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  1. #1
    Hipdude is offline Newbie
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    Default Writing a research proposal.

    Hello I am writing a research proposal for the first time. I understand that this type of writing should been done in the third person similar to a CV. I understand the idea but it seems a little awkward, especially in some cases. For example, I want to say “the research we have done here shows xyz”. My best effort is “In-house research show xyz”. Its easy to cite the work of other researchers in the third person.

    In addition, the instructions for the grant say the Project Description must be in the third person but is silent about the rest of the proposal, but my colleagues use third throughout their proposal. So is third person really the standard.

    One more question. There is a difference between American English and Commonwealth English regarding verb plurals for group. “Led Zeppelin is a great band” or “Led Zeppelin are a great band”. I can’t keep that rule straight. Is this a question of one being incorrect grammar or is it a matter of usages?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Writinga research proposal.

    1 Could you use the name of the place where you did the research? If they specify the third person for one part, I don't see why you have to use it in the other parts.

    2 American tend to use the singular. British speakers tend to use the plural a lot more. I am not sure that there is a Commonwealth standard- I believe Australians use the singular more than we do in the UK. What's the position in Nigerian English? Also, plenty of British speakers do use the singular- it's more a question of usage than a rule to me.

    In the case of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page uses the singular- he describes one live recording as Led Zeppelin 'at its best', while I would say 'their best'.

  3. #3
    Hipdude is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Writinga research proposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    1 Could you use the name of the place where you did the research?
    Yes, I guess I wanted to avoid mention the Centre's name to often and sounding like a salesperson. Would refering to an internal tech note be ok? I could write a tech note summarizing our previous reseach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If they specify the third person for one part, I don't see why you have to use it in the other parts.
    Great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    2 American tend to use the singular. British speakers tend to use the plural a lot more. I am not sure that there is a Commonwealth standard- I believe Australians use the singular more than we do in the UK. What's the position in Nigerian English?
    Nigerian writers forward British standard. such as "Arsenal are a London team".

    In some parts they is a type of creole english used for trade but its spoken only.

    Also, plenty of British speakers do use the singular- it's more a question of usage than a rule to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In the case of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page uses the singular- he describes one live recording as Led Zeppelin 'at its best', while I would say 'their best'.
    Was he speaking to an American Audience? Just wondering, I know Paul McCartney said John Lennon's leaving the Beatles "hit him for six"*. What would an American make of that?

    Would you agree that saying "The Beatles are the greatest group" is always correct because Beatles is itself plural?

    *A cricket term meaning something akin to a "grand slam"

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Writinga research proposal.

    Use a note if you like. You could also mention the centre then use things like 'this research' to avoid repetition.

    I got the impression that Mr Page did see the band as a single entity and not a group of individuals- his usage stuck with me for that reason.

    The Beatles was- this sounds very strange to me.

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