I have noticed an increasingly popular trend among authors to try to use different verbs when citing the literature upon which their work is based. It is frequently the case that authors fail to connect with the research they purport to be synthesizing from. Instead we are treated to a list of peremptory statements about what this person and that person said. But the author notices that this is incredibly boring, with all the characteristics of a list of points, each from a different research paper. It is important to tackle the very real problem of thinking about the theories and concepts that link these studies, and figuring out how each researcher has taken a theoretical stance of one kind or another. Instead of doing this, the author simply changes the verb for each paper being relied upon: Smith suggests…, Jones demonstrates…, Bloggs opines…. Opines! Why? Suddenly, the review of past research becomes a mere sharing of opinions. Surely, there is a difference between an opinion and a piece of research? The point here is that the papers I am reading use “opines” as an inappropriate substitute for “says”, in the mistaken assumption that using different words for the same thing is somehow going to make the paper more interesting. It isn’t. If you are tempted to refer to someone else’s work as “opining”, please make sure that the author in question was merely trotting out an unsubstantiated opinion, and then question whether such opinions belong in a review of previous research!
- 124,299 hits
Tag cloud – find topical postsarchitectural management architecture automation building information modelling building law building performance built environment business change management climate change commercial management conference conflict management construction economics construction industry construction management construction planning construction project management construction technology contract law culture decision-making design design management developing countries disaster recovery dispute resolution economic development economics editorial policies engineering project organization environmental management ethics facilities management financial management forum green building green design health and safety housing information technology infrastructure innovation international construction knowledge management law lean construction life cycle organizational behaviour Paper partnering post-disaster reconstruction procurement productivity professional practice project finance project management public-private partnerships quality management quantity surveying Research research methods resilience risk management safety scheduling simulation stakeholder management strategic management supply chain supply chain management sustainability sustainable construction sustainable development writing style