20140806 Edanz Tokyo

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20140806 Edanz Tokyo

  1. 1. Effectively Communicating Your Research in English Tokyo Metropolitan University 6 August 2014 Dr Jeffrey Robens Senior Research Consultant Education Group Leader
  2. 2. S Be an effective communicator Your goal is not only to be published, but also to have impact in your field  Write effectively  Avoid common mistakes  Logically present your research in your manuscript  Write titles and abstracts that get attention  Prepare clear presentations  Effectively present your work to audiences
  3. 3. Effective writing Section 1
  4. 4. Effective writing Reader expectations Information is easier to understand when it is placed where readers expect to find it Good writers are aware of these expectations
  5. 5. Effective writing Short sentences Reading once… 4% of readers can understand a 27-word sentence 75% of readers can understand a 17-word sentence Pinner and Pinner (1998) Communication Skills Goals to aim for: 15–20 words One idea per sentence
  6. 6. Effective writing Active voice Sentences written in the active voice are: simple direct clear easy to read The theories evaluating economic growth were investigated. Passive We investigated the theories evaluating economic growth. Active
  7. 7. Effective writing Active voice is preferred “Use the active voice when it is less wordy and more direct than the passive”. (3rd ed., pg. 42) “Use the active voice rather than the passive voice…”. www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/effective-verb-use.aspx “As a matter of style, passive voice is typically, but not always, inferior to active voice”. (15th ed., pg. 177) “In general, authors should use the active voice…”. (10th ed., pg. 320) ACS Style Guide APA Style Chicago Style Guide AMA Manual of Style
  8. 8. Effective writing Stress position Readers focus at the end of the sentence to determine what is important. 1. You deserve a raise, but the budget is tight. Which sentence suggests that you will get a raise? 2. The budget is tight, but you deserve a raise. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/flow/
  9. 9. Effective writing The budget is tight, but you deserve a raise. Your salary will increase at the beginning of next year. Stress position Topic position The topic position introduces the idea of the current sentence The stress position also introduces the topic of the next sentence Stress position
  10. 10. Effective writing Topic position To increase the number of student applicants, the university recently implemented a new program. An important part of this program is to first give seminars at top-ranking high schools in the region. Increasing the number of local students is the initial step for the program’s success. idea ideaideaidea Topic link sentence
  11. 11. Effective writing Despite steadily rising enrollment rates in U.S. postsecondary institutions, weak academic performance and high dropout rates remain persistent problems among undergraduates. For academic institutions, high attrition rates complicate enrollment planning and place added burdens on efforts to recruit new students. For students, dropping out before earning a terminal degree represents untapped human potential and a low return on their investment in college. Poor academic performance is often indicative of difficulties in adjusting to college and makes dropping out more likely. This paper examines the joint effect of two related social cognitive factors—academic self-efficacy and stress—on academic performance and retention for college freshmen. Both of these factors have been… Zajacova et al. Res Higher Ed. 2005; 46: 677–706. Linking your ideas in your manuscript Topic sentence Stress sentence Topic sentence Support
  12. 12. Common mistakes Section 2
  13. 13. Customer Service Common mistakes  Compared with is for comparing similar things  Compared to is for comparing different things This year’s graduation rates were compared to those of last year. This year’s graduation rates were compared with those of last year. Comparisons
  14. 14. Customer Service Common mistakes Use between for comparisons of two groups Use among for more than two groups … the only difference between the control group and the experimental group is ... … significant differences were observed in the values among the five groups. Between and among
  15. 15. Customer Service Common mistakes Data is the plural form of datum The data was analyzed... This data suggests… The data were analyzed… These data suggest… Data is plural
  16. 16. Customer Service Common mistakes Simple language Nature’s guide to authors: Nature is an international journal covering all the sciences. Contributions should therefore be written clearly and simply so that they are accessible to readers in other disciplines and to readers for whom English is not their first language. www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/index.html#a4 “I should use complex words to make my writing more impressive.”
