One of the most common committee criticisms I see is the use of vague references to time: currently, soon, still, lately, now, today, etc. This is a comment from a formal editor at Capella:
X “should remove vague references to time such as: recent, current, currently, now, today, etc. People’s perceptions of these words vary. Sometimes removing these adjectives makes the statement stronger. If a time reference is needed then some specific time frame should be stated.”
Think about this: With any luck, your dissertation will still be used as research in 10 years. Imagine a doctoral candidate in 2023 trying to figure out what “lately” means. Exchange these vague references for a year or a century, for example: Instead of writing, “Lately, the industry has increased the production of widgets.” [substitute] “In the 21st century, the industry increased the production of widgets.” [or] “Since 2007, the industry has been increasing the production of widgets.”
Remember, if your source is Jones (2005), you cannot say, “In 2013, the industry….” (Jones, 2005). You must always remember that you are confined by the date[s] of your references. The best you can do with Jones (2005), for example, would be to say, “In 2005, the industry started to increase the….” (Jones, 2005).
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