Answer Key

Academic Writing for International Students of Science - Jane Bottomley 2015

Answer Key

Chapter 2: The writing process

2.3 The importance of redrafting

Explorative Task

Text B is easier to read for most people.

Which text

Text A

student’s first draft

Text B

student’s second draft

begins with a clear contextualisation of current developments in mobile systems?

introduces the ideas in a logical, step-by-step fashion?

has a clearer outline of what is to follow in the rest of the essay?

has fewer grammatical errors and more natural expression? (provide an overview rather than outline an overview; advice should be uncountable; what’s more, the tone of this is not very academic — you might offer advice to a friend but in papers like this, we usually offer recommendations)

Chapter 3: Academic scientific style

3.1.1 Sentence length and text organisation

Explorative Task

1) Text B

2) Text A

3.1.2 Being concise

Practice (i) (suggested answers)

1) All the studies had limitations.

2) Scientists need to find solutions for these problems/Scientists need to solve these problems.

3) He compares the two systems.

4) In the conclusion, she reiterates the significance of the results.

5) Pollution is a global problem/Pollution is a problem throughout the world.

3.1.3 Being precise

Practice (suggested answers)

1) The regulations cover the use of fossil fuels such as oil and gas.

2) Buildings in the city are constructed of materials such as concrete and timber.

3) In terms of applications, this polymer is very versatile.

4) There are a number of factors affecting blood pressure.

5) There are many problems associated with obesity.

3.2.1 What is academic scientific writing?

Explorative Task

1) References

Text A: academic textbook

Housecroft, C. and E. Constable (2010) Chemistry: An Introduction to Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, (4th Edition), Harlow: Pearson Education.

Text B: online article (news website)

Rincon, P. (2011) How sticky tape led to the Nobel Prize, BBC, 5th October,

Text C: academic textbook

Strelkauskas, A., J. Strelkauskas and D. Moszyk-Strelkauskas (2010) Microbiology: A Clinical Approach, Abingdon: Garland Science.

Text D: popular science book

Hawking, S. and L. Mlodinov (2011) The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life, New York: Bantam Books.

Text E: academic journal article

Arel, E. and A. Önalp (2012) Geotechnical properties of Adapazari silt, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 71, 709—720.

Text F: online article (popular science magazine)

Brooks, M. (2009) Rise of the robogeeks, New Scientist, 3rd March,

Text G: academic journal article

Yamashita, H., H. Tsukayama and C. Sugishita (2002) Popularity of complementary medicine in Japan: a telephone survey, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 10, 84—93.

Text H: academic journal article

Howard, S., J. Adams and M. White (2012) Nutritional content of supermarket ready meals and recipes by television chefs in the United Kingdom: cross sectional study, BMJ 2012; 345:e7607.

3.2.2 Common features of academic scientific texts

Explorative Task

1) a, b, f; 2) c, f, g; 3) examples of scientific/technical vocabulary: proton, electron, neutron, mass, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, properties, outpatients, alternative therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, deposited, low plasticity non-plastic silts, microorganisms, sewage; 4) d; 5) b, e; 6) c, g

Practice (i)

1) we’re talking about, spawn, cyber-nerds; 2) it sounds like; 3) got; 4) bug-eyed aliens, starships; 5) reckons; 6) and (at the start of a sentence); 7) use of dashes; 8) verb contraction, informal tone; 9) detailed biographical information in the text; 10) detailed biographical information in the text

Practice (ii)

1) a; 2) b; 3) b; 4) b; 5) a; 6) b; 7) a; 8) a

Practice (iii) (suggested answers)

1) Initially, they obtained flakes consisting of many layers of graphene. However, each time the process was repeated, the flakes became thinner.

2) He believes that he has identified a key component of how humans develop mathematical ability.

3) This study aims to determine the cause of/what caused the structural damage.

4) A great deal of research has been conducted on the subject of runway friction.

5) Most thermometers are closed glass tubes containing liquids such as alcohol or mercury.

