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科技论文写作科技论文写作 A Bird’s Eye on Academic Writing
A Few Words Different disciplines have different writing standards. –Social Science is more demanding than Engineering. Writing is a life-long learning experience. –Don’t expect to leave the room as a writing expert. –It is enjoyable and rewarding. Our pragmatic goal is to: –Give you a clear sense of academic writing. –Help you avoid common mistakes in writing. –Pave a road for you to keep improving your skills. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/20102
Research –The search for knowledge –A systematic investigation to establish facts Motivated by natural observation or personal interests. Formulate questions and develop hypotheses. Design experiments to gather evidence to make a claim. Justify their hypothesis to peers and community. –How? © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/20103
Writing Research is cumulative. –Built on accepted assumptions and previous work done. –Scrutinized by members of the scientific community. Personal Writing –Diary, Blog, Letters … –Descriptive, Narrative Academic Writing –To construct knowledge claims and test ideas. –Analytical, Argumentative © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/20104
55 Why publication? “Publish or Perish” –Pressure in academia –The primary way to judge a researcher –H-index Contribute to knowledge –Tell other people (not yourself) an exciting story. –Personal satisfaction –Get credits and citations. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Types of Papers Research vs. Review Theoretical vs. Experimental Methods vs. Applications Long vs. Short Published vs. Unpublished © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/20106
77 Where to publish? Journal Conference Books Workshop © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
88 Targeting a Conference Impact vs. Acceptance Rate –Tricky Choice –May have separate rates for long/short papers. Extras: –Special Sessions, Workshops, Tutorials Time & Location –Can you meet the deadline? –Will you be available for the conference? –Is the conference venue attractive? © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Targeting a Journal Prepare a short list of candidates. –Reputable Publishers –Recommendation by Colleagues Read the instructions for authors. –Aim & Scope –Paper Type & Length –Frequency of Publication Skim and scan the latest issues. –Popular Topics, Quality, Conventions –Reviewing Period © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/20109
Myths & Facts Myth Writing is a frustrating task. Fact It could be a lot of fun once you can manage it. Myth Every researcher knows how to write. Fact Good writing skills need years of hard training. Myth There are secrete recipes. Fact Yes, but they are just guidelines. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201010
11 Plagiarism!!! A serious offence –Lack of quotation or citation –Worse than copyright infringement. Self-plagiarism –Reuse of (nearly) identical contents –Multiple submission Don ’ t take any chances! –It will be revealed sooner or later. –Ruin your reputation and credit. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Other Misconducts Multiple Submission Identical Work in Different Languages Data Manipulation Insufficient New Contents Unjustified Authorships © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201012
13 Presentation Matters Many papers are badly written. Good ideas get buried … Papers are to be read by other people. Clarity, Clarity, Clarity! Show your seriousness and preciseness. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Word Processors MS Word –WYSIWYG (easy to learn) –Third Party Support: EndNote, MathType –Expensive LaTex –A markup language (takes considerable time to learn) –Better at handling math equations & large files. –Free Many publishers provide templates in both formats. –In my opinion, it is just a personal preference. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201014
15 Title Capture the eyeballs of potential readers. Bad Titles –Too short → Not specific enough –Too long → Difficult to follow Good Titles –Informative –Key Words –Match the content © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Title An informative title highlights: –The topic of the study –The nature of the study –The scope of the study A Good Title –A Comparison of Two- and Three-point Belt Restraint Systems in Frontal Crashes A Bad Title –Belt Restraint Systems in Frontal Crashes © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201016
17 Authorship Responsibility vs. Credit –Make significant intellectual contribution. –Participate in writing and approve the final version. Order of Authorship –Simple but could be troublesome. –Alphabetical Order Not all contributions justify authorship. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
18 Abstract The most challenging part of a paper! –Sell your work in 50 to 150 words. Many people will only read your abstract! General Structure –What is the research question? –Why is the scope of the study? –What is your idea? –What is your achievement? © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Abstract Its focus is not on what will be found in the paper. Use key words and function words. Avoid empty phrases and sentences: –In this study … –Something is a very interesting area of study. Avoid non-informative verbs: –Something is described /discussed / presented. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201019
20 Introduction Step 1a: Introduce the background. –Reviewers may not be experts in your domain. Step 1b: Related work (literature review) –Present existing research work in a systematic way. –Don’t simply put on a list of papers. Step 2: The missing part (the gap) –Your research question! Step 3: Preview of the paper 20© Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Introduction Step 1a: –increasing interest, growing concern –great importance, much effort Step 1b: –Past tense for the reference to single studies Someone et al. (2000) carried out an extensive analysis … –Present Perfect for reference to areas of study A lot of effort has been devoted to … (Someone et al., 2005) –Present Tense for reference to general knowledge Something is an effective technique for … (Someone et al., 1990) © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201021
