end of the sentence.

Sentence—Initial Position

  1. Nash (2005) has reported that…
  2. In a study of partridge by Nash (2005), it was found that…
  3. As was also shown by Nash (2005), our results indicated that…
  4. According to Nash (2005),…

 

Sentence—Final Position

  1. …has been reported by Smith (2005).
  2. …., as previously reported by Smith (2005).a
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