6) The solution was then heated to approximately 70°C.

7) The results of the analysis can be seen in Table 2.

8) Little is known about the proteins linked with RNA.

9) Eating disorders may cause individuals to feel tired and depressed.

10) There are three different types of volcano: active volcanoes, which erupt frequently; dormant volcanoes, which are temporarily inactive; extinct volcanoes, which are unlikely to erupt again.

Chapter 4: Sentence structure 1

4.1 Subject + verb structures

Explorative Task

1) Lime (CaO) is widely used as an ingredient in mortars, plasters and masonry.

2) One of the most noticeable trends over many decades has been shifting patterns of health and especially the causes of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death).

3) A motherboard is the major circuit board inside a computer and it holds the processor, the computer bus, the main memory and many other vital components.

4) Solar power is one facet of renewable energy, with wind and geothermal being others.

5) Although quarantine is the oldest method of dealing with communicable diseases, it is now generally used only for very severe diseases, such as cholera and yellow fever.

4.2.1 Forming simple sentences

Explorative Task (i)

1) Temperatures rose.

2) Temperatures rose steadily. (adverb, modifying the verb)

3) Average temperatures in the south of the country rose steadily. (adjective, pre-modifying the noun; prepositional phrase, post-modifying the noun)

4) In the period from 2003 to 2013, average temperatures in the south of the country rose steadily. (prepositional phrase, modifying the sentence)

Explorative Task (ii)

1) It is undoubtedly true that computational simulations should not completely replace experimentation.

2) An ICT system is a set-up consisting of/that consists of hardware, software, data and the people who use these things.

3) Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body. It is essential for the formation and health of bones, teeth and cartilage.

4.2.2 Compound and complex sentences


1) Although the structure of the building was weakened, experts agreed that there was no danger of it collapsing. The structure of the building was weakened, but experts agreed that there was no danger of it collapsing.

2) The drug trial was abandoned because the side effects were considered to be too serious.

3) The panda was artificially inseminated and experts claimed that her hormone and behavioural signs indicated that she was carrying a foetus. However, changes in her behaviour suggest that she has lost the cub. Forming compound sentences


1) A poor diet can lead to obesity and cause a number of health problems.

2) The hurricane destroyed a number of buildings and caused major damage to trees.

3) The drug can be taken orally or injected.

4) The Internet has improved our lives in many ways but it has brought with it a number of problems.

5) Some patients respond well to therapy but others show little improvement. Forming complex sentences with subordinating conjunctions

Practice (i)

1) as; 2) whereas; 3) although; 4) in case; 5) as soon as

Practice (ii) (original sentences)

1) While it remains the case that the brain as a whole has limited powers of repair, the potential use of stem cells offers new hope for future therapy for degenerative brain diseases. (although could also be used)

2) The stability of glass makes disposal difficult, as it will not readily break down.

3) The reasons for developing type 1 diabetes have not been identified, although some suggest interaction of dietary factors during pregnancy and early neonatal life. (while could also be used)

4) Whereas chemistry reaches down into physics for its explanations, it reaches upwards into biology for many of its extraordinary applications. (while could also be used)

5) It is sometimes necessary to acquire information regarding the cause of a ceramic fracture so that measures may be taken to reduce the likelihood of future incidents. Participle clauses

Practice (original sentences)

1) prompting; 2) composed; 3) weighing; 4) using Infinitive clauses of purpose

Practice (original sentences)

1) All structural concrete contains steel reinforcements in the form of bars or welded mesh to compensate for the low tensile strength of concrete.

2) We must understand the transmission mechanisms of infection so that we can interfere with those mechanisms to take effective public health measures.

3) Water is then added to dilute the acid to 20—30% and the mixture is again heated to 100°C for 1 hour.

4) Stemming from analytical chemistry is forensic chemistry, in which the techniques of analytical chemistry are used for legal purposes to track down suspects, and to analyse the scenes of crimes.

