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How to write technical papers

         (Still under construction. Please send me comments.)


  • Software for writing papers and processing data



Useful links


typing and formatting

Preparing technical reports using MS Word by Prof. Lionel Ni


processing data



drawing figures



drawing figures



typing equations (much better than Equation Editor)


PdfFactory Pro

generating PDF files (much better than PDF writer)



converting OLE objects in Excel or Visio to .wmf or .eps



how to use a word, a powerful language tool


 * It is difficult to say which one is better: papers generated by LaTeX often have a perfect appearance, but Word is more powerful, especially for collaborations (turn on "View|Markup" and learn about this). Those ugly papers generated by Word are indeed produced by the authors. You CAN use Word to write scholarly papers.

     [Example] MS Word: Naive Settings vs. Advanced Settings  

    Many people complain about the odd equations and line spacing of Word. The above example shows that these two problems can be largely eliminated (though not thoroughly).

     Now I prefer the following process:

  • Drafting  &  Polishing:   MS Word + MathType + Excel + Visio

  • Converting:  1. Word to TeX:   MathType (automatically convert all equations) +  Word2TeX

                                2. Excel to Gnuplot

  • Finalizing & Submitting: LaTeX -> PDF

     With the powerful options of MathType (and Word2TeX), the conversion can be done within several minutes!


  • Guidelines on writing technical papers     

              Writing technical articles by Henning Schulzrinne

              The best way for the presentation of research results by Ivan Stojmenovic

              The structure of paper/report in systems by Michalis Faloutsos

              William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1979.

              Matt Young, The Technical Writer's Handbook : Writing with Style and Clarity, Mill Valley, Calif. : University Science Books, c1989.

            - You'd better read the above two books again and again.


  • Tricks in technical writing

              How to write paper for IEEE journal?

              Some standard phrases for dissertations

              How To Write A Dissertation or  Bedtime Reading For People Who Do Not Have Time To Sleep  by  Douglas Comer

              An Intelligent Database for Standard Chinese Computer Terminology  (for Chinese students)


  • Other useful links on writing

               Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue

               Cisco Systems Technical Documentation Style Guide (Latest Version, April 2003)






Note: The materials presented above are for academic use only. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the authors or by other copyright holders.