May 14, 2018

How to Write a Great Research Paper

I’m going to one speak about the act of research paper writing which is something that every researcher has to do. F lot and the good news is that some pretty simple things can make your written output a lot better so that’s why I title this seven simple suggestions so here we go seven simple suggestions here it’s the first one don’t wait like this is what to mistake that a lot of people make here is a typical plan for doing research.

Number one have brilliant idea, number two spend months doing good research to back it up, number three write the paper in the last two weeks before big deadlines for the conference.

This is a bad plan right here is a good plan for doing research first have an idea, second start research paper writing, third use the paper as a forcing function to make you do the research that articulates the paper okay you see how different this is right it means you start writing very early.

Why is this good? well I often find if I’ve spent invested months of effort hacking around and writing code and thinking and then I start to write the research paper then I realized that some of my previous work was misdirected right it wasn’t directed to a useful goal certainly not for that research paper writing and I also discover some key parts of the paper that need more work right so you want to use the paper as a as a forcing function to learn that early it also gives you a good way to communicate with other people research is all about communication right if you if you’re that maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to work just on their own in a windowless room with no lights but I like to work with other people. I spend a lot of time at the whiteboard if you have something written you have a new mechanism for communicating with them right it’s very important is a mechanism for communicating.

That’s all a long way of saying that really research paper writing is not the way in which we’ve just report research for me it’s a way in which I do research and I think you should think about writing in that way is not just the output it’s the computation it’s the stuff that makes research happen and it’s because somehow we think more clearly when we write then when we just think at least I do so one problem with this plan here is that it starts with this idea a bit right what is this idea come from and so it’s tempting when you’re looking at other people’s work to think oh my everybody else has very clever ideas and I am a mere worm and I have such trivial boring ideas that nobody would be interested in them.