5) Aluminium—lithium alloys have been developed by the aircraft industry to reduce the weight and improve the performance of its aircraft. that-clauses

Practice (original sentences)

1) Immunisation requires that we understand the immune mechanisms and that we design vaccines that will successfully stimulate protection.

2) One estimate suggests that 1.46 billion adults worldwide were overweight in 2008,1 and projections suggest that by 2020 over 70% of adults in the United Kingdom and United States will be overweight.

3) It is popularly believed that the cells of wood are living cells, but this is certainly not the case.

4) Chemists take a great deal of interest in the rates of chemical reactions as there is little point knowing that they can, in principle, generate a substance in a reaction but that it would take a millennia to make a milligram.

5) Over time, it is becoming more apparent that the earth is virtually a closed system relative to its constituent materials and that its resources are finite.

4.2.4 Focus on relative clauses

Practice (i)

1) A computer virus is a program that/which can damage your computer.

2) Brisk walking is something (that/which) many doctors recommend to those who/that are overweight.

3) A marine engineer is someone who/that works with underwater equipment and systems.

4) Vitamin C, (which is) also known as ascorbic acid, is required by the body for the growth and repair of tissue.

5) Global warming leads to climate change, which will ultimately affect people all over the world.

The relative pronoun can be omitted in 2). (See brackets above.)

4) can be reduced (see brackets above).

Practice (ii)

1) of; 2) in; 3) above; 4) at; 5) of, of

Practice (iii) (suggested answers)

1) Arsenic, which is an extremely toxic substance, is sometimes used as an insecticide.

2) The Royal Society, which was founded in 1660, is a self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists.

3) The disease has a number of symptoms, most of which can be controlled through medication.

4) The extent to which technology can help countries to develop is unclear.

5) Gravitational wave astronomy is an emerging new field of astronomy that/which aims to use gravitational wave detectors to collect observational data about compact objects.

6) A crystal is a piece of matter whose boundaries are naturally formed planed surfaces.

7) It was Tim Berners-Lee who/that invented the Internet in 1989.

8) Fracking is a procedure whereby a solution is pumped into the earth to fracture rock and access oil and gas.

Chapter 5: Sentence structure 2

5.1.1 Prepositional phrases


1) in spite of; 2) in addition to; 3) owing to; 4) throughout; 5) notwithstanding

5.1.2 Sentence connectors


1) consequently; 2) in contrast; 3) however; 4) subsequently; 5) on the contrary

5.1.3 Controlling syntax

Practice (i)

1) b; 2) d; 3) b, e; 4) a, f

Practice (ii) (suggested answers)

1) He studied computer science for a number of years. Subsequently, he did a PhD in software design.

2) Although it has been difficult for women to break into the field of science, they have been responsible for many important discoveries.

3) The water subsided quickly after the flood. However, there was still a huge amount of damage.

4) The patient was unable to sleep due to stress.

5) In addition to being very versatile, plastics are very durable.

6) While some antibacterial products kill bacteria, others only prevent them from multiplying.

7) This model of phone is very popular owing to its high degree of functionality.

Practice (iii) (some suggestions)


In spite of/despite the drug’s/its high success rate, it/the drug has not been adopted on a wide scale.

In spite of/despite the fact that the drug/it has a high success rate, it/the drug has not been adopted on a wide scale.

The drug has not been adopted on a wide scale in spite of/despite its high success rate.

The drug has not been adopted on a wide scale in spite of/despite the fact that it has a high success rate.

The drug has a high success rate. In spite of/despite this, it has not been adopted on a wide scale.


The number of animal species found in these regions is declining as a result of the fact that/because huge areas of rainforest are being destroyed every day.

Huge areas of rainforest are being destroyed every day. Because of/As a result of this, the number of animal species found in these regions is declining.


In addition to their many industrial applications, dyes are also widely used in medicine.

Dyes have many industrial applications. In addition, they are also widely used in medicine.

5.2 Focus on punctuation

Practice (original punctuation used)

1) Over the past two centuries, pollution has become one of the most pervasive and multi-faceted threats to human health.

