克服语言障碍

简明的写作风格

  • 清晰
  • 简明
  • 准确

在撰写论文时,在不省略要点的前提下力求简明扼要。

力求简单! 语言通常是越简单越明确,所谓要言不烦。尽管通常你所描述的对象非常高端,但如果你的遣词造句过于复杂,就只会让读者倍感困惑,同时也削弱文章本身的说服力。

写出清晰、简明、准确的文章应做到:

  • 每个句子只包含一个观点
  • 尽可能使用主动语态,少用被动语态
  • 删除空语无物、晦涩不清的单词,改用更明确、更具体的单词/li>
  • 避免使用“车轱辘话”或冗语。

普渡大学在线写作实验室 (Purdue Online Writing Lab) 是一个非常不错的写作资源网站,提供了许多范例,可以帮助你把文章写得更简明扼要。

比较 (between、among、like、withthan)

在论文的“结果”部分,经常需要进行比较。此时应切记:

  • 同类之间才能进行比较
  • 避免含糊其词 —— 尽可能具体
  • reduced”、“increased”、和 “decreased” 仅可用于比较同一事物的前后变化,不能用于两个不同事物之间的比较。在比较两个不同的事物(如,两个患者组之间)时,应使用 “higher”、“shorter” 或 “more” 等单词。
  • 两者之间的比较用 “between”,三者及以上的比较用 “among”。

Example

错误的表达方式: The material from the riverbank was compared with the landfill.

良好的表达方式: The material from the riverbank was compared with that from the landfill.

显然,把“材料”与“垃圾填埋场”进行比较是没有意义的。事实上,要切记同类之间才能比较 —— 也就是说,来自河岸的材料只能与来自垃圾填埋场的材料进行比较。

错误的表达方式: Expression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with p53 levels in non-smokers.

更佳的表达方式: Expression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with those in non-smokers.

这里 “those” 指代的是 “expression levels of p53”。最好不要在一个句子中重复相同的单词,这会让句子显得臃肿。

错误的表达方式: Reactions with the new machine were faster.

良好的表达方式: Reactions with the new machine were faster than those with the old machine.

读完第一个句子,读者就会疑惑:“比什么快?”

错误的表达方式: In our study, time until eating and inpatient time after surgery were reduced in the L Group compared with the T Group.

良好的表达方式: In our study, time until eating and inpatient time after surgery were shorter in the L Group than in the T Group. "Reduced" 不能用于两个不同事物之间的比较。

专有名词

专有名词是指提及人、事物或观念时所使用的单词。正确的专有名词应该是某个人、组织或地点的具体名称。正确的专有名词应该首字母大写。

示例:

姓名:

Gillian Welch, Steve Jobs, Derk Haank, Hillary Clinton

组织机构名:

World Wildlife Fund, United Nations, Volkswagen, Springer

国家和城市:

Australia, India, Germany, New York, London, Beijing

月、周

January, Monday

不必首字母大写的例子:

提及多个事物的专有名词:

The experiment was performed at two centers

(见34)

化学物质的名称或药物的通用名:

acetaminophen, benzene

冠词

英语有三个冠词:aanthe。他们可分为两类:不定冠词 (aan) 或定冠词 (the)

不定冠词在提及受众并不明确知晓的事物时使用。换言之,在介绍首次提及的某人或某物时,可在该名词前加aan

示例:

"I witnessed an eclipse this morning."

"I wrote a laboratory report before lunch."

Aan也可用于介绍自已的身份。示例:

"I am an ethicist."

"I am a scientist."

a用于辅音开头的名词。示例:

"a city", "a factory", "a hotel", "a university"

an用于元音开头的单词。示例:

"an hour", "an umbrella", "an owl", "an igloo".

如果受众知道或能够确认你所提及的某个特定的人或物,则使用the。示例:

"The results were confirmed."

"Did you unlock the door?"

在提及地理名词时,也使用the。示例:

"Each vector encoded a protein with a different reporter molecule. The size of the protein was..."

在提及独一无二的事物时也使用the。示例:

"the Tropic of Capricorn", "the English channel", "the Himalayas".

在提及独一无二的事物时也使用the。示例:

"the sun", "the world", "the Imperial Palace"

respectively”的使用

母语非英语的作者经常用错“respectively”这个副词。其实,只有当行文可能出现歧义时才有必要使用“respectively”一词。

例如:

如果我们需要在稿件中描述以下数据,可行文如下:

Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen detector flows were set at 85, 7, and 4 mL/min, respectively.

这样一来,读者就能确定第一种气体对应的是第一个数字,第二种气体对应的是第二个数字,以此类推。

更多示例:

错误的表达方式: The two values were 143.2 and 21.6, respectively.

良好的表达方式: The two values were 143.2 and 21.6.

错误的表达方式: The two tubes were labeled B and S, respectively.

