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The experiment's life cycle is composed by the processes of problem investigation, experiment's prototyping, experiment's execution, and result's publication.

The experiment's life cycle is composed by the processes of the investigation of the problem, the prototyping of the experiment, the execution of the experiment, and the publication of results.

My question is, are both sentences correctly structured and do they have the same meaning? Which one sounds better?

I have mixed the "noun + adjective" form and the possessive form in the title, as it also doubts me.

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  • The biggest problem here is that you haven't given us a complete sentence, just a couple short phrases. It's hard to tell which would be better with no additional context. I suggest you edit the question and provide more details.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 22:59
  • "Better" is a matter of opinion. Both of your examples have some mistakes, but with a little clean-up, you could use either. Why don't you tell us which you prefer, and why, and then we might talk about how best to phrase it.
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 17:11
  • @Andrew, I don't see mistakes in any of them. In my opinion, the second example sounds better, but this is mainly because it follows the structure of my native language (portuguese). Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 17:28

1 Answer 1

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(Most of this answer will be personal opinion. There are many acceptable ways to phrase a sentence, and different people will have different writing styles.)

English style guides often recommend using as few words as possible, as long as the result is grammatical and retains the full meaning. To me, the first option seems better than the second, because it contains the same information with less verbiage.

Another element of good English style is for all the elements of a list to have the same part of speech and grammatical structure. "Problem investigation" is a compound noun, so all the other elements of the list should be compound nouns.

... the processes of problem investigation, experiment prototyping, experiment execution, and result publication.

While these are acceptable, I don't really like "experiment prototyping" or "result publication" as compound nouns, plus they're redundant. We can make them all single nouns:

... the processes of investigation, prototyping, execution, and publication.

This is an improvement. You don't have to explain everything in detail, as the reader will know that by "publication" you mean "publication of the results".

The rest of the sentence is also a little wordy, and we can reduce:

The experimental life cycle has four steps: Investigation, Prototyping, Execution, and Publication.

This is how I would write it: simple, neat, and to-the-point. But that doesn't mean you couldn't be more verbose, as long as you keep the list in the same parallel structure:

The experimental life cycle has four steps: the investigation of the problem, the prototyping of the experiment, the execution of the experiment, and the publication of results.

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