2) In 1988, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), concerned about the spread of HIV in hospitals, published a set of universal procedures requiring all medical facilities in the United States to conform to specific guidelines for patient care (Table 6.2).

3) Darwin was concerned with evolution, i.e. change over time, and he proposed a process, natural selection, that could bring about such change.

4) Chemical reactions normally occur in water, and water can also participate in reactions. (Comma could be omitted.)

5) If every individual in the world were to demand as much energy as the average person uses in North America, the global energy supply industries would require a five-fold increase in their use of primary energy sources.

6) After felling, a tree has to be processed in order to render the timber suitable for man’s use.

7) The calculus of variations, which plays an important role in both pure and applied mathematics, dates from the time of Newton.

8) The computers which form the basis of those used today were mainly developed in the 1940s.

9) Scientists are able to identify parts of the brain that are specifically targeted by addictive drugs.

10) Einstein in his general theory of relativity (1915) proposed that the universe exists in four-dimensional space-time. (Commas could be used around ’in his general theory of relativity (1915)’.)

11) Aromatherapy users showed prominent characteristics: they were far more likely to be younger females, highly educated, who tend to live in urban areas.

12) The pH of the heartwood varies in different species of timber, but is generally about 4.5 to 5.5; however, in some timbers such as eucalypt, oak, and western red cedar, the pH of the heartwood can be as low as 3.0. (Commas can be omitted before ’but’ and ’and’.)

5.3 Lists and parallel structures

Practice (suggested answers)

1) There are three types of rock: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

2) Blood vessels can be classified into three types: arteries, which carry blood away from the heart; capillaries, which connect arteries to veins; and veins, which carry blood back to the heart.

3) Deciduous trees lose their leaves seasonally; evergreen trees maintain their green foliage all year round.

4) Western experts refer to four types of taste: sweet, salty, sour and bitter; eastern experts also include umami.

5) The trunk of a tree has three physical functions to perform: firstly, it must support the crown, a region responsible for the production not only of food, but also of seed; secondly, it must conduct the mineral solutions absorbed by the roots upwards to the crown; and thirdly it must store manufactured food (carbohydrates) until required. (Domone and Illstone, 2010: 405)

Chapter 6: Paragraph development: the flow of ideas

6.1.1 Given versus new information

Explorative Task

Food additives are substances that are added to food to improve shelf-life, appearance and flavour. Two substances which have been added to food for centuries are vinegar and salt. Many more additives, both natural and artificial, are now used in modern food processing.

Geckos, harmless tropical lizards, are extremely fascinating and extraordinary animals. They have very sticky feet that cling to virtually any surface. This characteristic makes it possible for them to rapidly run up vertical walls and along the undersides of horizontal surfaces. In fact, a gecko can support its body mass with a single toe! The secret to this remarkable ability is the presence of an extremely large number of microscopically small hairs on each of their toe pads. When these hairs come into contact with a surface, weak forces of attraction (i.e. van der Waals forces) are established between hair molecules and molecules on the surface. The fact that these hairs are so small and so numerous explains why the gecko grips surfaces so tightly. To release its grip, the gecko simply curls up its toes, and peels the hairs away from the surface.

Practice (suggested answers)

1) Cereals are one of the most important staple foods. The major cereals of the world are wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, rice, millet and sorghum.

2) Beer is a fermented alcoholic beverage. The main ingredients of beer are malt and hops.

3) A ligament is a resilient but flexible band of tissue that holds two or more bones together at a moveable joint. Ligaments restrain movement of bones at a joint and are therefore important in preventing dislocation.

4) Chalk is a very fine-grained white rock composed of the fossilised skeletal remains of marine plankton and consisting largely of calcium carbonate. Chalk is used to make toothpaste and cosmetics. It is not the same thing as blackboard ’chalk’, which is actually made from calcium sulphate.

