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Avoid writing subjectively

Students sometimes write using a 'chatty', informal or subjective style such as in the following example:

Subjective style

These results seem to be really quite good. The model fits very well with the data points as can be interpreted by the R 2 values of 0.32 shown in Table 1 above. But the method used to obtain the best values for a, b, and c was a little silly and time-consuming as it required putting lots of values into a changeable Excel spreadsheet over and over to try and get the lowest R 2 value, even though this is probably the only way to do it accurately. Also, this model can be used to extrapolate the PCB concentrations of fish of ages not measured in the study, but that's about it.

Although the scientific points made by this student may be correct, the form of expression is not appropriate for a formal scientific report. There are a number of ways in which this passage could be made more objective, but first it is important to think about whether to use a personal or impersonal style.

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