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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Expressing opinions in technical writing?

    edit: Sorry I'm not sure I'm on the right forum here! Sorry this came up when I was googling for help with english writing.

    I'm writing an article on a technical subject (computer programming).

    What I'm trying to say is something a long the lines of

    "Although both methods have their advantages I believe that the former is preferable because...".

    Obviously in technical writing I should not be referring to myself. I want to make it clear that a particular method has been chosen due to my personal preference and not because of any underlying technical reason.

    I don't really want to cut it down to

    "Although both methods have their advantages the former is preferable because"

    as this is presenting opinion as a fact, which is not what I want to do.

    How can I go about this? Apologies if my question is a little vague!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Expressing opinions in technical writing?

    You could say "Although... users might find method A preferable because ..."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Expressing opinions in technical writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B View Post
    I don't really want to cut it down to

    "Although both methods have their advantages the former is preferable because"

    as this is presenting opinion as a fact, which is not what I want to do.

    "Although both methods have their advantages the former is prefered by some (users) because ..."


    "Although both methods have their advantages the former seems to be preferable because ..."


    ?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Expressing opinions in technical writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B View Post
    edit: Sorry I'm not sure I'm on the right forum here! Sorry this came up when I was googling for help with english writing.

    I'm writing an article on a technical subject (computer programming).

    What I'm trying to say is something a long the lines of

    "Although both methods have their advantages I believe that the former is preferable because...".

    Obviously in technical writing I should not be referring to myself. I want to make it clear that a particular method has been chosen due to my personal preference and not because of any underlying technical reason.

    I don't really want to cut it down to

    "Although both methods have their advantages the former is preferable because"

    as this is presenting opinion as a fact, which is not what I want to do.

    How can I go about this? Apologies if my question is a little vague!
    I've noticed there's been some slackening of attitudes about this over the decades. There's more toleration of a personal opinion in both technical and academic work.
    You're right about not giving opinions as facts though.
    Of course you could avoid "I" but saying, " ... but my preference would be .."
    Also, it depends on who you are writing for; what is their attitude to it.
    Are you an acknowledged expert on your topic? If you really know what you're talking about (rather than simply writing a technical article about someone else's specialty), your reader will probably value your opinion.

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