6.1.2 General and specific

Explorative Task

Text A: 1) b; 2) a; 3) c

Text B: 1) e; 2) a; 3) c; 4) d; 5) b

Text C: 1) b; 2) a; 3) f; 4) c; 5) e; 6) d

Practice (original texts)

Text A: 1) c; 2) a; 3) e; 4) d; 5) b

Text B: 1) d; 2) e; 3) b; 4) c; 5) f; 6) a; 7) h; 8) g

6.2 Cohesive devices

Explorative Task

2) 20, 21 ellipsis; 22, 25, 26 repetition; 23, 30 use of this/that + noun to refer back; 24 linking expression; 27, 28, 29 pronouns

Practice (i) (original text)

1) its; 2) it; 3) its; 4) this; 5) which

Practice (ii) (original text)

1) they; 2) omega-3; 3) it; 4) which; 5) they; 6) omega-3; 7) she; 8) omega-3

Practice (iii) (original text)

1) these new materials; 2) furthermore; 3) at this point; 4) this knowledge; 5) thus; 6) these; 7) for example

6.3 Focus on punctuation

Practice (original text and punctuation)

An animal’s survival prospects are greatly improved if the animal alters its behaviour according to its experience. Learning increases its chances of obtaining food, avoiding predators, and adjusting to other often unpredictable changes in its environment. The importance of learning in the development of behaviour was stressed particularly by US experimental psychologists, such as John B. Watson (1878—1958) and B. F. Skinner (1904—90), who studied animals under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. They demonstrated how rats and pigeons could be trained, or ’conditioned’, by exposing them to stimuli in the form of food rewards or electric shocks. This work was criticised by others, notably the ethologists, who preferred to observe animals in their natural surroundings and who stressed the importance of inborn mechanisms, such as instinct, in behavioural development. A synthesis between these two once-conflicting approaches has been achieved: learning is regarded as a vital aspect of an animal’s development, occurring in response to stimuli in the animal’s environment, but within the constraints set by the animal’s genes. Hence young animals are receptive to a wide range of stimuli but are genetically predisposed to respond to those that are more significant.

Chapter 7: Referring to sources: paraphrase, referencing, criticality and the issue of plagiarism

Explorative Task

✵ If I have lots of references to other people’s work, it won’t be my work, it won’t be original. WRONG 7.2

✵ I can use other people’s words as long as I give a reference. WRONG 7.2

✵ If I use my own words to explain someone else’s work, I don’t need to give a reference. WRONG 7.1

✵ I can paraphrase by replacing some words with synonyms. WRONG 7.1

✵ I must change every word in a source I am using. WRONG 7.1

7.1.2 Good reasons to use your own words

Explorative Task (ii)

Which text

Text A

Text B

Text C

uses original sentence structure and phrasing, just retaining technical terms?

selects particular information?

adds some information?

is clearly referenced?

is an acceptable paraphrase?

7.1.3 Good reasons not to use your own words

Explorative Task

Renewable energy; the 1973 OPEC oil embargo; fossil fuels; photosynthesis in plants; chlorophyll; absorb solar radiation; charge separation

7.2 Adopting good academic practice: referencing and criticality

Explorative Task (ii)


a) reference to sources; use of phrases which indicate that they have identified a general consensus in the literature (is increasingly recognised), and assessed the credibility of the evidence (have shown; have identified); assertion in the final sentence that they have identified a gap in the research

b) text comprehensively referenced; expression multiple studies

c) The last sentence indicates their own assessment of the research in the field and their identification of a gap in the research.

d) Yes — they have done a wide literature survey, assessed the studies critically and used the findings to support their argument. It is a reasoned argument.