  17. 17. Customer Service Common mistakes To ascertain the efficaciousness of the program, we interrogated the participants upon completion. Simple language
  18. 18. Customer Service Common mistakes To ascertain the efficaciousness of the program, we interrogated the participants upon completion. To determine the success of the program, we questioned the participants upon completion. Simple language
  19. 19. Customer Service Common mistakes Preferred Enough Clear Try Very Size Asked Keep Later Enough Avoid Adequate Apparent Endeavor Exceedingly Magnitude Requested Retain Subsequently Sufficient Simple language
  20. 20. Manuscript structure Section 3
  21. 21. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Introduction Setting the context Specific aimsAims General problem Problems with current solutions
  22. 22. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Aims The present study aims to analyze how information presentation in these alternative formats (table, history graph and dance graph) influences the negotiators' behavior and negotiation outcomes. Problem Nevertheless, the potential of stylized decision aids has not yet fully been explored in electronic negotiation support research. Identify an important problem State aims that directly address this problem Writing the Introduction Gettinger et al. Decision Support Systems 2012; 53: 161–174.
  23. 23. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Methods How it was done Models/Equations Simulations Specific parameters Quantification methods Statistical tests What was used Materials Software/hardware specifications How it was analyzed Study/software design
  24. 24. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Results 1. Initial observation 2. Characterization 3. Application Divide your study into short sections with clear subheadings What you found, not what it means Logical presentation Subsections Factual description
  25. 25. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Discussion Summary of findings Relevance of findings Implications for the field Similarities/differences Unexpected results Limitations
  26. 26. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure This paper proposes a modeling approach and a corresponding graphical notation for creative human collaboration processes. Our contribution has two main distinguishable features: it is capable of capturing complex patterns in network of artifacts and people, and it advocates a communication model where a process can modify only its own state and cannot explicitly impact related processes. In the future we plan to extend this execution framework with the notion of groups in order to allow for coordination of collaboration processes based on complex formations in social surroundings. Discussion – the end Conclusion Implications Future directions Why your work is important to your readers Liptchinsky et al. Information Systems 2014; 43: 66– 82.
  27. 27. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Linking your ideas General background Objectives Methodology Results and figures Summary of findings Implications for the field Relevance of findings Problems in the field Logically link your ideas throughout your manuscript Current state of the field Introduction Methods Results Discussion
  28. 28. Coverage and Staffing Plan Manuscript structure Linking your ideas Because the characteristics of single-valued and dynamic set-valued information systems are different, the method for knowledge acquisition in the former cannot be applied directly to the latter. This study explored if the incremental method can be used for updating approximations in dynamic set-valued information systems. The incremental technique is an effective way to maintain knowledge in the dynamic environment. Problem Objectives Conclusion Discussion Introduction Luo et al. Knowledge-Based Systems 2013; 50: 218–233.
  29. 29. Thank you! Any questions? Follow us on Twitter @JournalAdvisor Like us on Facebook facebook.com/EdanzEditing Download and further reading edanzediting.co.jp/tokyo140806 Jeffrey Robens: jrobens@edanzgroup.com
  30. 30. Titles and abstracts Section 4
  31. 31. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Important points  Summarize key finding  Contains keywords  Less than 20 words Avoid Effective titles Your title should be a concise summary of your most important finding Questions Describing methods Abbreviations “New” or “novel” 1. Is economic growth related to literacy rates? 2. Evaluating the relationship between economic growth and literacy rates 3. Increased literacy rates predict future economic growth Question Methodology
  32. 32. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Abstract First impression of your paper Importance of your results Validity of your conclusions Relevance of your aims Judge your writing style Probably only part that will be read
  33. 33. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Sections of an abstract Aims Background Methods Results Conclusion Why the study was done Your hypothesis Techniques Most important findings Conclusion/implications Concise summary of your research
  34. 34. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Unstructured abstract Antilock braking systems are designed to control the wheel slip, such that the braking force is maximized and steerability is maintained during braking. However, the control of antilock braking systems is a challenging problem due to nonlinear braking dynamics and the uncertain and time-varying nature of the parameters. This paper presents an adaptive neural network-based hybrid controller for antilock braking systems. The hybrid controller is based on the well-known feedback linearization, combined with two feedforward neural networks that are proposed so as to learn the nonlinearities of the antilock braking system associated with feedback linearization controller. The adaptation law is derived based on the structure of the controller, using steepest descent gradient approach and backpropagation algorithm to adjust the networks weights. The weight adaptation is online and the stability of the proposed controller in the sense of Lyapunov is studied. Simulations are conducted to show the effectiveness of the proposed controller under various road conditions and parameter uncertainties. Poursamad A. Mechatronics 2009; 19: 767–773.
