N°7 : Writing the Results section Part. 1

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Use of comparatives

Comparisons are frequently found in the Results section, comparing controls with the experimental group, for example. They must be expressed objectively and unambiguously. Therefore you must avoid using adverbs such as far, much, considerably, etc., which suggest personal appreciation and interpretation.

Be careful, significant exclusively means statistically significant.

Most reviewers, with reason, object to the use of “compared with” after a comparative.

L’utilisation des comparatifs

On trouve fréquemment dans la section Résultats des comparaisons, par exemple entre des groupes témoins et les groupes testés. Elles doivent être rédigées de façon objective et non ambiguë. Il faut donc éviter les adverbes tels que far, much, considerably, etc. qui indiquent un jugement et une interprétation personnels.

Attention, « significant » ne peut être utilisé que dans le sens de « statistically significant ».

  • Ex. The incidence was higher in smokers compared with non-smokers.

Instead, you should write:

Au lieu de cela, il convient d’utiliser:

  • Ex. The incidence was higher in smokers than in non-smokers.

Various degrees of difference can be expressed:

Divers degrés de différence peuvent être exprimés :

No difference

Aucune différence

  • Ex. There were no differences in overall quality of life.



  • Ex. Patients over 70 years of age had higher scores and more symptoms in each of the dimensions of quality of life.

Watch out, a common mistake is to use three-fold instead of three times and vice-versa.

The structure using times is found with a comparative adjective.

Attention, une erreur fréquente consiste à utiliser “three-fold” à la place de “three times” et vice-versa.

  • Ex. Women were three times as likely as men to undergo total gastrectomy (15 versus 5)

The structure including fold can be used as an adjective placed before the noun it qualifies.

La structure avec “fold” s’utilise comme adjectif devant le nom qu’elle qualifie.

  • Ex. Between 2000 and 2005, there was a two-fold increase in the incidence of…

It can also be used as an adverb, found after a verb.

On peut également l’utiliser comme adverbe après un verbe.

  • The incidence of… increased twofold between 2000 and 2005.

This can also be expressed using the adverbial phrase by a factor of.

La même notion peut également être exprimée grâce à la locution adverbiale « by a factor of ».

The incidence of… increased by a factor of two between 2000 and 2005.

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