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In a thesis, or a formal paper written in English. What is the correct way to write inside a parenthesis and what is the correct way to refer to a table, or figure or section etc.?

Also, do we have to capitalize the first letter of words like "table" or "figure" when followed by the number of it? If so, when?

  1. Example 1

Example 1)

There are many cases that the mean value we measured is different than the expected (See Table 1).

or

There are many cases that the mean value we measured is different than the expected (see Table 1).

or

There are many cases that the mean value we measured is different than the expected (see table 1).

  1. Example 2

There are many cases (referred in in Section 2) that the mean value we measured is different than the expected.

or

There are many cases (referred in in section 2) that the mean value we measured is different than the expected.

  1. Example 3

There are many cases (Do not forget the Table 4) that the mean value we measured is different than the expected.

or

There are many cases (do not forget the Table 4) that the mean value we measured is different than the expected.

or

There are many cases (do not forget the table 4) that the mean value we measured is different than the expected.

1

Capitalise the word "Table". Don't capitalise the word "see". (but follow any specific guidelines which may overrule this)

The APA Style blog gives an example:

This was a larger percentage than we hypothesized. Two woodchucks (33.3% of the virtual subjects) would not chuck wood (see Table 1).

(The blog post is actually about the presentation of percentages, but it includes this example)

An uk government site, which uses a dash to set off the parenthesis has

A change in use may involve an increase in flood risk if the vulnerability classification of the development is changed – see Table 2.

The same principle would be applied to your Examples 2 and 3. However, in these examples the parenthesis is unnecessary and disturbs the flow of the text.

There are many cases that the mean value we measured is different for that we expected. These cases are analysed in Section 2.

However some users of APA style seems to put the word "section" in lower case. There is clearly some variation here.

to set off letters that identify items in a series within a sentence or paragraph (see also section 3.04 on seriation)

If you need to put a complete sentence inside parentheses, then capitalise and punctuate as you would any other sentence.

There are many cases (A full summary of these cases can be found on our website.) that the mean value we measured is different for that we expected.

But it would normally be better to move a full sentence out of the parentheses

There are many cases that the mean value we measured is different for that we expected. A full summary of these cases can be found on our website.

As always, a particular style guide may instruct you to do something different. In which case you need to follow that guide.

  • Thanks @JamesK, I know that my English are not good enough for something formal, I am just working as a freelancer (usually on converting formal papers -like reports or theses-) form Word to LaTeX. Working on this, I never accept to proofread, but just accepting the conversion part of the job. There I usually can find many cases of parentheses and I (almost) know (or better I can realize) even from LaTeX manual pages that "see" has to be in lowercase. I also have seen almost always the words "Table", "Figure", "Algorithm" etc, that when followed from a number (or a kind of identifier like I) – koleygr Sep 26 '18 at 21:07
  • (continued) have to start with a capital letter. But in other cases, I can not find a rule that have to be followed in any case. The rule I think is somehow always correct, is to "never capitalize if the parenthesis (and not its content) could be missing and the whole sentence including the text of the parenthesis , still makes sense. The things I can not find a rule, is when inside the parenthesis is a sentence. There, if the sentence is small I think that capitalizing the first letter is not the best way. If it is a bigger (standalone) sentence, capitalizing seems, more correct to me. – koleygr Sep 26 '18 at 21:19
  • The standalone big sentence inside the parenthesis, seems more correct to me to be capitalized especially in the case that the parenthesis is followed by a full stop. So, thank you for your answer (appreciated really much), but could you also give an advice for such cases that will be completed by your: "If there is a a particular style guide, follow that guide" (that of course I can understand)? [PS: I mean that it would be useful to have a somehow general rule that I can follow or advice my employers on this subject and not help on the specific examples of my question that I know are bad] – koleygr Sep 26 '18 at 21:21
  • I've edited.... – James K Sep 26 '18 at 21:45

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