Writing a Paper

  1. Getting started

    • What's publishable?
    • Who is your audience?
    • What's the main point?
    • Start with an outline and extend it.

  2. Some suggestions ...

    • Multiple drafts [Eisenberg, 1982]
      • First draft. Main ideas and arguments.
      • Second draft. Persuasiveness. Logic, coherence, flow. You want to ``... lead reader inescapably to your conclusions.'' Are emphases in right places? Move, insert, expand.
      • Third draft. Mechanics. Style, usage, grammar. Consistency of notation and terminology. Transitions and topic sentences. References.

    • Does the paper read well when scanned?

    • Step away from the paper for a day.

    • Have others read it.

    • Work on different sections in isolation sometimes, but also read entire paper from front to back a number of times too.

  3. Practicalities, constraints, strategies.

    • Re-using text from other papers.

    • Working with co-authors.

    • Time and space constraints.

    • A technical report vs. a paper.

    • Is this two papers or one?

  4. The publishing process

    • Finding a journal

    • Refereeing process

CS 5014, C. J. Ribbens, 11/05/2001