|Thomas W. Christopher|| Consulting in High Performance Computing.
Training in Concurrency, Networking, and Parallelism, especially in Python and Java.
Here are outlines of common scientific paper and proposal formats.
One important thing that technologists often forget is the "so what?" It is important that you let the readers know why they should care.
Table of contents
|Books on academic writing||Books referenced|
|Dissertation proposals and student research||Dissertation Proposal|
|How To Analyze an Article|
|Forms of papers||Experimental scientific paper|
|Theoretical or Practice Article|
|Essay or Review paper|
|Proposals and projects||Proposal Contents|
|The Ten Most Common Errors Made in Research Proposals and Applications|
|What NSF wants in a proposal|
|Contents of a social services proposal|
|Ways of viewing projects|
|An Outline Guide for the Design of a Research Problem|
Day, Robert A., How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, Second Edition, iSi Press, Philadelphia, 1983.
Henson, Kenneth T., The Art of Writing for Publication, Allyn and Bacon/A Simon & Schuster Company, Needham Heights MA 02194, 1995.
Lefferts, Robert, Getting A Grant: How to Write Successful Grant Proposals, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1978.
Matkin, Ralph E. and T. F. Riggar, Persist and Publish: Helpful Hints for Academic Writing and Publishing, University Press of Colorado, 1991.
Miller, Delbert C., Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement, 3rd Ed. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1977.
This is the format I [TC] requiire for programming exercises in my classes.
According to Day and Matkin & Riggar, a paper reporting an empirical investigation has this format:
(Briefly summarize what you did,
and what you observed.)
State the theme: the problem and your approach to solving it. Tell what others have done about the problem.
Materials and Methods
Provide enough information that any competent researcher can reproduce your experiments. That is not to say that he or she can reproduce your actual code, but he or she can figure out what you did and do something equivalent.
Present what you observed. Graphs are nice.
Discuss the implications of what you observed.
Give thanks to anyone who helped you with the project (e.g. if you use some code from someone else).
Put in citations of any books or papers referred to.
Here you put in your code and such. Include at least one run with a small data set to show it works.
According to Matkin & Riggar:
Brief summary, 75 words or fewer.
State the theme: the problem and your approach to solving it. Tell what others have done about the problem. State the purpose of your paper.
Expand upon the topics relevant to your purpose.
Relate your narrative to the literature of the field.
Summary and recommendations
Summarize, reach conclusions, and propose further directions for work.
Give thanks to anyone who helped you with the project .
Put in citations of the books and papers referred to.
According to Henson, the five essential elements of a proposal are:
Various Notes For Ph.D. Students taking the PhD Comprehensive Exam (from Dr. Martha Evens) [with comments by TC]
The Purpose of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination (Defense of Thesis Topic) is to convince your committee that you are attacking an important problem, that you have read enough to understand what has already been done to solve this problem, and that you have a plan of attack of your own that will lead to a significant and original contribution. Therefore the document that you give to your committee should include (in any order that you and your adviser agree is appropriate):
The worth of a proposal is determined by the originality and the clarity of the ideas, not its length. It is strongly recommended that you attend some other Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations before your own, so that you can get a feeling for what is expected.
(from Dr. C. R. Carlson)
For each article you read, prepare a brief (1-3 page) summary which
According to Matkin & Riggar
Brief summary, 75 words or fewer.
Discussion and conclusions
Recommendations, if any
Summary (may appear first)
According to Matkin & Riggar (p. 9), an essay or review paper has these elements.
Discussion of relevant topics
Recommendations, if any
Deadlines werent met
Lack of clarity
Lack of sufficient advance planning regarding funding schedule
Omitted or irrelevant supplementary materials
This is from Lefferts' "Getting a Grant" . It has a social services orientation.
1. Introductory material
2. Purpose & Objectives
3. Problem definition and need
4. Frame of reference or rationale
5. Program activities.
6. Future plans.
8. Organizational structure, administration and staffing
From the format of proposals, we observe that projects may be viewed in a variety of ways:
1) purposes, objectives, and activities
2) within the context of ideas - rationale
3) within time - timing, schedule
4) people - staffing
5) groups - organization, credibility of proposing organization
6) money - budget
7) physical environment - facilities
Based on Russell L. Ackoff, The Design of Social Research (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1953). Adapted by Delbert C. Miller in Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement, 3rd Ed. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1977.
1. The Problem
1. Present, clear, brief statement of the problem with concepts defined where necessary.
2. Show that the problem is limited to bounds amenable to treatment or test
2. Describe the significance of the problem with reference to one or more of the following criteria:
1. Is timely
2. Relates to a practical problem
3. Relates to a wide population
4. Relates to an influential or critical population
5. Fills a research gap
6. Permits generalization to broader principles of social interaction or general theory
7. Sharpens the definition of an important concept or relationship
8. Has many inflections for a wide range of practical problems
9. May create or improve an instrument for observing and analyzing data
10. Provides opportunity for gathering data that is restricted by the limited time available for gathering particular data
11. Provides possibility for a fruitful exploration with known techniques
3. The Theoretical Framework
1. Describe the relationship of the problem to a theoretical framework
2. Demonstrate the relationship of the problem to the previous research
3. Present alternate hypotheses considered feasible within the framework of the theory
4. The Hypotheses
1. Clearly state the hypotheses selected for the test. (Null and alternate hypothesis should be stated.)
2. Indicate the significance of test hypotheses to the advancement of research and theory.
3. Define concepts or variables (preferably in operational terms)
a. Independent and dependent variables should be distinguished from each other.
b. The scale upon which variables are to be measured (quantitative, semiquantitative, or qualitative) should be specified
5. Design of the Experiment or Inquiry
1. Describe ideal design or designs with especial attention to the control of interfering variables
2. Describe selected operational design
a. Describe stimuli, subjects, environment, and responses with the objects, events, and properties necessary for their specification.
b. Describe how control of interfering variables is achieved.
3. Specify statistical tests including dummy tables for each test.
a. Specify level of confidence desired.
6. Sampling Procedures
1. Describe experimental and control samples
a. Specify the population to which the hypotheses are relevant.
b. Explain determination of size and type of sample
2. Specify method of drawing or selecting sample.
a. Specify relative importance of Type I Error and Type II Error.
b. Estimate relative costs of the various sizes and types of samples allowed by the theory
7. Methods of Gathering Data
1. Describe measures of quantitative variables showing reliability and validity when these are known. Describe means of identifying qualitative variables.
2. Include the following in description of questionnaires or schedules, if they are used:
a. Approximate number of questions to be asked of each respondent.
b. Approximate time needed for interview
c. The schedule as it has been constructed to this time.
d. Preliminary testing of interview and results.
3. Include the following in description of interview procedure, if this is used.
a. Means of obtaining information, i.e., by direct interview, all or part by mail, telephone, or other means
b. Particular characteristics interviewers must have or special training that must be given to them.
4. Describe use to be made of pilot study, pretest, or trial run.
a. Importance of and means for coping with unavailables, refusals, and response error.
8. Working Guide
b. Pilot Study and Pretests
c. Drawing sample
d. Preparing observational materials
e. Selection and training
f. Trial plan
g. Revising plans
h. Collecting data
i. Processing data
j. Preparing final report
9. Analysis of Results
a. Use of tables, calculator, sorter, computer, etc.
b. Use of graphic tables
c. Specify type of tables to be constructed
10. Interpretation of Results
11. Publication or Reporting Plans