Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to Lose Readers, Sociological Edition

by Unknown

Tip #1: Begin the second sentence of your paper with, "to obtain a satisfactory fit to the data, Prior Researcher X had to add Parameter Y to Statistical Model Z."*

Even to someone who has (a) tinkered with Statistical Model Z; (b) knows precisely what Parameter Y does; and (c) has seen Prior Researcher X get absolutely smashed, it's a godawful boring way to lead off.

*I know that double-entendres about models are almost inevitable, but I couldn't think of another way to say this in the 20 seconds I wanted to spend on this post.
I missed the first entendre.
That's because it's the second sentence, Jeremy.

Those of us who have put together so many children's toys that we think that "insert Parameter Y into Model Z" is standard language also missed the first hearing.
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