Writing good papers

From WirelessAfrica


  • first sentence summarizes paragraph
  • last sentence segways into next
  • bullet definitions or terms
  • describe figures
  • state assumptions
  • informative section headings
  • lead the reader to your conclusions
  • bullets and numbered lists when appropriate
  • make contribution clear
  • if idea is complex build up to it slowly
  • you should be able to start reading the paper from any paragraph
  • re-describe things simply and refer to them in each section
  • 5-7 sections
  • subsections should not be over 1 page long
  • use spin to motivate if possible

Perfect Paragraph

  • Topic sentence:
  • Concrete Detail#1:
  • Commentary:
  • Transition:
  • Concrete Detail #2:
  • Commentary:
  • Concluding Statement:
  • See PerfectParagraph also


  • use different kinds of figures, bar, table, scatter, plot
  • use one figure for multiple examples if figure is simple
  • use simple figure
  • descriptive captions
  • label important areas on graphs

Title - 1 or 2 lines

  • descriptive
  • not too complex
  • fits on one line
  • may represent an activity doing, using
  • or be passive, description
  • if on two lines
  • focus
  • area of work

Abstract - 1 or 2 paragraphs

  • 1 sentence for each topic in introduction
  • Focus the problem
  • motivate
    • are other solutions are lacking
  • propose solution (but it is not necessary to provide any details)
  • establish contributions
  • don't put numbers unless stellar

Introduction - finish off the rest of the first page

  • Motivation
  • why this is hard
  • why this is important
  • why this contribution is stellar
  • why this is a must have solution
  • make contributions apparent
  • road map
  • use a figure

Related Work

  • place at beginning if you are comparing to related work
  • may be placed at the end if not needed for motivation
  • start with an overview or large focus
  • continue toward work that is more closely related to this work
  • make sure to address PC related work
  • point out weaknesses in related work, be nice, don't bash
    • if possible present shortcomings that the authors pointed out
  • categorize if possible
  • use a figure


  • set the stage
  • describe things as you would to a layman.
    • someone not even in MANET
  • use a figure

Problem Formulation and Design

  • characterize a good approach - that is your solution
  • describe goals needed for a good solution
  • lead the reader
  • state assumptions, maybe bullet
  • use an example
  • categorize methodology
  • describe enhancements but better yet push into protocol
  • use a figure

Performance Evaluation - Simulation

  • describe settings and parameters used and why
  • define metrics and why they are important
  • motivate why scenarios are important
    • actually you should have lead up to them through the paper
  • break into multiple subsections
  • graphs
    • motivate why it is important
    • lots of different types of graphs
  • good descriptions
  • every graph should highlight advantage over previous results
  • summarize results


  • use sparingly, and only if interesting
  • may be appropriate for tech report or magazines
  • perhaps an emphasis can be found to SPIN

Conclusions - 1/2 page

  • restate the problem
  • reiterate solution
  • say that your solution is good or put numbers
  • contributions and results, maybe bullet
  • future work - may be left out

Include Acknowledgments