Introduction Step 2: –However, the exact mechanism remains unclear. –Although …, there is still a lack of … Step 3: –The objective of this study is to … –In this paper, we show … –The structure of this paper is organized as follows. –In the next section, we briefly review … –Experiment results are presented in section V. Find a few papers and try to identify these steps. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201022
23 Methodology State the motivation clearly. Highlight the principle and mechanism. Give a formal definition/specification. Show an intuitive example. Use tables and graphs whenever possible. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Experiments This is where you put your idea under the test. Present the details of your experiment rigorously. –Materials, Data, Algorithms –Pre- and Post-Processing –Control Parameters, Random Factors Reviewers will keep an eye on: –Is your experiment design valid? –Is your experiment sufficient to support your claim? –Is your experiment reproducible? © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201024
25 Results State the findings of study. –Use factual statements with necessary explanations. –Past Tense Define the scope and limitation. –Don’t exaggerate! Use visualization tools for large amount of data. –Error bars, Box plots … –Matlab can do a good job for you. Some analysis of the data would be a plus. –Can significantly increase the research value of your work. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Discussion Interpret your results. –Explain your own research and indicate its limitations. Relate your results to previous work. –however, by contrast … Explain discrepancies in your results. –There may be something unexpected. Raise new questions and make speculations. –seem, suggest, difficult, probably … © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201026
27 Conclusion Final chance to impress the reviewers! Not a simple repeat of what you have done. It usually contains: –Motivation & Purpose (research question) –Major findings and achievements –Extensions (don ’ t throw out really brilliant ideas!) –Potential contributions to related areas Make the strongest claims possible. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
28 Acknowledgement Financial Support –Grants, Scholarships … Technical Support –Source Code –Dataset –Facilitates Helpful People –Anonymous Reviewers –Colleagues © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
29 Reference Every claim (not yours) should be referred. Every reference should be cited in the paper. Do not cite resources that you did not read. Style: IEEE, ACM, LNCS … Bibliography Management: Endnote © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Lists Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables List of Symbols Appendix –Pseudo-Code, Proof, Tables, Figures © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201030
31 Language Present vs. Past Active vs. Passive It/This/Which … We/Our … Long vs. Short Typos © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Self Critique Don’t pretend to be flawless. –There are always refutations and arguments. For example: –What are the pros and cons of your approach? –Why didn’t you do it differently? –Have you built a strong case for your methodology? May write one or two sentences for each question. –This is to answer anticipated critiques from reviewers! Be smart on how much to write and where to fit. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201032
Coherence & Fluency It is enjoyable to read a well written paper. –Like reading a fascinating story. Bad papers are fragmented and obscure. –Make people lost and frustrated. The key is to make the paper: –Consistent & Indicative –Progressive & Linked Tell readers what they expect and look forward to! © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201033
Good Practice A forecasting paragraph at the beginning of your paper Link words at the start of paragraphs A conclusive sentence at the end of each paragraph Clear and unambiguous key terms throughout the paper An exact match between your aim and your claim A few clear sentences marking key steps or turning points © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201034
Checklist Title and Abstract Spelling and Grammar References Terms and Variables Tables, Figures, Equations Format and Page Limit © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201035
The Reviewing Process Timeline –Usually 1~3 months but could be much longer. Reviewing –3~5 reviewers –Single-blind vs. Double-blind Outcomes –Journal Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision, Reject –Conference Accept, Reject © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201036
37 Got Comments Back … A very tough time! –Nobody likes critiques. –Constructive vs. Destructive vs. Hostile Go through the comments word for word. Be Positive –Reviewers are trying to help improve your paper. –Mm, I should have explained this point better … Be Polite –Reviewers have devoted their time. –You may also be a reviewer one day. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Why are papers rejected? Your study did not examine an issue considered important. Your study was not original. Your research design was problematic. The conclusions drawn from your data were not justified. There was a lack of details and replicability. Your paper was badly written. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201038
Reply to the Editor You may be given a chance to response to the comments. Thank the editor/reviewers for the useful feedback. Say that you have done the revision thoroughly. Address each comment separately. –What you have added? –What you have better explained? –Why no change has been made? Discuss it with a senior colleague before submission. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201039
Conference Trip Registration –$ 300 – 500 Visa Application Flight Accommodation –$ 50 – 100 per room per night Local Transport & Amenity –Maps, Timetable, Changes © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201040
