Checklist for Better Communication Methods
in the Aviation Systems Division
Jeffery A. Schroeder
This is a living document.
I am not claiming to have a complete grasp of the English
Feel free to correct my mistakes too, and then we will all become better
communicators for the benefit of readers and listeners everywhere.
References to have and to read
Katzoff, S, “Clarity in Technical Reporting,” NASA SP-7010, 1964.
you can download your own copy.
Strunk, W., Jr and White, E.B.,
The Elements of Style, 4
Publishing Group, 2000.
Corbett, E.P.J. and Finlke, S.L.,
The Little English Handbook, 8
Longman Publishing Group, 1988.
Titles should be as simple as possible but no simpler.
Do not, under any circumstances, put an acronym in the title.
From the abstract alone, a reader should be able to understand the key things you
did and found.
How many times have you read an abstract that ends with “the
results are presented and analyzed”?
Give the reader the key, but brief, results
The abstract is not an introduction.
State what you did and what you found.
not go into what others have done and found.
Do not give a long-winded problem
statement and justification for what you did.
State what you did and what you
Read Ref. 1 on how to write an Introduction.
If writing your introduction was
not the hardest part of writing your paper, then your introduction probably is not
It should be the hardest part.
A good introduction, in my view, (and
Katzoff influenced my view greatly) has about three paragraphs.
paragraph states the problem and why it is important.
Towards that end, you
introduce key references in a cogent, logical way that leads the reader to