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DR SORAB SADRI
DEAN (RESEARCH) LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY PHAGWARA - PUNJAB
we write papers and give talks mainly to impress others, gain recognition, and get promoted
is a very forceful medium to convey your thoughts but it is better to try this only after you are reasonably well established as a scholar. It is very high on logic and uses data only as a support not as a base.
like a virus Papers are far more durable than programs (think Mozart) The greatest ideas are (literally) worthless if you keep them to yourself LPU/DRD/SS/2011 4 .Papers communicate ideas Your goal: to infect the mind of your reader with your idea.
Do research LPU/DRD/SS/2011 5 .Write paper .Models * Writing papers: model 1 Idea Do research Write paper * Writing papers: model 2 Idea .
focused Crystallizes what we do not understand Opens the way to dialogue with others: reality check.PEN TO PAPER Forces us to be clear. critique. and collaboration PUTTING LPU/DRD/SS/2011 6 .
about any idea.Do not be intimidated Fallacy You need to have a fantastic idea before you can write a paper or give a talk. and give a talk. no matter how weedy and insignificant it may seem to you LPU/DRD/SS/2011 7 . (Everyone else seems to.) Write a paper.
LPU/DRD/SS/2011 8 . It comes from your heart but is only rationalized by your mind.Engage Your Peers Writing the paper is how you develop the idea in the first place It usually turns out to be more interesting and challenging than it seemed at first.
from your head to your reader’s head. Everything serves this single goal …it is interesting only if it benefits someone or something. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 9 .The purpose of your paper is To convey your idea ...
not executable artifacts LPU/DRD/SS/2011 10 . Not to describe the social networking system..The purpose of your paper is . Your reader probably has a social networking of his/her own.. She / he is primarily interested in reusable brain-stuff.
Conveying the idea Here is a problem It is an interesting problem It is an unsolved problem Here is my idea My idea works (details. data) Here is how my idea compares to other people’s approaches LPU/DRD/SS/2011 11 .
Structure Abstract (4 sentences) Introduction (1 page) The problem (1 page) My idea (2 pages) The details (5 pages) Related work (1-2 pages) Conclusions and further work (0.5 pages) LPU/DRD/SS/2011 12 .
Remember Not to give the Author(s) name(s) or institutional affiliation as a “header” or a “footer”. Only in Occasional Papers can any kind of headers/footers be given as these papers are meant for circulation and not general publication. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 13 . Page 1 is usually removed when the paper is sent for review and a header/footer will take away the anonymity.
To give a title to every chart/diagram using Roman numerals serially. chart. To quote the source of the data even if it has been generated by you below the table. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 14 .Do Not Forget To give page numbers serially uniformly in the paper. To give a title to every chart using Roman numerals serially.
The institutional affiliation and a very short bio-sketch of author(s) comes at the bottom of the page. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 15 . contains the title of the paper.Page 1 This It is your cover page. The name of the author(s) appear below it.
Indent any quote that is more than 2 lines long.Embellishment Give an apt quote under the title of the paper on Page 2 when the actual paper begins. Acknowledge the source briefly alongside for the reader to cross reference. (short citation of name of author and year. Use Italics or quotes or put them in inverted colons. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 16 .
It could be rejected so fret not. Implement the comments are send the paper to the next lower tier journal. Assume that a paper will be rejected at least thrice before acceptance. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 17 .It Is Wise To First send the paper to the top most journal. If you are lucky the rejection will come with comments.
Subtleties Use do not instead of don’t. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 18 . opt for using the “and” instead. Do not use slang except when it is someone’s quote. Read the notes to contributors diligently. Do not use ampersand (&). Meet deadlines for submission. Get the hang of the style preferred by the journal targeted and then adapt to it.
State the problem – 2. Say what your solution achieves – 4. Say what follows from your solution LPU/DRD/SS/2011 19 . Four sentences are enough. Say why it is an interesting problem – 3.The abstract The abstract comes before the paper begins either as a separate sheet or just above the title on Page 2. – 1. Never exceed 100 words unless it is critical to do so.
clear and communicative as it may be used by program (academic) committee members and general readers to decide which papers to read and/or recommend. It is important that it is crisp. after they have completed writing the paper.Writing the Abstract Many authors usually write the abstract last i.e. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 20 .
This is a pity.Fact Of The Matter 1. Following simple guidelines can dramatically improve the quality of your papers 4. Your work will be used more. and the feedback you get from others will in turn improve your research LPU/DRD/SS/2011 21 . Many papers are badly written and hard to understand 2. because their good ideas may go unappreciated 3.
