sentence structure problem


not sure what the problem with this sentence is

See example:

Overall, Holroyd et al found that physicians in triage could be a valuable tool to reduce overcrowding but felt more research in other ED settings would be useful.
asked Jan 07 '13 at 01:57 Angela Macri New member

1 answer


Because the abbreviation “et al.” requires a period, it is generally reserved for use in a citation listing or parenthetically. In formal writing, it can be considered lazy, just as "etc." would be. Either list all of the authors or rearrange the sentence so the source is added parenthetically at the end.


Though triage can be a noun or a verb, the definition as a noun is not a place.  Though many people call a place “triage,” it is informal to do so.  For an academic paper, you should not use physician in triage


The word “felt” is one that I would avoid in academic writing.  It is a very weak word that indicates there is no evidence.  It is just a feeling.  Your paper should be making a point with supporting evidence.  Even if a source is uncertain, there are much better words to use.  I suspect that Holroyd suggested further research.  Most studies will include such a statement for at least one finding of the study.  Depending on the topic of your paper, it may not be necessary to include this point at all.  By using the word “can” rather than “will”, you have already made note that it is not a certainty. 


When you use initials for something (ED) make sure that the words have been spelled out for the first use (with the initials in parentheses after it), so the reader knows you will be using that abbreviation for the remainder of the paper.


I assume you are using the word “overall” to summarize.  The word means in total, or from one extreme end to the other.  You aren’t totaling anything, or describing one end to another.  If you feel compelled to include an introductory word or phrase, I would go with “in summary.”


Using physicians to perform triage can be a valuable tool for reducing overcrowding (Holroyd et al., 2012).

link comment answered Jan 07 '13 at 05:29 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.