41 Oral vs. Poster Depends on conferences. Oral Presentation –Limited time & audience –One-way communication –Can be very impressive! Poster –Focus on interaction. –More potential audience © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
42 Slides Flashy vs. Succinct Use light and soft background. Leave enough space between lines. Minimum 16 points font Pictures, Video Clips, Animations … Slides are not your lecture notes! © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
43 How to give a talk? Don ’ t panic! Speak loudly at normal speech rate. Keep an eye on your audience. Use voice and pause smartly to address key points. Manage your time well. Practice publicly in advance. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
44 How to answer questions? If it is a simple one … –Let them finish their questions! –Be humble and respectful. If it is a challenging one … –Be honest! –Stick to the question. –Tell them what you know and don ’ t know. If you don ’ t even understand … –Ask them to repeat their questions politely. –“ Shall we discuss this issue later? ” © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
45 How to ask questions? Think before asking … –No enough time for in-depth discussion. –Ask questions that may be of interest to other audience. You are not the only one having questions! –Keep your questions short. –One question at a time. Be polite! –Avoid phrasing that would antagonize the speaker. –Leave controversial ones after the talk. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
46 How to present a poster? Don ’ t simply hang up your papers! Be concise: 15 seconds rule. A picture is worth a thousand words. HCI: Color, Font size, Layout … Be interactive: introduce your work in 30 seconds! Don ’ t leave your poster unattended! © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
47 What to do at conferences? A good excuse to take a few days off! Gain experience and confidence. Communication Networking Banquet & Social Events © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
48 Conference Tips Plan Ahead –Conference Calender –Preview the conference program for interesting talks. Be Active! –Chat with people and ask about their work. –Don ’ t be shy about your English! Membership –It pays to join ACM & IEEE as a student. Financial Support –Student Travel Grant © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
49 Get Connected Conferences, Workshops, Seminars … Mailing List & Discussion Groups Official Web Sites of Research Communities Personal Web Sites of Big Names Build your own web site! My Space: Google Scholar: –http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=FMiooBoAAAAJ © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
Grant Research work may cost heaps of money. –Need to justify your idea and get your research funded. –Government, Industry, Private Funds … Grants Research Publications Grants Life as an academic staff: –1/4: Writing grant proposals –1/4: Teaching, supervision –1/4: Professional activities and administration –1/4: Research © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201050
Writing a Proposal Writing grant proposals is a key skill for survival. –Even a student may need a proposal for scholarships. Help you sell a wonderful thing that does not exist yet. –Like a business plan (from 10 pages to hundreds of pages). –Worth from 10K to millions of dollars. General Structure –Background (Literature Review) –Objectives and Research Questions –Work Plan & Expected Outcomes –Track Record © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201051
Tips for Grant Proposals Unlike a paper, you don’t have the results yet. Make it as attractive as possible! Key Factors: –Is the proposed research problem significant? –Is the idea interesting and innovative? –Is the work plan detailed and practical? –Are you capable of carrying it out? © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201052
Common Mistakes Sadly, most of the proposals get rejected. –A fact that you should be used to. –Don’t be desperate! Too Ambitious –Be focused (don’t pretend that you can do everything). Too Vague –Need to be refined and polished. Too Complacent –Be confident but humble. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201053
It is better to … Always make your idea distinctive. –New Challenge –New Method or Theory –New Application Always have a plan B. –Research is about exploring the unknown world. –Unpredictability is inevitable. Always have well defined outcomes. –Show your preciseness and seriousness. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201054
Time Management Getting 90% done is only half way through the journey. Research = 1 (Inspiration) + 0s (Persistence) The first draft can be finished within days. –Keep revising for weeks and get sick of it. Some Tips: –Efficiency First: Do it when you have the strongest impulse. –Get yourself refreshed when necessary. –Keep a record of your progress. –Milestone, Checkpoint © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201055
Writers’ Group To provide a forum for discussion of writing. To provide a framework for the writing process. To develop and exchange effective practices. Giving and receiving feedbacks on writing. Sharing information about conferences and journals. Analyzing the feedbacks from reviewers. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/201056
57 Much WWW A Collection of Research Tips –http://www.ifs.tuwien.ac.at/~silvia/research-tips/ How to do Research at the MIT AI Lab Scientific Writing –http://www.biochem.arizona.edu/marc/Sci-Writing.pdf Use Google! © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
58 Take Home Message Start early! Highlight your core idea. Explain your work logically. Make your contributions crystal clear. Ask friends to read your paper before submission. © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
59 Practice makes perfect! Read well-written papers back and forth. Write down your ideas and thoughts. Prepare work reports regularly. Learn from the feedbacks from your advisor. You will be more confident with your thesis! © Dr. Bo Yuan 27/08/2010
60 Research is more than a job. It is an obsession.
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