Do Not Assume
reader will automatically understand what is in your mind. The reader will tolerate your grammatical and spelling errors. Your argument is tenable without a consistent logic and/or verifiable data.
enough time to see whether what you are attempting has been done before. Scan the Net as well. If not, Someone may reject your hard work out of hand (best case). Accuse you of plagiarism (worst case).
is to clearly say what you are writing about and why someone should read it. it crisp but give the boundaries [time, geographical domain, social class etc.] within which your argument rests. Concretize you thoughts.
Describe the problem 2. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 25 . Do not fear to toot your trumpet without being ostentatious.and that is all..The introduction (1 page) 1.. State your contributions . 3.
But remember you are not so great that you need to be humble. Never apologize. Nor are you so brilliant that you can afford to be arrogant.Humility To be humble is a good thing. BE POLITE BUT NOT SUBSERVIENT LPU/DRD/SS/2011 26 .
If you are citing someone and wish to be critical only then this may be permitted but it is better to avoid it. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 27 . Just give the name of the writer and the date of the publication.NEVER Use the epithet “the learned professor” or Dr before citing a source within the text.
Describe the problem LPU/DRD/SS/2011 28 .
if they can really deliver this.State your contributions Write the list of contributions first to lay down the literature reviewed. it is exciting. The list of contributions drives the entire paper: the paper substantiates the claims you have made Reader thinks “gosh. I had better read on” LPU/DRD/SS/2011 29 .
State your contributions LPU/DRD/SS/2011 30 .
The result is half the length of the Java version. We study its properties We have used this in practice We prove that the type system is sound. It is really cool. We give the syntax and semantics of a language that supports concurrent processes (Section 3). Its innovative features are...Contributions should be refutable We describe the social system. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 31 . and that type checking is decidable (Section 4) We have built a GUI toolkit and used it to implement a text editor (Section 5).
Finally. Section 8 concludes” unless you wish to publish in Europe. and therefore forward reference plays a very important part.No “rest of this paper is.. Section 3 . Instead. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 32 .” Do not say: The rest of this paper is structured as follows. The introduction (including the contributions) should survey the whole paper.... Section 2 introduces the problem. use forward references from the narrative in the introduction.
Avoid Johnsonese Do not say “ we present for your edification and salubrious astonishment a phantasmagoria of colossal buffoonery interspiced with legerdemain and death defying calisthenics. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 33 Just .” say “welcome to the circus”.
Create room for what you wish to say in the paper that is either novel or different. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 34 .Why cite others? To demonstrate that you have done your homework and thus can be taken seriously. To show variations in the theme and thus bring out a golden mean.
Comparative Review Always summarize various related works on the subject first. crisp and communicative. Then The discussion must be clear. compare their strengths and weaknesses. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 35 .
IF IN FACT YOURS IS THE ONLY WORK DONE A KNOWLEDGEABLE READER WILL KNOW IT ANYWAY.. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 36 . NEVER CLAIM THAT YOURS IS THE ONLY WORK DONE…. MOST PROBABLY IT IS NOT SO AND YOUR CLAIM MAY SOUND ARROGANT PUTTING OFF THE READER.NEVER ASSUME THAT YOUR WORK IS PATH BREAKING AND NOVEL. LEAVE IT TO THE READERS AND REVIEWERS TO SAY SO.
2: the reader knows nothing about the problem yet. so your (carefully trimmed) description of various technical tradeoffs is absolutely incomprehensible LPU/DRD/SS/2011 37 Problem .Claiming that there is no related work yet Problem 1: describing alternative approaches gets between the reader and your idea.
cite relevant work in passing. Concentrate single-mindedly on a narrative that Describes the problem. but defer discussion to the end LPU/DRD/SS/2011 38 .Instead. Along the way. and filling out the details .. and why it is interesting Describes your idea Defends your idea. showing how it solves the problem..
Sounds impressive.. such that pj < pi. Then we know for every such pi there is an epi-modulus j. over a hyper modulated signature S. Suppose pi is an element of D. but FIRST convey the idea LPU/DRD/SS/2011 39 .but sends readers to sleep In a paper you MUST provide the details..The payload of your paper Consider a bifurcated semi-lattice D.
The payload of your paper Introduce the problem. and your idea. using EXAMPLES and only then present the general case LPU/DRD/SS/2011 40 .
Using examples LPU/DRD/SS/2011 41 .
he/she can follow the details (but not vice versa) Even if she he/ skips the details. the reader still takes away something valuable LPU/DRD/SS/2011 42 . not secondary Once your reader has the intuition.Conveying the idea Explain it as if you were speaking to someone using a whiteboard Conveying the intuition is primary.
case studies LPU/DRD/SS/2011 43 . identify the evidence. measurements. theorems.Evidence Your introduction makes claims The body of the paper provides evidence to support each claim Check each claim in the introduction. and forward reference it from the claim Evidence can be: analysis and comparison.
