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I'm a non native English speaker writing a dissertation in British English. In the dissertation I'm explaining a new advanced form of a certain method (let's call this method "x"). Because of word limit I wish to omit any explanation of the standard form of "x", since usage of this form is widespread in my field. Would it be considered rude to write something like the following?

We assume the reader is knowledgeable about standard 'x', so these will not be explained in this document. Instead we will focus on the new capabilities provided by "advanced x".

  • Not directly related to the question, but, perhaps, it might be more useful to refer the readers who are not familiar with method x to a relevant paper on this method? Something like "for a detailed description of method x, please refer to some_paper[1]". – user27060 Nov 11 '16 at 12:38
  • You are not being rude, but you might want to explain why you are doing it: "For lack of space..." – Mick Nov 11 '16 at 12:39
  • It's not rude. As a matter of style I would leave out "so these will not be explained in this document" as that is obviously the point that "we assume the reader is knowledgeable about..." gets across. – hunter Nov 11 '16 at 14:45
  • It all depends on how you phrase it. There was a famous comment in the source code of Unix which read "You are not expected to understand this", and many people found it somewhat insulting, although it wasn't intended that way. – stangdon Nov 11 '16 at 15:09
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Yes, this is very common in academic writing and is also used in all forms of writing.

A basic level of education and / or knowledge of the reader is assumed. To describe the simple details would be considered to be an insult to the intelligence of the reader. Many referees of academic journals would reject a paper that included information that should be known to the reader.

There is a proverb which describes this situation - "Don't teach your Grandmother to suck eggs".

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