Unnecessary Explanation or Description

An important form of unnecessary language in a research article is the presence of additional information, which is interesting and fun to write but which is irrelevant to the results being reported. Through a careful use of your spreadsheets, you may have already eliminated this type of lengthy explanation, but, if not, you need to scan again to be certain your manuscript has avoided using:

• More background or history than the journal to which you plan to send normally prints.

• Too many details about what was done - or even worse, details about unsuccessful work.

• Information about other research your group has done.

Things should always be made as simple as possible and no simpler

- Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

Prepositional Phrases

Another common form of unnecessary explanation lies in the overuse of qualifying prepositional phrases, such as writing 'in our laboratory', when where the work has taken place is obvious to the reader. Watch for extraneous information in prepositional phrases such as: 'by the researcher', 'during the research', 'on the table', 'in this group'. Remove all these irrelevant phrases as you edit. Note how few of these you were able to collect on the spreadsheets from your photocopied articles.

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