Checklist for Better Communication

Checklist for Better Communication - Checklist for Better...

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Checklist for Better Communication Methods in the Aviation Systems Division Jeffery A. Schroeder Version 1.2 8/1/06 This is a living document. I am not claiming to have a complete grasp of the English language. Feel free to correct my mistakes too, and then we will all become better communicators for the benefit of readers and listeners everywhere. Papers References to have and to read 1. Katzoff, S, “Clarity in Technical Reporting,” NASA SP-7010, 1964. Search and you can download your own copy. 2. Strunk, W., Jr and White, E.B., The Elements of Style, 4 th Edition , