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'?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 03-Jan-14 23:22:10

A comma would be nice but I seem to remember something about , and and.

Can somebody explain please. Sorry to derail but my dh helps me with grammar and I'd love to surprise him. I didn't do it much at school.

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:23:02

oh god i'm so confused now!!

Essay title is to discuss the 3 main factors of obedience based on the Milgram experiment, evaluate the research and draw a conclusion...

Thanks everyone for your very helpful feedback!!

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:23:40

NO I at ALL.

It must be completely passive

lougle Fri 03-Jan-14 23:27:01

"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."

"Conclusions will be reached about the main factors involved in obedience and whether the results of the Milgram experiment are valid insights into the psychology of obedience."

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:29:10

Its from the intro to my essay.

I'm going to copy the intro here for clarification. ***JUST IN CASE MY TUTOR IS READING THIS*** I am not asking for anyone to re-write it, i'm proofreading through a third party which I think is allowed?!

Obedience as defined by the Oxford dictionary is ‘compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority’. This essay will seek to discuss the factors involved in obedience, when in doing so, a person rebels against their own conscience or learnt behaviour. Drawing mainly on Milgram’s 1963 ‘Behavioural study of obedience’ the contributing factors to obedience will be discussed and the research used to reach these conclusions will be evaluated. The main factors which will be discussed are the presence of an authority figure on the participant, the setting in which the experiment is carried out and the gradual commitment to the action being asked of the participant. Further studies into obedience will also be used to evaluate the results from the Milgram experiment and the trend for obedience when these factors are varied. 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.

Rowlers Fri 03-Jan-14 23:29:51

Draw what sort of conclusion? Whether you agree? Which are valid and which aren't? Whether the research is valid and useful?
I'm confused, too!

lougle Fri 03-Jan-14 23:31:00

oooh wait.

"discuss the 3 main factors of obedience based on the Milgram experiment, evaluate the research and draw a conclusion..."

This doesn't suggest the same thing at all as your sentence.

Your sentence suggests that you're evaluating whether the Milgram experiment ties in with the general principles of obedience to give a valid insight.

The way I read your essay title, your job is to establish the principles of obedience as defined by the Milgram experiment. Then, to evaulate the research and whether that holds water in the light of other authorities on obedience.

I think there's quite a difference in emphasis there, and I would worry that you may have missed the point of the title, given your sentence?

lougle Fri 03-Jan-14 23:33:29

Pantone I wouldn't copy any more into Mumsnet or any other internet site. It is very highly likely to be found by a plagarism software, and although you are completely innocent there are two problems:

1. They may flag it and then have to investigate, until you're proven innocent.

2. Someone else may lift your work for their essay at a later date.

Pantone363 Fri 03-Jan-14 23:51:16

I think i'll ask MN to delete! Hadn't thought of that. I need to step away from MN and look at it with fresh eyes. I feared I may be veering off point.

Thanks all

lougle Sat 04-Jan-14 10:26:07

it does sound like, given the essay title, you have r twisted it a bit.

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