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24 votes

To boil water down to the bottom of the pot

The expression is to "boil dry". You would use it as "The pot boiled dry". Normally this is a bad thing to happen (as if the pot boils dry, any food in the pot is likely to burn) ...
James K's user avatar
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20 votes
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Articles at the beginning of sentences in scientific writing

I'm a native speaker who occasionally works professionally as a technical writer and editor, including writing scientific journal articles. In my opinion, your versions of the sentences, without the ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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13 votes
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To boil water down to the bottom of the pot

To "boil something down" usually refers to making it thicker, more viscous, as with a sauce. In your case, it would be more idiomatic to say the water boiled away, not down. I left the pot ...
TimR's user avatar
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12 votes

The use of 'their' in academic writing

Your instructor probably did not give you such a general guideline. It would be foolish to do so, as your example shows. Your sentence is 100% correct in academic writing and every other kind of ...
Jeffrey Carney's user avatar
12 votes

what does this phrase mean "placed on her end"?

The author is attempting to provide a sense of the Titanic's massive scale by way of comparison between the ship's length and a tall building's height. Normally, a ship would be oriented horizontally ...
Quack E. Duck's user avatar
11 votes

Articles at the beginning of sentences in scientific writing

Sentences 1, 2, and 5 are fine either way in my opinion. I slightly prefer no article. The third sentence should be either your way, or "An examination". I prefer your way with no article. "The ...
pfalstad's user avatar
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9 votes

When italicizing, do I have to include 'a,' 'an,' and 'the'?

In my experience, in scholarly papers, when a new concept is defined or introduced, the article is never italicized, and the rest of the noun phrase is usually italicized. Here are several examples ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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8 votes
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When italicizing, do I have to include 'a,' 'an,' and 'the'?

Generally, don't use italics for emphasis! the APA guide says: In general, avoid using italics for emphasis. Instead, rewrite your sentence to provide emphasis. You should only use italics if there ...
James K's user avatar
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6 votes

what does this phrase mean "placed on her end"?

When an object is rectangular, that is, longer than it is tall, to "place it on its end" means to place it so that the short end is on the ground or floor or table, and it extends upward the ...
Jay's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the word *then* doing in "The constant synthesis, **then**, of specific material from simple....",?

It is expressing that what he is saying in that sentence is the consequence of something he said previously. He could have started the sentence with then, or he could have used so: So, the constant ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
5 votes
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"A too large dataset is difficult to learn" vs "If the dataset is too large, the learning is difficult"

The grammar of "Too adjective" is a little odd. You can use it as a predicate freely: This dataset is too large. Pianos are too heavy to lift. But it is at least awkward to use it ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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4 votes
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Academic writing Simple Past/Simple Present in passive form

This is a matter of style guides Journals and other publishers may have their own in-house guidelines when it comes to usage and grammar. Many follow the top style guides: APA, CMS, and MLA. Social ...
AIQ's user avatar
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4 votes
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long title without verb

No, titles (whether of books, films, articles, chapters, sections) are more often single phrases (often noun phrases, but also other types) than full sentences. I'd have to see the context to know ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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4 votes
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How to rephrase a long comprative sentence

This seems to be a question of simplification and “de-cluttering” rather than one of phrasing. You simply need to omit a great many words. My suggestion: The Tarim Basin presents values between those ...
Annabeth Yeung's user avatar
4 votes

The use of 'their' in academic writing

It is completely correct. Here are some examples of the use of the pronoun "their" to refer to "corporations" in exactly your context: "The federal sentencing guidelines for ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes

To boil water down to the bottom of the pot

If the content of the pot was only water, I would say that I left the pot on the stove (US) / cooker (UK) and the water completely evaporated.
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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4 votes
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Correct english word for undoing a knot: untangle, disentangle, untie?

"Knot" is usually used for something deliberately done. In this case the knot is "tied" when it is created and "untied" when removed. "Undid" would also be ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 4,602
3 votes

Is it appropriate to use another verb after the main verb (main verb + subject + verb) in a sentence? and why?

The verb "believe" has a complement, which is the clause [that] you remembered that blue is my absolute favorite color. (The word [that] is an optional subordinator, omitted in this ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
3 votes
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"no longer assumed not endotherms" = endotherms or not endotherms?

It is confusing, and unnecessarily so. The basic structure "assumed {noun}" is somewhat odd. It is common enough to use "assumed {adjective}", but I'd interpret "dinosaurs ...
James K's user avatar
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3 votes
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definite or indefinite article for new term that described in other paper?

In the case the referent is specific. and so if an article is used it should be definite. But The Hilbert twenty-fourth problem is incorrect. (as FumbleFingers says in a comment, this is because a &...
David Siegel's user avatar
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3 votes
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Using a comma instead of "and" in "A and B are the objects that are part of the equation."

It is understandable, but not really recommended, unless you are very short of space. It looks very "clipped". It looks like you are trying to use the very fewest number of words, and it ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
3 votes
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"respectively"—should only be used if your sentence would be unclear without it?

(I've edited for Springer, Elsevier, and other families of journals for about 15 years.) A common, consistent, and reasonable convention in academic writing is that "respectively" is used to ...
Chemomechanics's user avatar
3 votes

To boil water down to the bottom of the pot

Another way to say this is 'boiled off' as in "all the water boiled off". When pan-frying or browning, I will 'boil off' any excess water.
JimmyJames's user avatar
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3 votes
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Is there a British English equivalent of a "straight-A student"?

Until a few years ago, most UK school exams were rated A, B, C etc and the term "straight A student" was common. Although the secondary school GCSE exam has moved to a numerical grading ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 105k
3 votes

what does this phrase mean "placed on her end"?

LIKE THIS: Innumerable examples ... https://www.urbanthree.com/blog/some-inspired-heights-comparisons-in-downtown-asheville/
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,193
2 votes

Leave application for "days in the past" and "future"

Leave of absence is an expression meaning permission to be absent. We don't talk about a leave of absence (British English) - just leave of absence. If you wish to be away from your place of ...
Ronald Sole's user avatar
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2 votes
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Is it correct to omit the indefinite article after the colon sign from the title of a scientific paper?

"Policy" can be either count or non-count. Omitting "A" suggests the non-count meaning a category of principles, guidelines, plans and rules. Including "A" suggests the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes

Articles at the beginning of sentences in scientific writing

You should not omit the article. Doing so is not common, whether in academic writing or not. Perhaps you picked up the habit after noticing and subtly misanalyzing mass nouns. One of the features of ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
2 votes
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Which is the appropriate preposition in "... and this has been well documented [in/by] Bryant (2010), Jordan (1998), and James (2016)"?

I suspect there is no absolute answer here. As you say yourself, both are valid and mean the same thing. If I were forced to choose, however, I would vote for “in” based upon the notion that you are ...
Orbital Aussie's user avatar

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