Table 15 Examples of stylistic features identified from qualitative analysis of high and low-scoring REF2014 case studies.

From: Writing impact case studies: a comparative study of high-scoring and low-scoring case studies from REF2014

FeatureStylistic features in high-scoring case studiesStylistic features in low-scoring case studies
Clarity of writing• Simple style and vocabulary
• Claims are made directly
• Avoids long, complex sentences and breaks text into paragraphs, sub-sections and lists where relevant
• Long sentences, unnecessarily complex language
• Text not broken up, poor organisation
• Hard to follow even if technical vocabulary is not used
• Long-winded descriptions, poor explanations
Use of technical jargon and acronyms• Avoids “isms” and “lenses”
• Explains necessary technical terms and context
• Spells out (sparingly used) acronyms
• Especially in crucial places e.g. when describing the impact
• Too much background knowledge is assumed
• Jargon disguises how vague the claims are
• Unexplained technical terms and acronyms
• Over-use of acronyms makes text difficult to follow
Narrative progression• Narrative clearly shows progression• No coherent narrative linking research to pathways and impacts or linking different pathways and impacts together
• Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
• Swapping between first and third person