良好的表达方式: The tubes containing blood and saline were labeled B and S, respectively.

数字和计量单位

10以下数字用英文字母拼写,当然后面有计量单位或时间时需使用阿拉伯数字。10以上的数字也使用阿拉伯数字。有时,一个句子不得不以数字开头,则该数字也应使用英文字母拼写。

示例:

Fifteen days previously... NOT 15 days previously...

如果一个句子中有多个数字,则采用统一的数字写法。

示例:

The sample included 34 men with type A blood, 15 with type B, and 3 with type AB.

如果两个数字紧挨着行文,使用不同的数字写法。

示例:

Five 50-kg women, NOT 5 50-kg women

《美国医学会体例格式手册》( As)在数字和计量单位的使用方面提供了很好的指导意见。

空格

  • 一般地,在生命科学中,数字与百分号之间没有空格:48%。在物理学中,有时两者之间可有空格:48 %。请在向目标期刊投稿之前认真阅读《投稿指南》。
  • • 数字和计量单位之间应使用空格:178 mm.

小数

  • 在小数点前应加数字“0”(如,0.28 mL),除非是在提及P值时:P = .04

率、比例和分量

  • 表示比例时,使用短斜线 (/);表示“比”时,使用比号 (:):
    The ratio was 3:4.5...
    The rate averaged 40/100,000 people...
  • 拼写出名词的分量:
    Half the cases showed...
    A two-thirds majority...
  • 在提及范围或系列时,在最后一个数字后加单位:
    错误的表达方式: 25 mg-30 mg
    良好的表达方式: 25-30 mg
  • 不要在半字线 (-) 的两侧插入空格:
    错误的表达方式: The three sites - Taipei, Shanghai, and Bangkok - all experienced severe weather events in the time period studied.
    良好的表达方式: The three sites-Taipei, Shanghai, and Bangkok-all experienced severe weather events in the time period studied.

拼写

该采用英式拼写还是美式拼写?

美国的期刊通常要求采用美式拼写,英国的期刊通常要求采用英式拼写,但对于许多期刊来说,两者可取其一。如果一家期刊的投稿指南并未明确规定使用何种拼写方式,你只需在行文时注意使用同一种拼写方式即可。

  • 稿件格式

示例:

美式拼写 英式拼写
fiber fibre
center centre
labeling labelling
color colour

Microsoft Word具有“拼写检查”功能。在使用时,只须选取全部文本,然后进入“工具-语言”,选择待使用的英文种类即可。拼写错误的单词会被标示为红色的下划线;如果没有,请在“选项-拼写和语法”中点选“键入时检查拼写”。

标点符号

冒号“:”和分号“;”经常被误用。

冒号用于引入列举对象或者一个从句(后者对冒号前的从句进行解释)。

示例:

There are a number of BioMed Central journals that accept manuscripts dealing with biotechnology: Biotechnology for Biofuels, Journal of Nanobiotechnology, BMC Biotechnology and Microbial Cell Factories.

分号有两种用途:

  • 在不使用“and”或“while”等连词时,用于分隔两个独立从句(本身可以构成完整句子的从句)。
  • 在进行枚举时,如部分子项中须使用逗号,则用分号分隔各子项。换言之,如果仅使用逗号易引发歧义,则使用分号。

示例:

The volcano erupted unexpectedly; magma flowed toward three major cities at an alarming rate.

这两个从句可以独立成句:“The volcano erupted unexpectedly. Magma was flowing towards three major cities at an alarming rate.” 然而,如果我们使用分号,则表明两者之间存在某种关联。我们往往可以根据上下文来确定到底存在何种关系。

She works all day as a nurse in a retirement home; in addition, she is studying in the evenings to become a doctor.

Dr. Benaud is a French researcher; however, he lives in Antarctica.

Thousands of mites crossed the barrier from region A to region B every hour; therefore, it was not possible to count all of them.

Our main findings were that uninsured patients are most likely to visit the emergency room for their health care needs; that children, the elderly, and the unemployed are the groups most affected by lack of insurance; and that the uninsured are a heavy burden on hospitals.

大/小/高/低

"Large" and "small" are generally used to express variations or changes in size, dimensions, or mass. "High" and "low" are usually used to express levels or numerical values. "Large" and "small" are often mistakenly used where "high" and "low" would be better.

示例:

错误的表达方式: Large particulate and ozone emissions were measured in Beijing's air on 278 days in 2009.

良好的表达方式: High particulate and ozone emissions were measured in Beijing's air on 278 days in 2009.

错误的表达方式: A low amount of the processor's memory is taken by the browser application and graphics rendering.

良好的表达方式: A small amount of the processor's memory is taken by the browser application and graphics rendering.

错误的表达方式: A high fluctuation in average storm drain outflow was detected between June 4 and 18.

良好的表达方式: A large fluctuation in average storm drain outflow was detected between June 4 and 18.

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