Explorative Task (iii)


a) demonstrate that; b) conclude that; c) note that; d) advocate


a) found that; b) supermarket ready meals; c) acknowledging; d) supermarkets; e) positive

7.3 Strategies for paraphrase and summary

Practice (i): Paraphrasing scientific facts

1) control; 2) 1—100; 3) meter; 4) thickness; 5) properties; 6) chemical; 7) bulk; 8) novel/new; 9) DNA

Chapter 8: Textual development: structure, coherence, argument and critical thinking

8.1 Structure and coherence

Explorative Task



i) d; ii) c; iii) b; iv) a; v) g; vi) e; vii) f


i) b; ii) d; iii) c; iv) a; v) f; vi) e


a) Method; b) Abstract; c) Introduction; d) Results and discussion; e) Conclusion

3) Abstract — present (ref to general research)/past (ref to experiment); Method — past; Results and discussion — present (ref to results/data)/past (discussion); Conclusion — present (ref to paper in general)/past (ref to results)

4) past simple passive

5) first; then; after cooling; after drying; the resulting material; the treated material

6) Results: Table III shows; slightly increases when Discussion: this was possible because of; that may cause

7) The results from this study demonstrated that

8) higher; while; both

9) Introduction — specifies problem behind the investigation; Conclusion — summarises findings/gives implications of the findings

8.1.1 Focus on Introductions and Conclusions

Explorative Task


2. The Mechanism of Fatigue

2.2 Fatigue Crack Propagation

2.3 Final Fracture

3.1 Surface Roughness

3.3 The Effects of Treatments and Coatings


opening statement

Fatigue, the tendency of a material, such as metal, to break after being subjected to cyclic loading, has been the subject of research for more than 150 years.


paragraphs 2 and 3

definitions of key terms

Fatigue, the tendency of a material, such as metal, to break after being subjected to cyclic loading

rationale behind the investigation

A complete solution to the problem of fatigue has not yet been discovered [1].

purpose of the project

The objective of this project is to examine the process of fatigue failure in carbon steel, with a view to assessing the role of coatings in combatting this problem.

outline of the project structure

It will begin by outlining the mechanism of fatigue. It will then discuss the source of fatigue, and ways of preventing it, with particular focus on the use of coatings.

8.1.2 Describing methodology

Practice (original text)


a) focussed; b) was observed; c) had; d) spent; e) were released; f) were fed


a) to; b) at, of; c) with; d) from; e) to


a) The material was cut was into 2 cm strips.

b) After cooling, the solution was mixed with 10 ml of water.

c) The alarm system was installed throughout the building and then monitored for six months.

d) To prevent corrosion, the metal was treated with a coating.

e) Post-natal surveys were conducted using email and focus groups.

8.1.3 Describing and discussing results



a) found no evidence of; b) were significantly higher/were significantly higher; c) are comparable; d) It is unlikely that; e) several strengths; f) beyond the scope of; g) there is no evidence to support


specific findings based on data,


general findings


the implications of the findings,


the strengths of the study


limitations of the study


the need for further research


8.2 Maintaining coherence

Explorative Task


1, definition; 2. history; 3, basic principle; 4, main techniques; 5, technical analysis of a key point

5) The word ’masonry’ is repeated, which guides the reader through the text reminding them that we are exploring a new aspect of this topic in each paragraph.

6) in this wider sense — refers directly to the more general of the two definitions given previously; paragraphs 3 and 4 are linked by the notion of stability; the list of techniques is referred back to by type 4 structures; all other types; paragraph 5 refers directly to the list of techniques in paragraph 4 (these descriptions) and is explicit about why these techniques have been described, i.e. to show that it is the physical construction of most masonry that gives it its stability, rather than the adhesive character of the mortar.

7) These descriptions are given to emphasise that; although modern mortars do have an adhesive role much of the strength still derives from mass and friction between interlocking shapes; it is important to remember this in design.



1, b; 2, c; 3, a

3) Paragraph 1 begins with a clear topic sentence giving relevance and significance to the subject; the first sentence in paragraph 2 is structured to give focus to the last two words (not the physical casualties but the psychological impact); in the first sentence of paragraph 3, the phrase ’more importantly’ gives a clear focus for the reader.


a) Perhaps more importantly, the initial symptoms may not lead health care providers to suspect bioterrorism.

i.e. more importantly than the psychological and social implications mentioned in paragraph 2


a) Bioweapons constitute a real threat in today’s society as many people have access to them.

b) One reason bioweapons are so dangerous is that they not only cause physical damage, but can have an immense psychological impact on communities.

c) Moreover, the effects of bioweapons can be difficult to deal with because their presence can be difficult to detect, thus delaying early diagnosis and increasing exposure.

