I'm writing my M.Sc. Thesis (my username gave that away).

I do not usually have issues writing in formal/scientific English, but this sentence sounds to me too long; however I cannot find how to improve it or at least add commas.

The work carried out in [REF] defines the inlet values from averages over the periods of time when they appear the most stable.

Do you understand it, and if not how should it be modified?

  • 2
    Note to closevoters: this question is not simply proofreading, but asks about a specific aspect of comprehensibility. This is the kind of thing where a fluent speaker can be very helpful in explaining a specific aspect of the language which is nearly impossible to figure out without help or long experience: how many prepositional phrases are too many, or whether they need to be broken up with commas.
    – Ben Kovitz
    May 27, 2015 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


I think I understand it. Here's how I would rephrase it:

"The work carried out in [REF] defines the inlet values based on averages over those periods during which the values appear most stable."

Let me know if this is a misinterpretation. I don't think it needs breaking up. I generally try to avoid pauses if I can do so without losing clarity.

  • That makes the sentence even longer, but it at least specifies the relations better. Thank you! May 30, 2015 at 0:27

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