Duke University Scientific Writing Resource
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Metadiscourse

Metadiscourse is writing about your writing. It seems uncessary to write about what you will write about. Here are some examples of metadiscourse:
In this article I first review various definitions of epistasis and show what they have in common and how they differ. I then turn to how the analysis of epistatic...I will also examine the impact that.... Finally, I review various models...
The present introductory chapter is in two parts. In the first, PCA is defined, and what has become the standard derivation of PCs, in terms of eigenvectors of a covariance matrix, is presented.
If the reader wants to read about it twice, she will read the article twice! Use titles or topic sentences to cue your reader to subject matters. If I want to find out what a paragraph will be about, that is where I will look. Perhaps metadiscourse has a purpose somewhere; I generally find it nothing more than an annoyance. Metadiscourse needlessly increases article length and only makes it more difficult to glean useful information.

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