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Advice / PaperRecipe

Let me tell you a little trick that I tell all the students:

sentence, paragraph, page

Mike's paper recipe:

  1. come up with 1 sentence that tells the "story" of the paper - the main message. you need to make this into one sentence. if the sentence is a long, run-on sentence (or is a paragraph, not a sentence), you don't have a focused enough message.
Keep the sentence in view at all times (print it out in big letters and put it next to your computer as you work!
  1. write the 1st paragraph of the paper - how you will hook the reader in, introduce the problem, ...
  2. write a 1 page outline of the paper
in each part, keep in mind that your goal is to tell the "story" of the paper - which is why the sentence is so important.

Update (3/6/2015)...
Here are a few other questions you should try to answer while developing those three things:

  1. Our key idea is...
  2. Our primary contribution is ...
  3. The contributions of this paper are: (list)

The first two of those should be sentences. Not run-ons. Not lists. Your "primary" or "key" thing must be a thing, not 3.

Here's a nice article on Tomorrow's Professor about writing. They echo my feelings about the importance of the "sentence." Some of their other advice, I don't implement myself - but wish I did!

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Page last modified on March 06, 2015, at 05:10 PM