Prof. Shivendra S. Panwar

Director, Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Common Dos and Don'ts
for graduate students while writing papers

  1. Do not start a sentence with a reference.
    E.g., [6] extended the results of [5]..., should be; J. Brown [6] extended the...

  2. Do not add extra "the's" or drop them when they are needed.
    Learn how and when to use "the". Similarly other articles like "a" and "an".

  3. Do not use contractions in formal English.
    E.g., shouldn't, can't, etc., should be written out in full as should not, cannot, etc.

  4. Use words for small integers in a sentence.
    E.g., There are 4 nodes in the network, should be; There are four nodes in the network.

  5. Use short sentences.
    Whenever a sentence has more than two parts, consider shortening it.

  6. Always show confidence intervals in simulations.

  7. Do read the guides to PhD Students available online.
    E.g., Professor Henning Schulzrinne's (Common Bugs in Writing, Tips and Tricks for Writing Papers, and others) and Professor Hui Zhang's (Advice on Research and Writing, and others) web pages.

  8. Make sure the fonts and figures (including captions) are readable in hard copy.
    Do not assume being able to read it on a computer screen is good enough.

  9. Equations are considered to be sentences.
    They need to have commas and a period at the end.

  10. Take pity on the reader of your papers.
    If even your advisor cannot understand your paper, you need to put more effort in writing it.