How to write a paper that looks like a good one?

You worked super hard and did great research, but somehow the reviewer 2 just doesn't buy it. Why? πŸ€”

It's probably because your paper does not look like a good paper *visually*. πŸ™„

How? πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ #AcademicTwitter
*Figure 1: WHAT did you do?*

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to figure out what the paper is about until page 5. 😠Show a TEASER figure on the very first page highlighting the inputs/outputs/key findings.
*Figure 2: WHY did you do it?*

Motivate and justify the key insights/ideas of your work. It is often helpful to illustrate this more clearly by
1) SIMPLIFYING with a toy example and
2) CONTEXTUALIZING with prior work.
*Figure 3: HOW did you do it?*

Show an *overview* figure on how your method works. Label everything so that it provides a clear roadmap of the entire paper.
*Move figures/tables to the top*

Add "[!t]" parameter to your figure/table so that LaTeX will try placing them on the top of the page. Why?

Figures/tables are much easier to understand than reading plain texts. Moving them to the top helps readers quickly understand your work.
*Self-contained figure/table caption*

Whatever you want to say for the figure/table, say them in the caption. It's annoying to find and match the corresponding texts describing the figure/table in your paper.

More on avoiding mental correspondence:
*Concise notations*

Use SINGLE letters for your math notations. Examples:
β€’ Color_j -> C_j
β€’ Net -> F(\cdot)

All the other descriptions should be within
*Short titles*

Add titles (e.g., using \paragraph) to your figure/table captions and the main texts. They make your paper more structured and organized and help your readers navigate the paper with ease.
*Clean table*

Follow simple design principles for making clean a table:
β€’ no \line, use \toprule, \midrule, \bottomrule
β€’ no vertical lines
β€’ left align text
β€’ center align numbers
β€’ group and remove repetition with multirow/multicol
*Avoid empty spaces*

Fill the paper into full page limit. It gives your readers a sense of a POLISHED and not RUSHED paper.

More on Deep Paper Gestalt:
Hope this helps! If your paper looks like a good paper, reads like a good paper, then it's probably a good paper.

Happy writing!

Any additional tips on making your papers look awesome?
Opps... I didn't mean "clean a table"...
Example "What did you do?" figure

The teaser should specify the input/output and applications that your work could enable.

Example "Why did you do it?" figure

Here they use a TOY example to highlight the key issue from PRIOR WORK (wavelet transforms), i.e., the coefficients of original signal and the shifted version change dramatically.

Source: Shiftable Multiscale Transforms '92
Example "How did you do it?" figure.

This figure provides an overview of how the method work by connecting inputs and outputs and all the intermediate steps.


β€’ β€’ β€’

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More from @jbhuang0604

16 Sep
How to find a research internship?

Doing an internship helps
β€’ expand your network πŸ•ΈοΈ,
β€’ explore new topics πŸ’‘,
β€’ learn new research skills πŸ”¬, and
β€’ earn more money πŸ’°!

But how can we find good internship opportunities? πŸ€”
A thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
*Find a supportive advisor*

Choose an advisor that encourages/supports/allows students doing summer internships. Some may require you to work on funded projects during the summers or delay graduation should you do internships.

Reach out to prior students and learn more!
*Stay connected*

Many internship opportunities are not broadcasted through public posting, but via emails among faculty members. Stay connected so that you get the best info (e.g., ask your friends/advisor forward relevant posting). Image
Read 9 tweets
15 Sep
Feeling overwhelmed after a few weeks into a new semester in graduate school? 😫

Check out this meta-thread that helps you navigate grad school a little bit easier! 😎

#AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter
*How to do research with my mentors effectively?*

Your mentors are there to help you. Help them help you!

*How to make steady progress in my research?*

It's sooooo frustrating that your experiments JUST DON'T WORK! 😞 Learn several simple strategies that help unblock yourself quickly. πŸ’ͺ

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15 Sep
How to write clear and concise sentences?

Getting ready to write up your very first research paper? Writing a paper could be daunting, particularly for non-native English speakers. 😬😬😬 How can we avoid common mistakes in technical writing?

Check out the thread below! 🧡
*Active voice*

Friends don’t let friends use passive voice!

Using passive voice hides the subject and creates ambiguous, indirect, and wordy sentences. Things don't "get done" by themselves. Take responsibility for what you do and use active voice whenever possible.
*Statements in positive form*

Tell your readers "what is" instead of "what is not".

not honest ➑️ dishonest
did not remember ➑️ forgot
did not pay any attention to ➑️ ignored
did not have much confidence in ➑️ distrusted
Read 15 tweets
24 Aug
For the first time in five years, I have a full-time work schedule. I thought I will trivially be 3-4 times more productive, but it turns out managing time well is so damn challenging. 😬

After watching productivity videos to procrastinate, here are what I found useful. 🧡
*Eat that frog*

If you have to eat a frog, make it the very first task you do in your day. If you have to eat three frogs a day, do not start with the small one.
*Have a plan*

If you have no idea what you will be doing 2:30 PM next Wed, you are doing it wrong. It's okay to be flexible and change the plan, but make sure that you have a plan to start with.
Read 11 tweets
13 Aug
How to keep track with the literature?

Getting started with research but overwhelmed by THOUSANDS of papers each year? How could one stay sane keeping track of the literature? 😱

Here are some tricks I found useful. 🧡
*Track the people, not the papers*

There are far fewer key people who are driving the field forward than the number of papers. Check out who the authors are when you read papers. Overtime you will recognize the important ones.
*Read papers with good related work*

A good related work section saves you so much time by providing a clear, organized view for prior work.

Side note: Please save others' time by writing a good related work
Read 10 tweets
10 Aug
So You Think You Want to Apply for a PhD

The application cycle is coming up. How do I maximize my chance of getting admitted to my dream program? πŸ€”

Check out the thread below for resources/advices/tips!
*Casey Fiesler @cfiesler's videos on PhD applications*

EVERYTHING you need to know about PhD applications! These videos are beyond awesome! (I wish I know these when I applied!)…
*It's all about research*

Do NOT spend too much time maximizing your GPAs (e.g., by taking easy courses) or the Greatly Ridiculous Exam (GRE) scores. Show your potential of doing good research!

Not sure if you love doing research yet? Then why are you applying?
Read 11 tweets

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