The standard outline presented here, in different forms, is a tool
to assist you in writing technical papers (especially in computer science).
It is relevant for a wide range of, but not every single, type of
technical paper. It is certainly appropriate for Master's and Ph.D. theses,
for conference and journal papers, and for technical reports. It is
also appropriate for proposals, although the speculative nature
of a project or thesis proposal requires some adaptation of the
form. It is less appropriate for user documentation, but still
explicitly represents a number of important issues that must be
handled when writing product manuals. These outlines were first created
and then modified by
Many students do not know how to review a technical paper. It is important
to learn for (at least) two reasons. First, you may be asked to review
a confernce or journal paper. Second, you should always know your
audience. Knowing what reviewers are looking for makes it easier
to write a paper that they will understand (and like).
Prof. John Ousterhout (Berkeley) has a writeup on
papers (available through Prof. Fox's page).
The English department at UNL, through the
Writing Assitance Center,
provides a technical writing service. Someone will read and comment on your
paper and help you improve your technical writing skills.