The use of small little comma can go a long way in changing the tone or sometimes even the meaning of a sentence. In English language, grammar and punctuation is one of the most important component which ironically is neglected majorly in many of the countries around the globe when we talk of fundamentals of English. Consequently what happens is that writers, especially researchers tend to imply the wrong meaning of the sentence than what it actually should.
What do you as a researcher think should be the tone of your thesis? Many of you doctoral scholars may have never even pondered over such a meticulous thought and perhaps would even now think that it wouldn’t matter in the other important components of your thesis. Well, I think if you want to talk about a complete thesis which is holistically worthy and may even go up to the level of getting considered for publication as book then something like the right use of punctuation, which may appear small and insignificant may become one important cause for weighing up your doctoral document or bring it down.
All those of us who believe that the way we speak English in context of grammar and punctuation (such as pauses and expression) is correct and there wouldn’t be anything more in technical grammar to contribute in it would be completely wrong in their opinion. What we usually follow when I talk of “fluency” in spoken English and use of punctuation is an outcome of what we pick up from our social surroundings and not from worthy grammar books. These sources may not be teaching us authenticated technicalities of the language but we tend to follow them without challenging and rarely even question it until one day we realise that the so called unsaid “formula” we have been applying is not actually right and there is more to it. For all research scholars, do not wait for the time where you have completed your entire dissertation with all the hard work and overcoming hurdles and eventually it is questioned on the implication its grammar makes. Like how, we have been reading and talking about being focused and in control of the quality of your writing in various dimensions from the beginning only, I suggest that do not ignore the grammatical dimension and lay equal emphasis on whether your grammar is supporting your ideas and is collated with the meaning of the text else all your efforts would become challenged in front of the review committee and the relevance of your research would be in question.
I can surely guide you with some useful sources that can be of help in using grammar for doctoral research.