Structure of a Technical Paper

Structure of a Technical Paper

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0237-3.ch006
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This chapter provides basic information about the structure of a technical paper. Some of the comments made here can be applied to non-technical papers as well. The chapter begins with a section that discusses the opening of a paper, then discusses the items that appear in the first part of a paper: in particular, the title, authors and affiliations, the abstract, and keywords are discussed. Next, the chapter discusses the role the introduction plays in a paper and the information one typically finds in the introductory section of a paper. The author includes a general section with guidelines about the content of a paper, followed by one about the closing portions of a paper. There, he talks about conclusions, acknowledgments, references, and biographies, and then he describes issues relating to paper submission and how to follow-up with a submission. He includes some other key issues that occur during the submission and acceptance phase of a paper’s life cycle. The author includes a few other valuable points in the miscellaneous section, where he discusses submitting to online publications, effective collaboration among coauthors, and reusing one’s own work. There is also a brief section with conclusions.
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Opening Of A Paper


The makeup of a research paper usually depends on numerous issues. One issue is the specific requirements of the conference or journal where the paper is intended to be submitted. Another aspect is the subject matter and depth of the content. Regardless of the specific field and actual content of the paper, we can say that the opening of most papers will include some or all of the following components: a title, a list of authors’ names and affiliations, an abstract, and keywords. In this section we explore each of these items in turn. We start by taking a look at the title of a paper.


The title is the first thing that the reader or—perhaps, more importantly—the editor will see. When many authors compete for a publication in a prestigious periodical, all things being equal, the editor will certainly favor the paper with a more-interesting title. In certain cases, where a conference is trying to offer papers covering a broad range of topics, the initial selection may be made based largely on the title. If nothing else, the title can have an impact on which papers get read first. The paper’s title is very important. One must make sure that the title represents the contents of the paper while at the same time is original and interesting. In order to come up with a good title one needs to spend a considerable amount of time brainstorming about a good title; good titles do not just drop out of the sky. Developing a really-good title is not an easy task. The best titles seem to express the technical aspects of the paper with easily-understandable jargon. Note that titles longer than one line can be difficult for readers to remember. The title should be written in an aesthetically-appealing way and that may mean introducing line breaks in the appropriate places. Rather than having a single word on the second line of the title in Figure 1, we introduced a line break after the word “an.”

Figure 1.

A sample title with authors’ names and affiliations


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