  35. 35. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Unstructured abstract ConclusionSimulations are conducted to show the effectiveness of the proposed controller under various road conditions and parameter uncertainties. Results The hybrid controller is based on the well-known feedback linearization, combined with two feedforward neural networks that are proposed so as to learn the nonlinearities of the antilock braking system associated with feedback linearization controller. The adaptation law is derived based on the structure of the controller, using steepest descent gradient approach and backpropagation algorithm to adjust the networks weights. The weight adaptation is online and the stability of the proposed controller in the sense of Lyapunov is studied. MethodsThis paper presents an adaptive neural network-based hybrid controller for antilock braking systems. Background Antilock braking systems are designed to control the wheel slip, such that the braking force is maximized and steerability is maintained during braking. However, the control of antilock braking systems is a challenging problem due to nonlinear braking dynamics and the uncertain and time-varying nature of the parameters. Poursamad A. Mechatronics 2009; 19: 767–773.
  36. 36. Customer ServiceTitles and abstracts Writing your abstract Poursamad A. Mechatronics 2009; 19: 767–773. Antilock braking systems are designed to control the wheel slip, such that the braking force is maximized and steerability is maintained during braking. However, the control of antilock braking systems is a challenging problem due to nonlinear braking dynamics and the uncertain and time-varying nature of the parameters. This paper presents an adaptive neural network-based hybrid controller for antilock braking systems. The hybrid controller is based on the well-known feedback linearization, combined with two feedforward neural networks that are proposed so as to learn the nonlinearities of the antilock braking system associated with feedback linearization controller. The adaptation law is derived based on the structure of the controller, using steepest descent gradient approach and backpropagation algorithm to adjust the networks weights. The weight adaptation is online and the stability of the proposed controller in the sense of Lyapunov is studied. Simulations are conducted to show the effectiveness of the proposed controller under various road conditions and parameter uncertainties. Background Methods Results Conclusions
  37. 37. Section 5 Effective presentations
  38. 38. Effective presentations Comparing manuscripts and presentations Time Flow of information Not limited Readers can take their time Limited Limited attention No control Readers can skip sections Control Audience has to listen to everything Manuscript Presentation
  39. 39. Effective presentations Telling a story Beginning Introduction Middle Methods/figures End Conclusion
  40. 40. Effective presentations Beginning of your presentation Brief introduction Background information Aims of your study Use pictures and diagrams • Current state of the field • Problem that needs to be addressed
  41. 41. Effective presentations Example • Lumenal structures (bile canaliculi, BC) between hepatocytes are difficult to maintain in vitro • Sandwich culture configurations promote BC maturation • Biophysical mechanisms unclear AIM: Determine if intracellular tension promotes or maintains BC maturation in vitro Actomyosin Activity Actomyosin Activity
  42. 42. Effective presentations Middle of your presentation Methods Flow chart or schematic Figures Important results
  43. 43. Effective presentations End of your presentation Conclusions Summary and implications Future directions How is this being further developed?
  44. 44. Effective presentations Slide layout Font • Sans serif (Arial, Calibri, etc.) • 40 pt for titles • 30+ pt for major points • 24+ pt for minor points Layout • Limit 8 lines of text per slide • Use bullet points, not sentences • High contrast colors
  45. 45. Effective presentations Figures Main limitation? Space! Only choose most important data Organize clearly
  46. 46. Effective presentations Selecting important data Kim et al. Micro and Nano System Letters. 2014;2:2. Comparison between original and proposed switches Side view of proposed folded hinge to help relieve stress, especially under higher temperatures
  47. 47. Effective presentations Selecting important data Kim et al. Micro and Nano System Letters. 2014;2:2. Comparison between original and proposed switches Side view of proposed folded hinge to help relieve stress, especially under higher temperatures Original switch Proposed switch