8.3 Building an argument

Explorative Task (i)



Support (the reasons for this)

Source (of evidence)

Elephants find it difficult to keep cool.

They have an enormous body mass, small surface-to-volume ratio and a lack of sweat glands.

(Spearman, 1970; Hiley, 1975; Wright, 1984; Mariappa, 1986)

The ears of an elephant are the most important organ for regulating its temperature.

They have a large surface-to-volume ratio and an extensive and prominent vascular supply, which makes the ears the optimal organ for heat dissipation.

(Wright, 1984)

2) owing to; which predestines



Premise (assumed fact behind the claim)

Support (statistical evidence)


Overweight and obesity are major threats to public health globally.

Large numbers of people are overweight/obese.

One estimate suggests that 1.46 billion adults worldwide were overweight in 2008,1 and projections suggest that by 2020 over 70% of adults in the United Kingdom and United States will be overweight.2

Two articles from a peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.



Support (examples)

Infectious diseases remain a major threat to global animal and human health.

2002 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the UK; 2003 global epidemic of SARS; threat of an influenza pandemic

Explorative Task (ii)


a) a well-known material with various applications on an industrial scale

b) Activated carbons that are currently commercially available are expensive, however

c) Therefore, the search for alternative low-cost bio-based materials, as well as the appropriate processes for the preparation of activated carbons from these abundant resources, has become necessary

d) the search for alternative low-cost bio-based materials, as well as the appropriate processes for the preparation of activated carbons from these abundant resources, has become necessary

4) processes for the preparation of activated carbons (paragraph 1)/methods for preparing the activated carbons (paragraph 2)


a) 4

b) 1, physical activation; 2, chemical preparation; 3, combination of chemical and physical activation; 4, other factors affecting characteristics of activated material

c) the methods for preparing the activated carbons can be divided into two categories: physical activation and chemical activation.

In physical activation …/In chemical activation …

combinations of chemical activation followed by physical activation methods … activated carbons prepared using different types of raw materials, activation processes, types of precursors, or compositions and process conditions result in different textural and functional characteristics

6) With an explanation of how rice can be used in the preparation of activated carbons. The preceding paragraphs prepare for this by indicating the need for ’alternative low-cost bio-materials’ and the possibilities for combinations of raw materials and preparation methods.

7) ’The characteristics of activated carbons derived from deoiled rice bran residues make rice a promising raw material for the production of activated carbon.’


a) Activated carbon is a useful material so we need to produce more of it.

b) As it is expensive to produce, we need to find ways of lowering the cost of production.

c) Using low-cost bio-based materials would help reduce the cost of production, so rice, as a relatively cheap biological product, might be a good alternative.

d) Different processes work differently with different materials, affecting the characteristics of the finished product. For this reason, it will be interesting to see how rice reacts.

e) Rice is abundant in Thailand. Therefore, if it turns out to be suitable for the production of deactivated carbon, there will be a plentiful supply of raw material.

9) By in-depth referencing to authoritative sources.

Chapter 9: Academic and scientific conventions

9.1 Referencing conventions

Explorative Task (ii)


A: Harvard

B: Vancouver


a) Atkins, P. (2013) What Is Chemistry? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

b) Housecroft, C. and E. Constable (2010) Chemistry: An Introduction to Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, (4th Edition), Harlow: Pearson Education.

c) Dinwoodie, J. (2010) Timber, in P. Domone and J. Illston (2010) (eds) Construction Materials: Their Nature and Behaviour, Abingdon: Spon Press, 403—506.

d) Davies, J. (2006) Where have all the antibiotics gone? Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, 17(5), 287—290.

e) Rincon, P. (2011) How sticky tape led to the Nobel Prize, BBC, 5th October, [accessed 4th March, 2013].

f) Royal Society, [accessed 20th November, 2012].

