- COMMA SPLICE: A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses (that is, each of them could be a separate complete sentence) are connected only by a comma. Either separate independent clauses with an appropriate conjunction (for example, "and," "but"), or with a semi-colon; or put a period in place of the comma and start a new sentence. There are very many comma splices in this paper. I correct some, but you should proofread the manuscript carefully to correct any I missed.
- UNCLEAR ANTECEDENTS: I found multiple instances of pronouns with unclear antecedents. That means that the reader cannot easily tell to which preceding noun or noun phrase the pronoun is supposed to refer. Typically, the reader looks back to the most recently occurring reasonable noun; sometimes that is ambiguous, though. If there is a possibility of misunderstanding to which noun the pronoun is supposed to refer (i.e., what it's antecedent is), repeat the noun instead of using a pronoun.
- Avoid the use of “most” when describing the state of the empirical literature. If you write “most researchers find such-and-such,” in effect you are making a statistical statement, saying that you know that more than half the researchers have found such-and-such. Could you, if called upon, justify that “most of…” statement with numbers? That’s what the word implies. Instead, use “many,” or “several,” or “a number of.”
- RESEARCHES: Research is a collective noun, generally understood to include a body of work. As such, it really should not be used as a plural (i.e., researches). Instead, use "studies," or "investigations," or some similar word.
- ANTHROPOMORPHIZING NOUNS: Results don't find anything, as in "our results found that…." Scales don't observe anything. Researchers find results; results lead to conclusions. Results therefore document, or show, or demonstrate, or… you get the idea. Ditto for "report:" Results don't report anything; researchers do. Scales don't observe anything; researchers do.
- NESTED PARENTHESES, BACK-TO-BACK PARENTHESES: Generally, do not put parentheses inside parentheses. Generally, do not information in one set of parentheses back-to-back with other information in a second set of parentheses.
- ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS: Define an abbreviation or acronym on its first use in the paper. Once you have defined an abbreviation, use it routinely and consistently.
- SUBJECT-VERB DISAGREEMENT: Singlular subjects (nouns or noun phrases) take singular verbs; plural subjects take plural verbs. A common mistake is to have the verb agree with the closest noun or noun phrase, which may or may not be the actual subject of the sentence. There are noticeable instances of subject-verb disagreement throughout this paper. I changed many of them, but you should carefully check to make sure that all your subjects and verbs agree.
- When punctuation occurs at the end of a quoted phrase (e.g., quotation marks occur at the end of a sentence), the end punctuation (e.g., a comma, semi-color, period or question mark) should be enclosed within the ending quotation mark.
- NUMBERS AS NUMERALS vs. NUMBER WORDS: It is common practice to use numerals for numbers 10 or greater and number words (e.g., "one," "six") for single digits.
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