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Comments on the monograph reviews (N. Talent)


Several students wrote very good essays. I suspect that some people even enjoyed looking at the monographs and this shows in the quality of their writing. The only fault that I would find with most of these essays was that people may have been too shy to comment on gaps in the coverage of the monograph that might be perceived as deficiencies. The list of questions to consider was supplied as guidance for adding substance to your essay, even if all that could be said about them was "hybridization is not discussed", "there are no changes to nomenclature because the classification used is unchanged...", "the synonyms listed do not include the date of publication so it is impossible to tell whether priority decisions have been correctly made unless an extensive search is made of other taxonomic literature", etc.

Approaching a scientific monograph as if it were a piece of rhetoric, and criticizing the author for not emphasizing points sufficiently strongly, misses the point that this is science, and that may be reflected in the grade.

Some other points:

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