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    #1

    "a total of..." in scientific writing

    Dear UsingEnglish,

    I have just got proofreading back, and interestingly enough the proofreader has inserted "a total of" in front of many sentences with quantifiers
    "A total of 7.2% of those who attended were women."

    "7.2% of those who attended training were women."

    to me, that is just verbose, I cannot see that it adds anything (except perhaps that there are no further women "hidden" into the other 100-7.2 %). Do I miss something?

    The reason (as I covered in another recent post) is that brevity is important when possible in academic writing.

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    #2

    Re: "a total of..." in scientific writing

    The proofreader may have had in mind the standard advice not to start a sentence with a numeral.

    You can fix this by saying

    "Of those who attended training, 7.2% were women."

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    #3

    Re: "a total of..." in scientific writing

    This was a very nice catch, Rover! We are not used to reporting quantitative work. I love UsingEnglish!

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    #4

    Re: "a total of..." in scientific writing

    Shouldn't there be a "the" before "training"?
    I am not a teacher.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "a total of..." in scientific writing

    No. Optional.

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    #6

    Re: "a total of..." in scientific writing

    This was a very nice catch, Rover!
    Is the phrase appropriate in the context?
    I am not a teacher.

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