"What are students' perceptions towards teaching methods in the UK Science classroom?'
The author has English as a second language. Her main title is (similar to) 'Students' perceptions of teaching methods...', but 'perceptions towards' is one of her research questions. Her research has to be handed in today. Do you think it sounds OK or should I change to 'perceptions of' throughout?It's a major change.
P.S. I'm sorry if the search/replace suggestion came across as patronising; having temped, I assume that I do know a lot of shortcuts that other people don't know, so it is worth offering them, just in case.
The thing is that she's asked students a question, X. Now I'm suggesting that when it's written up, it's effectively saying she asked them Y. But you're right, it's just grammar & means the same thing. The title actually, I've just noticed, is in fact 'perceptions towards' and her tutor has OK'd that. AAARGH!
In a recent bit of proof-reading I did, I corrected questions of a survey which had already been performed, feeling that (a) the paper's author was a non-native speaker of English, and I was correcting the rest of the paper, (b) the survey was performed across Europe, so it may have been issued in a different translation for some respondents anyway, and (c) the meaning is clear enough, just a mixup between "attitudes towards" and "perceptions of" and therefore you are not cheating by changing the meaning.
If there are very strict guidelines about this sort of thing in your area, you can always: (a) put in "[sic]", to indicate the mistake was there in the original, or (b) correct it and footnote that respondents were surveyed with the wording "perceptions towards".
Yes, Pedants' Corner is great, isn't it? I found it particularly soothing today, with the other topics full of loud and often crazy debate about the riots/looting, and almost nothing on the stock markets or debt crisis (eurozone and US) (though a couple of threads are trying to address that).
And, compared to the riots/looting chatter, here, in Pedants' Corner, our intolerance won't result in someone's losing his/her housing and benefits!