Please please please can someone read this sentence for me....

(35 Posts)
Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:44:07

Because I've read it so many times now it sounds clunky, wrong and I can't step away until I know its right or wrong.

"A conclusion will be reached to the main factors involved in obedience and if the results gathered from the Milgram experiment are valid insights into the psychology of obedience."

Is it too long? Too clunky? ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Thanks, ta, merci, etc etc etc

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:45:24

Sorry should say its for an essay i'm writing and the tutor is also a massive pedant and spots any mistake from a mile away and I have form for massive long sentences.

See what I did there? wink

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 03-Jan-14 22:47:41

Clunky. A conclusion will be reached abiut the main factors, And whether....'?

Am not keen on the passive generally, but I know some disciplines prefer it to 'I'.

scaevola Fri 03-Jan-14 22:47:43

Is there a specific (jargon) reason for using the passive voice?

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 03-Jan-14 22:48:35

As to the main factors? Regarding the main factors?

But yes too clunky.

I am going to investigate...Whether the results gathered...an insight into...

Littlefish Fri 03-Jan-14 22:51:29

Definitely replace "if" with "whether". I found myself reading the rest of the sentence expecting to read "... if the results ....... then ......." if you see what I mean.

JassyRadlett Fri 03-Jan-14 22:51:31

I'd amend to:

"A conclusion will be reached about/on the main factors involved in obedience and whether the results gathered from the Milgram experiment are valid insights into the psychology of obedience."

I'm not wild about the passive tense at the start, but seem to recall that it's standard for academic writing.

mrsWast Fri 03-Jan-14 22:52:23

as to the main factors..and a comma before the 'and'...

Littlefish Fri 03-Jan-14 22:52:30

Also, I would replace 'to' with either 'regarding' or 'about'.

JassyRadlett Fri 03-Jan-14 22:52:58

Cross-posted with many! Though I note we agree, mostly.

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:53:08

Yes, instant fall for not using the passive. I HATE it with a passion.

mrsWast Fri 03-Jan-14 22:53:12

seconding 'whether' in place of 'of'

scaevola Fri 03-Jan-14 22:53:12

Flip it round?

"If the results gathered from the Milgram experiment are valid insights into the psychology of obedience, then it will be possible to draw conclusions about the main factors involved in obedience"

SummerRain Fri 03-Jan-14 22:53:59

A conclusion will be reached as to the main factors influencing the tendency towards obedience, and whether the results gathered from the Milgram experiment are valid insights into the psychology of obedience.

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:54:57

I had 'as to the main factors' and then changed it. Then changed it back. Then changed it again angry

BelleOfTheBorstal Fri 03-Jan-14 22:56:03

What Scavola said. It's amazing how turning a sentence around, can totally alter the tone.

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:01:58

I love Scavola's one but we are not allowed to have a sentence split in two with a comma. Could I replace it with a semicolon?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 03-Jan-14 23:03:07

I would guess you've been pulled up on comma splices, but the suggested sentence uses a comma correctly; there is nothing wrong with it!

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:04:30

Yes comma splice hmm

All my feedback is comma splices and too long sentences grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 03-Jan-14 23:09:39

Ok, so feedback about splitting a sentence with a comma is valid, if you've used a comma where you really need a colon, but you don't need to worry about that with the suggested sentence, I don't think.

Tuo Fri 03-Jan-14 23:16:43

Nooo... scaevola has changed the meaning totally (sorry). Jassy's is better if you want to stay close to your original version. However, there are other issues here. You can draw a conclusion about whether the results of an experiment are valid (as in the second half of the sentence) but I don't think (obviously with the proviso that I haven't read the rest of the essay) that you are really trying to draw a conclusion about the main factors involved in obedience. Rather, you are going to examine these factors in order to draw a conclusion about the results of the Milgram experiment (if I've understood correctly).

I'm an academic, and personally I have no problem with using the first person (in my own or my students' writing), so I'd say something like:

I shall examine (or, if you want it to be less personal, This essay will examine) the principal factors involved in obedience (or, to make it clear that you are talking 'scientifically' rather than in lay terms, involved in the study of obedience), in order to draw a conclusion (or conclusions) as to whether the results gathered by (can you not just say of?) the Milgram experiment provide valid insights into the psychology of obedience (or, as to the validity of the results of the Milgram experiment as insights into the psychology of obedience).

I know, however, that some disciplines (I really don't know about psychology) are more hard-line on this, so if you'd been told that you must use the passive then you could say something like:

The principal factors involved in [the study of] obedience will be examined in order to permit conclusions to be drawn regarding the validity of the results of the Milgram experiment as insights into the psychology of obedience.

Or words to that effect...

Rowlers Fri 03-Jan-14 23:18:45

I will conclude with the main factors which influence the tendency towards obedience, and whether the Milgram experiment results give valid insights into the psychology of obedience.

Tuo Fri 03-Jan-14 23:18:58

OTOH, if I've misunderstood, and it really is the way round that scaevola suggested (i.e. not that you are using your understanding of obedience to analyse the validity of the Milgram experiment, but that you're analysing the experiment in order to say what obedience is), then obviously you should ignore my suggestion - I was just going on my understanding of the OP!

"The aim is to identify the main factors involved in obedience, and to analyse conclusively whether the results of the Milgram experiment give valid insights into the psychology of obedience."

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 03-Jan-14 23:21:23

I would always use 'I' and I tell my students to, but I know some disciplines don't allow it. I don't personally like the passive here (or anywhere) but it would be possible to improve that sentence and still avoid 'I' if necessary. Op, what are te guidelines you have on 'i'?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now