  48. 48. Effective presentations Data aligned and formatted Table formatting Muñoz et al. New Engl J Med. 2003;348:518−527. Clear and concise table caption Abbreviations defined
  49. 49. Effective presentations Is this a good table? Alignment and formatting problems Alignment of text Alignment of parentheses Alignment of decimals Data similarity Lines Tumor size (mm3) before treatment Mean (±SD) Tumor size (mm3) after treatment Mean (±SD) % decrease Treatment time Group 1 423.2 (6.23) 232.8 (3.18) 44.99 4 months Group 2 286.43 (4.8) 157.32 (2.29) 45.08 14 weeks Group 3 342.7 (6.88) 218.4 (5.2) 36.27 3.5 months Group 4 404 (3) 302 (4.21) 25.247 90 days
  50. 50. Effective presentations Making a good table Tumor size (mm3) before treatment Mean (±SD) Tumor size (mm3) after treatment Mean (±SD) % decrease Treatment time (weeks) Group 1 423.20 (6.23) 232.80 (3.18) 44.99 16 Group 2 286.43 (4.80) 157.32 (2.29) 45.08 14 Group 3 342.70 (6.88) 218.40 (5.20) 36.27 14 Group 4 404.00 (3.00) 302.00 (4.21) 25.25 12 Tumor size (mm3) before treatment Mean (±SD) Tumor size (mm3) after treatment Mean (±SD) % decrease Treatment time Group 1 423.2 (6.23) 232.8 (3.18) 44.99 4 months Group 2 286.43 (4.8) 157.32 (2.29) 45.08 14 weeks Group 3 342.7 (6.88) 218.4 (5.2) 36.27 3.5 months Group 4 404 (3) 302 (4.21) 25.247 90 days
  51. 51. Effective presentations Selecting important data Go et al. New Engl J Med. 2004;351:1296. Characteristic Total Cohort (N=1,120,295) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (N=924,136) < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (N=196,159)* Age (yr) 52.2 ± 16.3 49.1 ± 15.1 66.6 ± 13.0 Female sex (%) 54.6 53.4 60.2 Ethnic group White 50.9 47.2 68.6 Black 7.4 7.2 5.3 Hispanic 5.9 6.3 4.1 Asian 8.1 8.5 6.7 Mixed 2.4 2.4 2.8 Other 25.3 28.4 12.5 Medical history Coronary heart disease 6.3 4.5 17.8 Stroke 2.6 1.7 8.3 Peripheral arterial disease 1.8 1.1 6.7 Chronic heart failure 2.1 1.0 19.8 * estimations Necessary? Important
  52. 52. Effective presentations Often graphs are better than tables Go et al. New Engl J Med. 2014;351:1296. 0 5 10 15 20 25 Coronary heart disease Stroke Peripheral arterial disease Chronic heart failure Healthy Kidney disease Percentofpatientswithatleast onecardiovascularevent
  53. 53. Presentation skills Section 6
  54. 54. Presentation skills Before you present… Most important thing you can do… Practice Learn your presentation, don’t read it Don’t memorize, these are your ideas Practice alone and with others, record yourself Practice builds confidence!
  55. 55. Presentation skills Presentation tips – appear confident Non-verbal Use hand gestures Make eye contactAlways face your audience Smile! Stand upright Don’t be stiff, move naturally
  56. 56. Presentation skills Presentation tips – Speaking style Verbal Avoid filler words (“eeto”) Pause for emphasis Speak slowly Show enthusiasm Vary tone and pitch Don’t talk to the screen
  57. 57. Presentation skills Answering questions 1. Understand the question 2. Clarify the question (if necessary) 3. Thank the audience member 4. Answer the question (be concise!) 5. Ensure you have answered the question 6. Thank the audience member again
  58. 58. Presentation skills Handling questions – Understand the question Could you hear it clearly? Do you understand the question? Is the question appropriate for the audience? Could the audience hear it clearly? What do they want to know? What is the most relevant question?
  59. 59. Presentation skills Handling questions – Difficult questions Unsure of the answer You don’t know the answer Unrelated questions You are the expert, answer with confidence Be honest, but give your expert opinion Politely address the question
  60. 60. Presentation skills Additional tips – time management Stay within your time limit Use a clock, watch, or mobile phone Rushing and skipping slides make you look unorganized Practice often and keep track of each section
  61. 61. S Be an effective communicator Your goal is not only to be published, but also to have impact in your field  Write effectively  Avoid common mistakes  Logically present your research in your manuscript  Write titles and abstracts that get attention  Prepare clear presentations  Effectively present your work to audiences
  62. 62. Thank you! Any questions? Follow us on Twitter @JournalAdvisor Like us on Facebook facebook.com/EdanzEditing Download and further reading edanzediting.co.jp/tokyo140806 Jeffrey Robens: jrobens@edanzgroup.com

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