9.2 Incorporating quotation

Practice (suggested answers)

1) The Oxford Dictionary of Science defines polymers as ’substances that have macromolecules composed of many repeating units (known as “mers”)’ (2005: 648).

2) The structure of an atom is comprised of ’a nucleus surrounded by a cloud of atoms’ (Atkins, 2013: 17).

3) According to Smolin, ’the desire to comprehend nature has been framed by the Platonic ideal that the world is a reflection of some perfect mathematical form’ (in Dawkins, 2009: 363).

4) Davies describes the period from 1950 to 1960 as ’the golden age of antibiotic discovery’ (2006: 287).

9.3 Tables and figures

Practice (i)

1) illustrated; 2) shows; 3) seen; 4) presents; 5) demonstrated; 6) compares

Practice (ii)

1) doubled; declined

9.4 Equations

Explorative Task


A: where M is the metal and O is the oxygen

B: In reaction 1.42, O2 is the oxidising agent and in reaction 1.43, H2 is the reducing agent.

9.5 Units of measurement


1) Temperatures may reach 40°C. (capital C)

2) The wire measured 2 mm in diameter. (space between number and unit)

3) The machine weighs 44 kg. (no capitals)

4) Measure 2 l of water. (no s for plural)

5) 2 g of solution were added to every m3 of water. (superscript 3)

9.6 Acronyms and abbreviations

Explorative Task (i)

Rule for Acronym Use

When mentioning a term for the first time, use the full term and put the acronym in brackets afterwards. After this, always use the acronym. (N.B. Do not keep switching from one to the other in a random fashion — it is very distracting for the reader.)

Explorative Task (ii)




sentence 1


exempli gratia

for example

sentence 2


id est

that is to say

sentence 3



compare and contrast*

sentence 4


nota bene


* Sometimes used to mean ’see’, although this usage is not accepted as correct by many

9.8 UK versus US spelling



Both ise and ize are used in UK spelling — but be consistent.

Appendix 1: Verb forms and patterns

A1.1 Verb forms

Practice (i)

1) boils; 2) is found; 3) was invented; 4) have been developed; 5) have been shown; 6) has been carried out

Practice (ii)

1) rises, sets; 2) are becoming; 3) discovered, was expanding, had been done; 4) have made; 5) was added

Practice (iii)

1) reaches; 2) is; 3) implemented, would fall; 4) had been vaccinated, would/could have been prevented

Practice (iv): Describing processes

1) relies; 2) is heated; 3) pumped; 4) traps; 5) carry; 6) is insulated

A1.2 Verb patterns


1) Water pressure causes the wheel to turn.

2) Continued use of fossil fuels may give rise to climate change.

3) The safety measures introduced last year have led to a decrease in accidents.

4) Better technology in the future should result in more efficient energy production.

5) Dirty water could result in sickness, which could, in turn, trigger a national health crisis.

Appendix 2: Complex noun phrases

Explorative Task (iii)

the tendency of material properties to vary spatially across the structure owing to the manufacture process or history effects (19 words)

material field uncertainty emanating from variability in the material microstructure in different locations of a structural component (17 words)

Practice (i)

1) The proposal outlines a flexible manufacturing control system suitable for chemical industries.

2) Scientists should work together to solve environmental problems.

3) The drug suppresses the immune system.

4) The effect of pollution on marine mammals is examined in detail.

5) Galileo’s greatest contribution to science was his work in mechanics.

Practice (ii) (suggested answers)

1) The increase in life expectancy in the developed world is partly due to improved nutrition and medical care.

2) The belief that alternative energy sources will solve our environmental problems is disputed by some experts.

3) The fact that the modern diet comprises a great deal of processed foods is bound to have repercussions in terms of public health.

4) The paper assesses the possible need for more efficient data transfer in mobile devices.

5) The seasonal fluctuation in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere occurs because of the increase in the uptake of CO2 by plants in summer.