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I wrote:

The reason for the selection of 350 K was that we were interested in studying the general behavior of species present in the system and gaining a better understanding of the system's dynamics.

Sometimes, I want to mention the reason of something which could be a long sentence. I'm not sure how I should start such a sentence and how I should add my long sentence after the "reason for". For example, I've most heard "The reason for this selection was providing more ..." where the reason sentence starts with a gerund. I want to know if my sentence above where I used "was that we were..." is idiomatic or I can rephrase it with a better structure?

  • Your example is idiomatic. Another example of this format: "The reason for sending you the link to this website is that I need to know what you think about xyz" "The reason I called you into the meeting on Monday was to tell you about the new policy". Having said that, the language used is somewhat 'indirect' (but not wrong). You could rephrase it - depending on context, formality, etc - to something like: "350 K was selected because we were interested in... etc". That way you get across 'the reason for the selection' in 'because' – seventyeightist May 31 '19 at 18:50
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    Btw, what's the rest of the "providing more" sentence? It sounds like it could be something like "the reason.. was providing more evidence for the XYZ hypothesis"? in which case you could substitute 'to provide' rather than 'providing'. – seventyeightist May 31 '19 at 18:54
  • @seven yeah, now that I think about it, it was more "to provide..." – Ahmad Jun 1 '19 at 4:51
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The reason for the selection of 350 K was that we were interested in studying the general behavior of species present in the system and (in) gaining a better understanding of the system's dynamics.

This is perfectly grammatical, but it is long and complex, and may not read optionally. It can be shortened by using "because" instead of 'the reason for".

  • We selected 350 K because we were interested in studying the general behavior of species present in the system and in gaining a better understanding of the system's dynamics.
  • Because we were interested in studying the general behavior of species present in the system and in gaining a better understanding of the system's dynamics, we selected (the) 350 K.
  • We selected 350 K in order to study the general behavior of species present in the system and gain a better understanding of the system's dynamics.

The third form avoids the gerunds and may be clearer.

(I am not clear whether "350 K" is a model of equipment, or a temperature (350 degrees kelvin) at which the work was done, or what, so I am not sure if an article is needed in the second form.) T

"The reason for the selection of 350 K was that ..." is a passive form, and does not explicitly indict who did the selecting, but since "we" is specified later in the sentence, a form explicitly saying "we selected" is possible.

One possible complication is that the given sentence does not indicate why 350 K was a good, or perhaps even the best, selection for the stated purpose. Sod it doesn't really give the reason for the selection, only the goal to be achieved via that selection. I suppose this would be stated in nearby text in the full document. But this makes the sentence feel more awkward in isolation, at least to me.

The reason for this selection was providing more ...

could be recast as

This selection was made to provide more ...

or

We made this selection to provide more ...

  • Yes it is temperature. Thanks for complete answer. – Ahmad Jun 1 '19 at 4:49

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