How to Write a Research Paper

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How to Write a Good Research Paper : 

How to Write a Good Research Paper By:- Prashant Singh Rana PhD Scholar Department of ICT ABV-IIITM, Gwalior

Outline : 

Outline Introduction: The form and the contents Contents of a paper The core content: What is research? Structuring the core content for accessibility Detailed structure of a paper Elements of writing Conclusions

Focus of This Talk : 

Focus of This Talk Significant distinction between How to write a good paper? How does a good paper look like? Process of writing Vs. Product of writing We focus on the product rather than focus Assumptions: Process is goal oriented. Once goals are clear, process is clear Repeat: Write, read, review, refine, revise . . .

Slide 4: 

Part 1 Core Contents of a Research Paper

What is a Research Paper? - I : 

What is a Research Paper? - I Does a research paper describe A software? Design of a software? A piece of hardware? A theorem? A proof? Empirical measurements? A research paper describes an idea!

What is a Research Paper? - II : 

What is a Research Paper? - II Cannot be a complete description of work (process/product/modelling/reasoning/postulate/evidence) Must omit many details Should describe a logically complete idea Or a collection of logically complete related ideas Must embody a running theme that forms the essence of an idea This theme must be explicated in the paper Right choice of form and content is important

What is Research Paper? - III : 

What is Research Paper? - III Net information content of your paper

Ingredients of Good Research : 

Ingredients of Good Research Innovation Aesthetics Other important aspects : Completeness Rigour Empirical demonstration Effective communication

Ingredients of Good Survey : 

Ingredients of Good Survey Have you identified all key ideas? Have you distilled the essence of key ideas? Why are they important? Why should they be considered key ideas? Have you illustrated key ideas? New examples New pictures New applications Better explanations

Aesthetics : 

Aesthetics Total is greater than the sum of the parts “Scientists study science not because it is useful, but because it is beautiful. Here I do not talk about the beauty of appearance or beauty of qualities . . . Here I talk about that profound beauty which comes from a harmonious order of parts . . . ” – Henry Poincare. Example : Painting. Proportion of colours Vs. their arrangements

Slide 11: 

Part 2 Structuring the Core Contents for Accessibility

Intuition and Rigour in a Paper : 

Intuition and Rigour in a Paper Ideas should be presented at two levels: Intuition Distilling the idea to its essence Emphasizing the most important aspects (ignoring some details) Using representative examples (even if all aspects are not illustrated) Rigour Plugging all the holes through formalism or reasoning Presenting convincing empirical evidence Description of ideas at these two levels should be interleaved

Presenting Evolution of Ideas : 

Presenting Evolution of Ideas Evolution in discovery is different from evolution in presentation Evolution in presentation Perspective: Motivation, Background, Challenges Problem Definition: Why is this an important problem? Key Ideas: Basis of the hope of a solution, Approach of the solution Key contributions: Your claim to fame Development of the key ideas: You have succeeded if readers reach here! Conclusions: Honest analysis of work done, The Moral of the story

Slide 14: 

Part 3 The Structure of a Paper

The Structure of a Paper : 

The Structure of a Paper Title Abstract Introduction, Motivation Background, Related work Main Contents Results, Conclusions Future Work References

How to Write a Good Title? : 

How to Write a Good Title? Should be precise and inviting Examples of bad titles A Software A theorem and its proof Wireless networks Partial redundancy elimination in presence of critical edges for practical imperative programs with recursion and large number of functions and calls through function pointers Possible good titles A software based control system for . . . On XYZ theorem Reducing congestion in wireless networks Partial redundancy elimination in extreme situations

Web Link to generate Good Titles : 

Web Link to generate Good Titles http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/dec/essay.topic.generator.html http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ http://www.cs.williams.edu/~barath/systems-topic-generator.html

How to Write a Good Abstract : 

How to Write a Good Abstract Should be a succinct and stand alone description Reading the rest of the paper should not be necessary to get the gist Self-containment only at a high level of description An abstract is neither a summary nor an outline of the paper A checklist: Motivation, problem statement, approach, results, conclusions Common mistakes Too verbose Too long Too short Omitting essential details

How About this Abstract? : 

How About this Abstract? “We worked in Computer Science. We proved some theorems. Some were big, some were small. Big theorems had big proof, small theorems had small proofs. We tried to connect the proofs to the theorems. Sometimes we succeeded, sometimes we didn’t. By then, the time for submission had arrived, so we submitted the paper . . . ” - M. Leunen and R. Lipton. “How to Have Your Abstract Rejected”.

