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I am writing my bachelor thesis in English and currently have a problem with expressions of the form "the x, the y", where x and y are quite long. When reading the following sentence I produced, I am unsure whether it is explicit enough:

That is, the lower the difference between the average F-measure that has been achieved on some particular dataset by LS restricted to exact match versus the best LS overall, the simpler the structure of this dataset can be assumed to be.

Note: LS stands for link specifications (pl.)

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  • I suggest splitting the sentence into at least two. The 'x' is rather long for the sentence to be easily understood. Describe the difference in the first, then say "The lower the difference, the simpler..." Oct 22 '15 at 11:44
  • @VictorBazarov Thank you, this was really helpful. Oct 22 '15 at 13:53
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Thanks to the advice of Victor Bazarov I ended up splitting the sentence into two.

In addition to the better readability my own thoughts became clearer in the process of splitting it up, so that I eventually overhauled the whole paragraph. This is the result:

Consider the difference between the F-measure achieved by some LS restricted to exact match and the overall best F-measure on a particular dataset. The lower this difference becomes, the cleaner the dataset can be assumed to be.

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  • Glad to have helped. I still think you could improve the second part of the second sentence. "Can be assumed to be" is a bit cumbersome. Maybe, "the cleaner we can assume the dataset to be"? Just to avoid repeating "be"... Oct 22 '15 at 13:56
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    This is what I would normally do for research papers where I am not the only author. However, I want to avoid "we" or "I" in my thesis to practice the indirect style, which some academics consider to be the most appropriate. I will talk about this with my advisor next monday and perhaps he will encourage me to use "we". I got my conclusions about the writing style entirely from internet discussions, which might not apply to what is expected in my field or at my university. Oct 22 '15 at 14:04
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    An argument for "we": it can mean the author and the reader (or readers). But I understand the difference between a paper and a thesis. Oct 22 '15 at 14:05
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That is, the lower the difference between the average F-measure that has been achieved on some particular dataset by LS restricted to exact match versus the best LS overall, the simpler the structure of this dataset can be assumed to be.

I would simplify it this way:

That is, given a dataset's achieved F-measure by LS-restricted to exact match, and the overall best LS of all datasets, simpler datasets will show lower differences.

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