Nine Steps to an Article

posted in: Misc | 0

By Sara Kiesler


  1. Choose 1 or 2 good papers in the same conference or journal, & use them as models

– Get all the specs (e.g., number of pages, number references, etc.)


  1. Write up your method section

– copy format of best papers in your field

– include appropriate content for type

(experiment, field study, ethnography, user study, review article)


  1. Set the paper aside. Outline the logic of your argument, with all the steps, and note support you’ll need (It’s very easy to miss steps.)


  1. Write your title and abstract

– In plain English: research question, crux of your argument, what you did, and what you found


  1. Draft your introduction

– set the context; give the reader a reason

– state the research question(s) early

– take the reader through your argument, reviewing relevant literature

– use examples; use plain English; be concrete

– outline your study and the design

– revise title, abstract to fit


  1. Write the results

– use results relevant to the argument

– interpret as you present

– give alternative explanations


  1. Read the paper out loud, from the beginning


  1. Write the discussion section

– review your evidence, and the evidence against; include new analyses

– don’t oversell

– include a limitations subsection

– include implications for policy, design, future research


  1. 10-15 revisions is not too many

– edit each sentence individually


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