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Can I always replace "In order to" with the shorter "To" in scientific writing?

Example

  1. In order to prevent corrupting the data, regular updates are required.

  2. To prevent corrupting the data, regular updates are required.

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I would think yes, since "in order" is a bit superfluous, but there are always exceptions in context. You can probably take it out most of the time (like 85 to 90 percent).

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  • Formality seems to be the difference here. "In order to" sounds more formal to me...maybe even ceremonial. i.e. "...in order to form a more perfect union." Agreed, generally it is excessive... – James May 6 '14 at 17:49

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