Decoding referee: To Improve the Paper

Reports are not personal attack,but criticism of the writing.
Confused comments come from a reader confused by whom? Benefit from them.

Abstract is not introduction but a clear, accurate summary of what to expect in the paper. Example and revision below.

E.g., This paper will explain the simple theory of the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. It also touches on the pros and cons of the fuel cell for energy production as compared to conventional sources of energy.

Revised. Reversible chemical reactions allow the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell to both generate energy and be recharged. With respect to conventional sources, the fuel cell suffers in comparison only in its lower energy density and much more limited development.

More on titles and abstracts.

Topic sentences
Clear, specific topic sentence starts paragraph. When paragraph fulfills promise of TS, start new paragraph with new TS.

Consistency of subjects in paragraphs. Many paragraphs bounce from one subject to another and thus seem unfocused. See examples.

Emphasis should be at the end of sentences. See examples.

Read paragraphs out loud. If you hesitate, consider revising.

Improving the Abstract (Revised follows original.)

Note most specifics are omitted.
In the early months of 1999, the speed of light was diminished to 17 meters per second. In this paper, this experiment will be discussed. Also a short, qualitative explanation of the physics mechanism behind this phenomena will be offered.

OR In a medium the velocity of light slows by a factor called the index of refraction (of the medium). Using two nearly degenerate levels in a sodium-atom gas, Lene Hau produced a index of refraction of nearly 18 million and slowed light to 17 meters per second.

Tense? JWW says use present and active.

Second sentence ok, but past tense. Hard to write in present while maintaining familiar-verb-new pattern.

Second: produced -> "can produce" to match "slows." (Does it sound more lively?)

Avoid abstract that is more introduction than abstract.
Einstein theorized that nothing can travel faster than   108 m/sec, the speed of light in a vacuum. However, light, when not in a vacuum, does not go at this speed. It travels at speed less than this, and how much less is determined by the physical characteristics of the medium. What happens when a particle is injected into a medium with speed greater than light in that medium? The particle slows by emitting photons, called Cerenkov radiation, a phenomena that has proven quite useful in particle physics. The following discusses a bit of the physics of Cerenkov radiation, as well as some insights into how Cerenkov radiation can tell us things about microscopic particles, that would perhaps be unknowable otherwise.

OR Light travels more slowly in media than in vacuum. High-energy particles traveling near the vacuum velocity of light slow down when they enter a media, in part, by emitting Cerenkov radiation in a narrow core centered on the particle's direction of motion. Detection of the blue-shifted radiation can be used to measure the direction and speed of high-energy particles.

Improving Sentences & Paragraphs
(Note topic cohesion.)

Bohr further postulated that electrons going through transitions from higher to a lower energy level lost the extra energy in the form of spectral radiation. When electricity passes through a sample of hydrogen gas, the gas emits light. If a prism separates this light into its various components, a spectrum of lines forms. Each of these lines corresponds to light of a given wavelength and energy. When Bohr calculated the change in energy between various transitions of the hydrogen electron, he correctly predicted the wavelengths of all the known lines in the spectrum, which the Rutherford model could not do.

OR Bohr further postulated that an electron in a higher level could make a transition to a lower level, emitting the energy difference as light. This model he connected to experiments in which hydrogen atoms, excited by an electric discharge, emitted light. This light was separated by a prism into a series of lines, the Balmer spectrum of the hydrogen atom. With his model, Bohr could calculate the frequencies of the lines. In contrast to the Rutherford model which predicted a continuous range of radiation, he predicted lines that matched completely the observed spectrum.

Introductory paragraph

There are certain reasons a pitcher can throw a curve ball and fatty deposits can increase blood pressure. These and many other effects are the cause of Bernoulli's principle. The fundamental principles sprout from an equation derived by Daniel Bernoulli which relates the velocity and pressure of a medium. Basically, as the velocity of a medium increases, the pressure decreases. The principle is most commonly involved with fluid dynamics, but the medium can also include gases such as air. This principle gives rise to many features of everyday light.

OR Phenomena as diverse as a pitcher throwing a curveball or fatty deposits increasing the blood pressure can be understood from a principle due to Daniel Bernoulli. Often the principle's mathematical formulation can be replaced by this qualitative description: if the velocity of a fluid increases, the pressure decreases and vice versa. Fluids include both liquids and gases, and the examples range from a submarine to an automobile carburetor.


Research has shown that in this cooling of the ferrous-based metal, two mechanisms take place: (1) the metal's molecular structure changes transforming austenite to martensite; (2) the formation of small carbide particles within the material.

For cryogenic-tempered ferrous metals, microscopic examination reveals two processes at work: (1) a structural transformation from austenite to martensite, and (2) the wide spread dispersal of small carbide particles.

There are more examples of parallelism

To cite this page:
Improving short/medium Paper
[Friday, 15-Dec-2017 03:19:57 EST]
Edited by: on Friday, 08-Apr-2011 10:56:39 EDT