Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using “We” in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something.

Recently, though, one of my lab-mates told me that I should use I, since it is your work, if the thesis were co-written, then it would be a different story.

Is there any standard in your universities, or do you have any preferred practice.

I am writing a computing conference paper, it’s for a high quality conference, and my friend and I have a mini dispute. The loser pays for drinks, so no pressure!

Which of the following is better/appropriate/there is no difference?

The loser will: 1. get laughed at, 2. pay for drinks and 3. have to run outside naked.


The loser will: 1) get laughed at, 2) pay for drinks and 3) have to run outside naked.

In all seriousness though, is one more formal/acceptable than the other?

Also, I think I remember that maybe a “;” should be used instead of the “,”.

Thanks for reading!

While writing papers (computer science, on the border with digital humanities), I find it quite natural to write

In the following section we will present some examples of such and such.


To illustrate these point we will use a few examples of increasing complexity.

Many style guides forbid the use of the future tense and suggest the following formulations, that I personally find too stiff.

The following section presents some examples of such and such


Examples of increasing complexity illustrate these points.

(The last sentence is plain ugly.)

I do understand the will to use a language that keeps papers as much factual as possible, but should this dry style be used also for the more narrative parts of a paper?

I am currently in the process of responding to reviewer comments for a journal article submission, and I realized I was using the scientific/royal “we” in my response letter, even though I am the only author. For example, I have written, “We thank the Editor and reviewers for the constructive comments…”

This is my first time as a single author and I know in the actual manuscript it is still normal to use “we” to indicate the author and the reader. There are multiple questions here that address that question about pronoun usage (most refer back to this question which has a great answer: Choice of personal pronoun in single-author papers), but I have been unable to find a question or an answer that directly addresses my question about the use of “we” in a response letter to the journal from a single author. I understand that since it is a letter and not a manuscript, it doesn’t have to be quite so formal, but much of the content is still scientific and so I am still apprehensive to use “I” (when using a passive voice would be awkward).

So, should I continue using “we” or would it be more appropriate to use “I” in a response letter to the journal? Additionally, would these guidelines be any different for an initial cover letter that accompanies the first submission?

I have submitted a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal two months ago. It is my first submission. I have noticed two unfortunate elements in my introduction:

  1. I wrote the same sentence twice in my introduction.

  2. In one of the sentences, I have repeated the same word twice consecutively.

I think these mistakes came up with copying and pasting when I was trying to adjust my paragraphs in the introduction. Otherwise, I have already made grammar and spell check for the rest of the paper. Also, I am sure that the introduction is clearly written.

My question is that: can this kind of mistake (I think it is a minor mistake) cause a rejection by referees ? (The paper did not get a desk rejection, it is under review.) I will be really happy if you can share your experience regarding this kind of mistakes during the review process.

Is there any rule concerning the use of lower/upper case letters in figures, charts, diagrams etc. to be used in scientific papers?

I tend to use lower case only (e.g., axis labels and legends), but a reviewer recently suggested that I should start each word with a capital letter.

I would be very thankful for any advice!