How to Write a (Good) Paper

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As a researcher, it is important to write good journal and conference papers. This link summarizes some resources and tips.

How to Write a Paper

Information for Authors

Each journal and conference will have information for authors, which will explain the requirements in terms of the number of pages, format, resubmission, page overlength charge, etc.

For example, the information for authors of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications can be found here.


Each journal and conference will usually have both Word and Latex templates. When possible, the Latex templates are always recommended. Please read this post for How to Use LaTex.

Please note that IEEE journals will have different templates. Download your right template from here.

Extending Conference Paper to Journal

There may be different rules for journals regarding extending a conference paper. Please refer to the website of the particular journal for detailed instruction.

For example, the policy of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications can be found here.

How to Write a Good Paper


  • Common Bugs in Writing
  • Top-10 tips for writing a paper by Jim Kurose, University of Massachusetts
  • Tips about writing systems papers by Prof Lin Zhong, Yale University
  • How to write for Technical Periodicals & conferences by IEEE

    Making Your Article interesting to Read

    • Write in paragraphs, not long blocks of text [12]. every paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences that build on that key message, and a summary sentence. Vary the length of your paragraphs to make your article easier to read. Think about the transition from one paragraph to the next. is there a logical progression?
    • Write clear, simple sentences in the form of noun-verb-object. Varying sentence length can make an article more engaging. compound sentences add variety and are useful for comparing ideas [12]. every word in a sentence should contribute something; eliminate unnecessary words.
    • avoid the passive voice, in which the subject is acted upon. in the active voice, the subject performs the action. “it was hypothesized,” is passive; “We hypothesized,” is active. The active voice is more interesting and less ambiguous. edit passive sentences to active sentences as much as possible.
    • Write in the first person (“i,” “we”) to make it clear who has done the work and the writing. it is particularly helpful when you are comparing your work to someone else’s work [3].
    • The abstract and the methods section will be written in the past tense, because they describe work that you have already done. The introduction and discussion section are usually written in the present tense, because they describe knowledge that currently exists.

Abstract and Title

Some suggestions from the Information for Authors IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence Author Instructions Title

Avoid phrases such as “a novel methodology”, “a new algorithm”, and “a significant application” in the title. By default, papers in TAI offer novel contributions that are significant. One purpose of the paper is to convince the reader that the contribution is novel, scientifically sound, technically correct, and significant. As such, words such as ‘novel’ and ‘new’ are redundant.


The “Abstract” should not exceed 250 words. Authors are encouraged to attempt to use the following guideline in writing their abstract:

  • 1-2 sentences introducing the problem.
  • 2-3 sentences summarizing the state-of-art. Be concise and offer an objective assessment of the current state of play in this area.
  • 1-2 sentences clearly describing the research gap the paper is concerned with.
  • 1-2 sentences summarizing the main methodological contribution.
  • 1-2 sentences summarizing the main result.
  • 2-3 sentences summarizing the implications of the findings on the wider field of AI.

Understand the Review Process