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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Advice On Writing Research Papers

If you're not an academic, you might want to skip this one. If you are, read on - it's worth it.

John Cochrane (one of the biggest names in Finance) has some excellent tips for graduate students on how to write a paper. Here are some of the best tidbits:
  • Write out the one central, novel contribution of your paper - in one paragraph
  • Write in "triangular" style - the main result first, followed by additional details
  • Be concrete
  • Don't put a literature review in your introduction. And when you do your lit reviews, make them brief - give enough info so that the reader can frame your paper among the 2 or 3 closest papers and see how it fits in.
  • In the results section, start with the main result
  • Document what you did and how you did it enough that someone else can replicate i
Finally, "keep in mind what your reader knows and what he doesn't".

There's lots more. Click here for the entire thing.

HT: Newmark's Door.

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