Comments on Spring '01 Medium Papers
Raw Scores 22 18 16 15 11
Scaled Scores 15 12 ll 10 8
Categories Sci A/I/C Org. TS Writ F/C
Average 2.2 2.6 1.6 1.6 2.4 2.5
Highest possible scaled score is 16 corresponding to raw scores in
24-28 range. We found no such papers this quarter.
- Figure. Were more relevant than in previous years.
Good omen for talks; figures should deliver the important messages.
Caption should reinforce figure so pair delivers standalone
message. Essential information
should appear in both text and caption; expecially a take-home message.
Must cite figure in paper. Good practice is to make it a
character: e.g., "Figure 1 shows the average person's gaze fluctuating
widely after the pitch crosses the plate."
- Science quality. Wide variability. Failure to use
accessible science underestimates intelligence of audience --
always a mistake.
While avoiding jargon, arguments must make sense.
- Organization. Topic strings can drive the paper. One
paragraph sets up the next carrying reader along.
In policy papers, centered subheads can
highlight major sections, even making the section's point.
- Abstract is a stand alone, accurate, terse description of
the main arguments of the paper.
- Introduction draws reader into the paper while supplying
the main topic strings that will drive the paper.
- Conclusion aptly summarizes take-home message and
arguments for it -- the last chance to persuade/inform audience. Avoid
new material that might deflect reader from take-home message.
- New terms should appear after their definition.
The vestibulo-occular reflex is inability to rotate both the head
and eyes in the same direction smoothly and in concert.
Better: Head motion is usually compensated by eye motion that
tends to stabilize the image upon the retina: the vestibulo-occular
- Stress is not at end of sentence. Better: Sentence ends with
To change depths, the cuttlefish fills the cuttlebone with more or
less air depending on whether it wants to raise or lower itself.
Better: The cuttlefish raises or lowers itself by increasing or decreasing
the air in the cuttlebone.
- Dangling participles:
Aiding cuttlefish in its goal of survival,
the cuttlefish employs a "smoke" screen and camouflage in addition to its speed.
Better: To survive, the cuttlefish uses its speed together with a a
"smoke" screen and camouflage.
- Topic sentences. Many still don't recognize
their power to shape flow of a paper and to energize a
paragraph with clear and specific statement of its point.
Aiding cuttlefish in its goal of survival, the cuttlefish employs a
"smoke" screen and camouflage in addition to its speed.
Better:The cuttlefish's defensive tactics combine its variable speed and
direction with a "smoke" screen and camouflage.