General Writing and Grammar Help/Research out

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please look at the following passage and explain what "research out" mean? Do the two words go together? Is "research out" a prepositional phrase or do the two words "work" separately? Have I made myself clear?

Subtle changes in the way a person walks can be an early warning sign of cognitive decline and a signal for advanced testing, according to RESEARCH OUT at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012.

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

  
Would you please look at the following passage and explain what "research out" mean [MEANS]? Do the two words go together? Is "research out" a prepositional phrase or do the two words "work" separately? Have I made myself clear?

Subtle changes in the way a person walks can be an early warning sign of cognitive decline and a signal for advanced testing, according to RESEARCH OUT at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012.

*** Another way of saying it is ". . . according to research PRESENTED at the . . . . "

I must say that "according to research out" is poor writing.  "According" is a participle, and it is followed by the prepositional phrase "to research."  "Out at" may be considered to be ONE preposition, which is used to introduce the adverbial prepositional phrase telling WHERE the research was presented.

The fact that this sentence takes some analyzing to understand what the writer means is evidence that the writer SHOULD HAVE written more clearly.

I looked up this particular conference and discovered that the sentence appears in one of the papers presented.  That's why "presented" is much better word than just "out."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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