Writing a Technical Paper.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by NavjeetSingh, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. NavjeetSingh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    hi everybody.

    I'm doing b.tech and is looking forward to write a technical paper. The problem is I don't how the heck is going to be?

    So please tell me the procedure, or how to write one. My teacher says you work well and can do it in a good shape. Give me some guidelines , I'm planning to write regarding CDMA technology. I have no idea how to go for it. So if anyone of you have done it or is/are doing it please help me in the matter.
  2. Peter Pan

    Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Plain English is a must and writing plain means a lot.
  3. wr8y

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    You sound to me like someone to whom english is a second language. I do not think you can write an effective paper without a very good understanding of the language - so hopefully, you will be writing in your first language.

    I think all papers, technical or other, start out with a good outline.

    You then change the outline as you do your research on the topic.

    The final step is to actually write the paper itself, using the research you have done, following the outline.

    You then go over the text and fix grammar errors, move things around to make the text "flow" well.

    1) Your introduction should tell the reader what you are going to cover.

    2) Then, you write the main body.

    3) Then, you write a summary or conclusion where you tell the reader what you just said, and also list the things you learned writing the paper!

    The only way to be successful, is to take writing or english writing classes FIRST, before you are asked to write papers for other classes. It sounds like you are taking classes in the wrong order, to me. My school made me do the English/compsition classes FIRST, so I was ready to write techical papers when required to do so.
  4. KL7AJ

    Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2008

    Hi Singh:

    I teach technical writing as part of my electronics course. I am convinced ANYONE can become a good technical writer, with some practice.
    It's crucially important to read LOTS of good technical articles. Observe what sort of articles you find easy to follow, and attempt to copy those methods you like, and avoid the ones you don't.
    Having a large vocabulary is important, but it's no substitute for having something to say! This is true whether you're writing a novel or writing a doctoral thesis!
    Your technical article should have ONE main point. Everything you write should reinforce just that point.
    There was a famous American Marine drill instructor by the name of Chesty Puller. He describes his training methods like this:

    1) First you tell them what you're gonna tell 'em.
    2) Then you tell 'em.
    3) Then you tell 'em what you told 'em.

    This is marvelous advice for any technical writer. Know what you're going to say, say it, repeat it, and then get out!

  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    I second what has been said about having an outline and using plain English or whatever language you will be using. Like KL7AG said, tell them what you are going to say and then say it. In other words, give an overview, then fill in the details.

    Let me add one other suggestion. Technical and scientific writing often follows a fairly rigorous format. Are you writing for a journal or a magazine? If for a journal, you may find you need an abstract and an overview. Find an example of the style you like or need to follow. The magazine/journal in which it was published will usually have a section called "information for authors" or similar. That section will give you all you need to know for format and reference citations.

  6. NavjeetSingh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Thanks for all the replies. I've been searching for a topic ( I know I said CDMA in the first post) ..the bigger problem is I don't know how to start with it.
    Sorry, in plain language - How to define a problem? The first basic thing (as far as I have found) to write a technical paper.

    I need to define a problem but it itself is becoming a problem for me. Any solutions?

    I'm searching for different papers over the internet but I'm getting only the abstracts from IEEE, labs-papers, papersearch and others. Could you provide a link to a site from where I could get a complete paper.
  7. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    To be studying for a Btech you must have produced earlier written reports.

    Well done.

    Technical papers follow much the same format, but also include bibliography and references. These are regarded a very important in paper writing circles. You will be marked down with a poor references section. Find out what exact fomat the references should be presented in and follw it.
    Find out how your publisher requires references within the text to be shown.

    It also makes a good impression if you acknowledge any help from technicians or professors in a small section.

    Watch the word count. It is very important to keep to the required length. Too long or much too short looses marks.

    Remember to separate collected data and conclusions. Good papers have separate sections for this. Also useful is a separate section for recommendations for the future research or action.

    Many authorities require a synopsis, or abstract, at the beginning. This should be only a few lines long and contain the answers to what you set out to do, and perhaps why, what you actualy did/found and your principal conclusions and recommendations, without detail.

    Publication authorities also favour a keyword list. Libraries etc use the synopsis and keyword list in information databases.

    You should start with an introduction which explains your paper. The why and the how. You may review existing knowledge and explain how your project fits in with this or extends it.

    A separated clear statement of objectives is often required, particularly if you are dong statistical work (the null hypothesis). This also allows Education authorities to mark against you objectives.

    A good list would be

    Title sheet
    Synopsis and Keywords
    Statement of objective
    Conclusions and recommendations
    References and Bibliography

    Some authorities follow this sequence, some place methods and calculations and even results in appendices.

    I wish you well with your paper.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    From personal experience, I often found writing the introduction the most difficult part -- like starting a cold engine. The very first sentence was always the hardest. So, after making an outline, I would start with a section with which I was more comfortable. Once the "creative juices" were flowing, I'd go back to the introduction.

    As examples, for scientific papers, I would start with the experimental or results section; for reviews, I would start with some Tables. For electronics, I suspect you might start with describing a circuit you will be including.