Nobody likes a fierce critic except perhaps at a political rally where the crowd is just there to lap it up. I have to make other people’s work look bad.Related work Fallacy : To make my work look good. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 44 .
...” Acknowledge weaknesses in your approach LPU/DRD/SS/2011 45 . “In his inspiring paper [Foo 1998] Ray and Foogle show. We develop his foundation in the following ways.The truth: credit is not like money Giving credit to others does not diminish the credit you get from your paper Warmly acknowledge people who have helped you Be generous to the competition...
Credit is not like money Failing to give credit to others can kill your paper If you imply that an idea is yours. but are pretending it’s yours (very bad) LPU/DRD/SS/2011 46 . then either You don’t know that it’s an old idea (bad) You do know. and the referee knows it is not.
Often they will respond with helpful critique They are likely to be your referees anyway. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 47 .Making sure related work is accurate A good plan: when you think you are done. so getting their comments up front is a good idea. send the draft to the peer or competition saying “could you help me ensure that I describe your work fairly?”.
– Hastily-written papers get rejected.The process Start early. Very early. – Papers are like wine: they need time to mature Collaborate with positive minds Float the idea around through a Working Paper Use CVS(concurrent version system) to support collaboration LPU/DRD/SS/2011 48 .
) LPU/DRD/SS/2011 49 .Getting help Get your paper read by as many friendly guinea pigs as possible Experts are good Non-experts are also very good Each reader can only read your paper for the first time once! So use them carefully Explain carefully what you want (“I got lost here” is much more important than “wibble is mis-spelt”.
Listening to your reviewers Every review is gold dust Be (truly) grateful for criticism as well as praise This is really. really. really hard But it’s really. really important YOUR EGO IS YOUR WORST ENEMY LPU/DRD/SS/2011 50 . really. really. really. really.
I meant X”.Listening to your reviewers Read every criticism as a positive suggestion for something you could explain more clearly DO NOT respond “you stupid person. Fix the paper so that X is apparent even to the stupidest reader. They have given up their time for you. Thank them warmly. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 51 .
supply supporting evidence (e. experimental data.Basic stuff Submit by the deadline Keep to the length restrictions – Do not narrow the margins – Do not use 6pt font – On occasion. or a written-out proof) in an appendix Always use a grammar spell checker LPU/DRD/SS/2011 52 .g.
Visual structure Give strong visual structure to your paper using – sections and sub-sections – bullets – italics – laid-out code Find out how to draw pictures. and use them LPU/DRD/SS/2011 53 .
LPU/DRD/SS/2011 54 . Avoid the word “I” and instead say “the paper argues” or the author posits”. The argument must flow such that one syllogism cascades into another seamlessly. The clarity must be such that the paper should speak for itself.
Visual structure LPU/DRD/SS/2011 55 .
Avoid it.Use the active voice The passive voice is “respectable” but it DEADENS your paper. 34 tests were run These properties were thought desirable It might be thought that this would be a type error LPU/DRD/SS/2011 ... No Yes We can see that… We ran 34 tests We wanted to retain these properties You might think this would be a type error 56 It can be seen that.
direct language No The object under study was displaced horizontally On an annual basis Endeavour to ascertain It could be considered that the speed of storage reclamation left something to be desired Yes The ball moved sideways Yearly Find out The garbage collector was really slow 57 LPU/DRD/SS/2011 .Use simple.
conclude and then summarize whereas others do it the other way around. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 58 Some . You may need to repeat some sentences from the introduction itself albeit with some variations.CONCLUSION This is must be crisp and flow out of the argument.
iii. Proper citation referring to these appendices MUST be made appropriately in the text of the paper. LPU/DRD/SS/2011 59 . ii.APPENDICES Any table. map. chart. drawing or additional data including formulae and calculations that is important but which disturbs the flow of the paper’s argument should be given serially as Appendices and numbered either as A B C or i.
LPU/DRD/SS/2011 60 Many . journals do not prefer footnotes as this causes problems during type-setting.END NOTES If the author has given numbers (SERIALLY) against quotes then it is wise to give endnotes so that a small comment can be added in each case.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Always have a bibliography. The norm in Management and Social Sciences is to have at least 2-3 citations per A/4 page. Hence a paper of 15 pages should have anything between 30 and 45 references given alphabetically either according to the Chicago Manual of Style or as per the Oxbridge Citation LPU/DRD/SS/2011 61 .
Summary If you remember nothing else: – Identify your key idea – Make your contributions explicit – Use examples DO NOT SEEK “Advice on Research and Writing” JUST GET ON WITH THE DAMN THING LPU/DRD/SS/2011 62 .
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