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Grey Literature or Academic Writing?

September 3rd, 2015 No comments

academic writingWhat is grey literature? According to some of the available definitions on the web, grey literature is the one that is generated on each of the levels of business, government, industry and academic segments in both – electronic and print formats, but that is not kept under control of commercial publishers.

In addition to the definition provided above, grey literature has also been called the one that includes everything with an exception for peer-viewed journals and books that are accepted by Medline. It is important to mention that grey literature has not been published in the conventional way, and what is more, it is pretty hard to identify and obtain by means of the usual routes. Exactly for this very reason this issue is called “grey literature”.

This kind of literature includes a great variety of material including statistical and government publications, fact sheets, reports, working papers, newsletters, policy documents, technical reports and bibliographies.

Papers are usually provided to inform various funding bodies regarding the research projects results or to show up preliminary results during conferences. This kind of material is quickly disseminated, usually in limited numbers, and typically it does not undergo any process of formal publication. Even in case it hasn’t been checked by the peer, the content it includes is still pretty useful and the creators of the regular literature searches need to do their best in order to identify this literature type.

Nonetheless, the process of both – identifying and tracing this kind of literature makes us face with the several challenges. Basic details like the date of publication, the author, the publishing body may be difficult to discern, making it not easy to locate and then cite various documents.  As for the low print runs, it may be quite hard to locate. This has not much to do with internet publishing, but with organizational and government reports. The lack of control from the editorial side may cause the raising of a bunch of questions regarding the uniqueness and trustworthiness of documents.

When the question is about the producers of the grey literature, a great number of organizations generate a wide range of grey literature that is relevant to health policy, public health and epidemiology. These typically include not-for-profit organizations, government health agencies (the National Institutes for Health in the USA; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Department of Health in United Kingdom), universities, health institutes, research centers, international agencies (UNAIDS and WHO (World Health Organization), special interest groups, etc.

There are debates about what place the web search engines take in the literature searching, and the experts tend to have strong disputes and some of them state that it is not a trustworthy source of information. But the thing is that in reality, the World Wide Web provides multiple opportunities to get an instant access to the grey literature. Search engines like Google have turned into significant resource of grey literature that is available for a great audience all over the globe.

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Logical Assumptions with Modal Verbs in Academic Writing

August 28th, 2015 No comments

queue in data structureMore often than not, logical assumptions are used in academic writing. This article is dedicated to the using of modal verbs for deduction, certainty and probability. When the question is about “deduction”, it means using all information that is available to draw certain conclusions on these or that facts.

Depending on what kind of information you have, you may be more assured that all of your conclusions are related to real life, or less assured that your conclusions are valid – and we make use of various modal verbs in order to define the degree of your certainty.

Deductions about the present

When you are going to make some deductions about the present, make sure to use “must” if you’re 100% sure that something is true and “can’t” in case you’re absolutely sure that something is impossible. For instance, if you see a guy, you may say “He must be a policeman” if you’re very certain about that because of his uniform. And “He can’t be a painter” since we’re certain he is NOT a painter.

Certainty about the days that have gone

When we take into account some present evidence and provide reasonably certain conclusions about the events that took place in the past, it is required to use “must have” and “couldn’t have” together with the verb in the past participle form. The “must have + past participle” example regarding the conclusions about something that did happen: “Ronda got a tan. She must have spent a lot of time on the beach”. As for the “must not have + past participle” construction (when we give the conclusions that something didn’t happen, the example will sound as:  “The mail box is still empty. James must not have sent the letter yet”.  And finally, the construction “couldn’t have + past participle” example: “George couldn’t have taken your purse; he wasn’t even in a room yesterday”.

Certainty about the days to come

When we are making deductions on the future, it’s the same as when we made predictions. Just like you have been told about the future tenses during the school lessons, one can use “going to” or “will” in order to say what we believe is going to happen in the future.  When an individual is 100% sure that his predictions are correct, he can add the word “definitely” in order to put emphasis on his certainty. For instance, “Mike’s definitely going to love this movie – it’s with his favourite Hollywood actor”.

Make sure to take into consideration the following slightly more formal expressions that one can make use of in order to talk about the future with certainty. This is what we use to state that something “is certain to” happen or when something “is sure to” happen. For example, “Sociology experts are certain to provide the results of the surveys even faster than before” or “The country is sure to take part in this global arrangement”.

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