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Tips on Writing a Technical Paper / Report

By Dr. Sanjeev Manhas, E&C Dept., IIT Roorkee

Gist of paper should convey


 Purpose of the work (motivation)
 How and to what extent it advances state of the art
 Specific results and their impact/significance in context of literature.

Abstract (is summary of work)


 Re-establish topic of work (i.e brief (~1 line) background)
 State research problem or main objective of research
 Indicate methodology used
 Highlight main findings
 State conclusion and important findings / use / application / relevance of the work.

Introduction (Including contributions)


 Introduction should be survey of whole paper
 Background / literature survey
 Define problem and limitations/ shortcomings of existing solutions in context of literature
 What are the issues and inadequacies of the existing work and of solutions thereof
 How do you propose to solve/address the short comings, key ideas and their advantages
 Paper is driven by problem and its importance and your solution its novelty and in solving the
problem at hand

Body
 Novel approaches, Experimental/ Research Methodology, Result and Analysis
 Your contributions and their significances, discussion of results in context of literature
 Connection with introduction through new findings, hypothesis etc.
 What you claim in introduction must be proved/connect well with your discussions/ analysis
etc.
 Future work (if needed, i.e. any improvement that can be done on your this work)

Conclusions
 Highlights of your work, what you can say with confidence are true about your work.
 Significant contributions that advanced the state of the art
 Usefulness and importance of your work

What drives your paper?


 A research paper is supposed to have solved an important problem prevalent in your area of
work or present new findings not seen or understood earlier
 Clearly understand key ideas, main emphasis points, address areas of your work and
shortcomings of existing work
 Order and organize these key points and ideas into sections
 Think about, develop and write down a list of points/highlights around which your paper
revolves like neatly stitched web/story
 Remove repetitive languages / words
 Use simple, direct and active voice language
 Use your work in present tense and earlier reported work in past tense
IEDM guidelines
 Originality: is the work scientifically rigorous, accurate and novel? Does the work
contain significant additional material to that already published? Has its value been
demonstrated?
 Relevance: is the material appropriate to the scope of the journal to which it is
submitted?
 Motivation: does the problem considered have a sound motivation? Does the paper
clearly demonstrate the scientific interest of the results?
 Referencing: has reference been made to the most recent and most appropriate work?
Is the present work set in the context of the previous work?
 Clarity: is the English clear and well written? Poorly written English may obscure the
scientific merit of your paper. Are the ideas expressed clearly and concisely? Are the
concepts understandable?
 Length: unless previously agreed with the journal's Managing Editor, all submissions
must conform with the IET Research Journals Length Policy document.
Presentation guidelines
PRESENTATION TIME: Each oral presentation is allocated 20 minutes (15 minutes for presentation, 5 minutes for Question &
Answers). To achieve appropriate timing, organize your slides or viewgraphs around the points you intend to make, using no more than one
slide per minute. A reasonable strategy is to allocate about 2 minutes per slide when there are equations or important key points to
make, and one minute per slide when the content is less complex. Slides attract and hold attention, and reinforce what you say - provided
you keep them simple and easy to read. Plan on covering at most 6 points per slide, covered by 6 to 12 spoken sentences and no more than
about two spoken minutes.

ORGANIZATION OF IDEAS: Make sure each of your key points is easy to explain with aid of the material on your slides. Do not read
directly from the slide during your presentation. You shouldn't need to prepare a written speech, although it is often a good idea to prepare
the opening and closing sentences in advance. It is very important that you rehearse your presentation in front of an audience before you
give your presentation.
IEDM guidelines
Abstracts for review must clearly state:
 The purpose of the work;
 The manner and degree to which it advances the art;
 Specific new results that have been obtained and their significance.
THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE ABSTRACT DEALS WITH THESE ISSUES WILL STRONGLY
AFFECT WHETHER THE PAPER IS ACCEPTED. The most common cause of rejection of
submitted papers is a lack of specific results. Only work that has not been previously published at the
time of the conference will be considered. Paper acceptance will be based solely on the information
provided on the 3-page abstract submitted. Promises of upcoming results will be ignored.
How to Write for the IEDM
Each year, the IEDM rejects many paper submissions simply because the authors have not met the
conference’s specific, stated requirements. Because our requirements differ from those of other
conferences, we have prepared this guide to help you better understand what the IEDM is seeking:
Examples of submissions from prior years which were accepted may be found on the website
Include Specific, Complete Data: By far the most common reason an otherwise worthy paper
submission is rejected is because it does not contain enough data, whether from physical experiments or
modeling simulations that have been performed. Other conferences may welcome a one- or two-paragraph
abstract with one or two figures, but the IEDM is seeking submissions which give a complete, detailed
picture of the work involved, and why it is important and relevant. The more detailed yours is, the better
chance you have to convince the review committee that the work you have performed is suitable for
presentation.
Say What You’ve Done, Not What You Will Do: The IEDM Call for Papers states specifically that
promises of upcoming results will be ignored, yet many prospective authors either miss or ignore this
point. The fact is, paper submissions are rejected automatically if they say that a series of supporting
experiments or simulations will be completed by the time of the conference. Therefore, your job is to
describe work which has been accomplished already. It is perfectly appropriate to update data in
December that were in a paper submission, but not having base data at the time of submission means the
paper has no chance.
The First Paragraph is Critical: The first paragraph of your submission really should be a mini-abstract
of the paper, such that if the reviewer reads nothing else, it will be clear what the paper is about and why it
is important. Authors should put some actual numerical results in the first paragraph, and tell why they are
significant.
Put Your Work into a Context: The field has grown and become quite specialized, and it would be a
mistake to assume all of the people reviewing and rating your paper are as familiar with the importance
and relevance of your topic as you are. Therefore, put your work into a context. Interpret it and tell why it
is important. The figure captions also should be descriptive and interpretive, to the extent possible. For
example, try not to say only what a given plot describes, but why it is important in the first place to have
these data points.
Go Beyond Incremental: The chances of a paper being accepted are much greater if the subject matter
goes beyond incremental device or process improvements.