How to Write a Good Introduction? : 

How to Write a Good Introduction? What does a good introduction contain? More details of motivation and problem statement From general to specific Supported by concrete examples, puzzles, mysteries, Contextualizing the problem Importance of the problem Significance of the outcome, Intellectual challenge, other difficulties Why would simple approaches not work? Overview of proposed approach A sketch of main proof, algorithm, key idea Novelty of the proposed approach Outline of the paper

How to Write a Good Introduction? : 

How to Write a Good Introduction? Why is a good introduction important? First chance of making first impression Writing style, overall quality, analytical skills, confidence in ideas Last chance of making the reader want to read your paper in details

How to Describe Background and Related Work? : 

How to Describe Background and Related Work? Not just what? but also why?, why not?, how?, how else? etc. Not just a list of summaries Analysis, comparison, strengths, limitations Organized by ideas rather than by references

Main Contents : 

Main Contents Important questions are answered Questions: Problem, Theorem, . . . Answers: Algorithm/Protocol/Formulation, Proof, Counter example . . . Type of contribution: Beauty, utility, or both Use formalism but don’t hide ideas behind notation Introduce notation, terminologies only where required

How to Write Conclusions? : 

How to Write Conclusions? Not a just summary Different from abstract and introduction Represents the moral of the story A high level description of the significance of ideas, what they could further lead to Last chance to highlight importance Analysis of strength and limitations What the readers should remember after they have forgotten the details Brings back the general level Abstract ! Introduction ! Details: Journey from general to specific Details ! Conclusions: Return journey from specific to general

How to Write References? : 

How to Write References? Reference or Bibliography? References: List of sources that you actually cite in your paper Bibliography: List of all related publications Each item in the list must have at least the following fields: Title, Author(s), Journal/Proceedings, Publisher, Year URLs don’t have a publication date, hence say when accessed it last Follow the style specified by the publisher

Slide 26: 

Part 4 Elements of Writing

Elements of Writing : 

Elements of Writing Be careful about the language: Grammar, sentence formations, spellings, punctuation etc. Each paragraph should represent a specific idea Smooth transition from One paragraph to the next One sentence to the next Plenty of help available on Internet 

Writing a Good Sentence : 

Writing a Good Sentence Write short sentences Be precise “The problem stated above is difficult” Difficult for whom? NP-complete? Believed by you? Believed by others? Proved by someone? Avoid unnecessary words in a sentence “This is a subject which is liked by people” “This subject is liked by people” “The logger program notes the fact that the event has happened” “The logger notes the event” Convert nouns to verbs “His verticality changed to horizontality” “He fell down” “This paragraph provides a conclusion of the description” “This paragraph concludes the description”

Slide 29: 

Part 5 Conclusions

Conclusions : 

Conclusions Writing good papers is important for your research For your own understanding For communicating your ideas to others For getting feedback from others

Conclusions : 

Conclusions On good writing Writing helps you understand your ideas better Write, read, revise. Repeat as long as you can Writing is a creative process and a big source of satisfaction Writing is an art Rules are not absolute Break rules if you must, but understand why it is necessary How to be a good writer? Read a lot Best resource: “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White Plenty of help available on Internet

Acknowledgements : 

Acknowledgements Anonymous referees of our own papers Discussions with colleague Numerous tips available on Internet Talk by Abhiram Ranade

Important Information : 

Important Information Conference Ranking http://www.semrex.cn/list_conf.jsp Journal Ranking http://www.semrex.cn/list_journal.jsp Most Recent Call for Papers http://grid.hust.edu.cn:8080/call/index.jsp Other Good One http://www.semrex.cn/

Last But Not the Least : 

Last But Not the Least Thank You! Contacting me : psrana@gmail.com http://students.iiitm.ac.in/~psrana

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