What is the difference between "outlook", "viewpoint" and "perspective" in the scientific writing, for the conclusion part (last section) of the article?

Should I use "outlook", "viewpoint" and "perspective" when I try to compare our works with other people's works?

  • I think it would depend on how you compare your work and theirs. You could also use some other words, such as position; for example, "Our position on this matter ...". – Damkerng T. Aug 25 '14 at 20:01
  • In everyday English, these are usually interchangeable. If there are specific distinctions in scientific writing, I am unaware of them. Can you give an example of where you have heard them used in a way that seems they are different? – RBarryYoung Aug 25 '14 at 21:14

All three words are nearly equivalent, although outlook to me implies an attitude toward future events rather than a current state of mind. "From my perspective, the future looks grim, so I have a negative outlook. The viewpoint of my friend is quite different, so she is looking forward to next week." I think the exact phrasing would depend on the type of comparison.

I find the Wordnik relate pages helpful when I'm looking for the right word. I particularly like the "Same Context" section because it has words that are related and not necessarily exact synonyms of the word I searched for. Some alternate words that might fit your meaning better: insight, understanding, analysis, interpretation, conclusion, or treatment.

For example, "Dr. Z's analysis of the problem was thorough, but our insight into the nature of the relationships among the factors leads us to draw a different conclusion. Our interpretation of the significance of outliers is quite different."

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