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    Charles Farrar
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    (505) 663-5649

Common Editorial Mistakes


  1. Make sure all tables, figures and references are referred to in the main text. These figures should be placed after the paragraph where they are first mentioned.
  2. Do not start a sentence with “This” and then omit the subject.
    Example:
    “This can be the result of energy dissipation within the material” should read “This observed response can be the result of energy dissipation within the material.”
  3. You must use S.I. units.
    Even if you developed your experiment using English units you still need to describe it with S.I. units. Dual units are acceptable with one set of units in parentheses.
  4. Figures must reproduce in black and white or gray scale.
  5. Proper use of “Since” and “Because”. Since should refer to time, e.g. “Since the founding of our nation …”
    Misuse of since: “Since the mode shapes corresponding to this frequency indicated that Mass 2 experienced the greatest motion, …” in this example Since should be replaced with Because.
  6. All graphs must have their axes labeled and the units identified .
  7. The word “data” is plural, datum is singular .
    “The data that was collected….” Should read “The data that were collected.
  8. Repetitive use of the same word or word form in a sentence :
    “The floor plates were modeled with shell elements with material properties of aluminum.” Should read
    “The floor plates were modeled with shell elements using aluminum material properties.”
  9. Unnecessary use of the preposition “of;” using the example in 8
    “The floor plates were modeled with shell elements with material properties of aluminum . ” Should read
    “The floor plates were modeled with shell elements using aluminum material properties .”
  10. Keep sentence structure as simple as possible. If possible, avoid using hyphens, semi-colons and parentheses.
  11. Avoid the use of relative terms.   Quantify all descriptions of experiments, analyses and results
    A large beam was used to ... "large" is a relative term, the statement should read:
    A 5-cm-square beam 2-m-long was used to...
    The first calculated modal frequency agreed well with the first measured modal frequency.  "agreed well" is a relative term, the sentence should read:
    The first calculated modal frequency was two percent greater than the first measured modal frequency.
  12. Although there is not a definitive standard, use the third person in your writing . No I, we, our, etc.
  13. Try to avoid using the passive form when it can be changed easily .
    “It is demonstrated by the example that the algorithm provides an accurate solution.” Should read: “The example demonstrates that the algorithm provides an accurate solution.”
  14. Every sentence must have a subject and a verb! Listed below is an IMAC Abstract that violated this rule:
    “Examination of modal parameters for a flat plate for four cases: freely suspended, plate freely suspended while supported by an oil film, plate fixed at several locations, and plate fixed at several locations while supported by an oil film. Investigation of the bending properties of a square plate on a slip table, particularity with consideration of dampening provided by an oil film. Comparison of support and dampening characteristics supplied by an oil film with that provided by equally placed linear bearings. Analytical and empirical data is contrasted and discrepancies discussed.”
  15. Consistent number of significant figures. In the following table mode 1 resonant frequency is reported to 3 significant figures while the higher resonant frequencies are reported to 5 significant figures implying that the higher resonant frequencies can be estimated with much great accuracy. Note that it may require a detailed statistical analysis to determine just how many significant figures can accurately be reported.

 

Table 1 : Frequencies (Hz) of mode shapes from experimental data and finite element model

Mode number

Experimental

FE Model

1

2.29

3.03

2

3.04

3.87

3

12.57

6.76

4

13.90

7.27

13

120.33

126.27

14

138.89

130.10

 

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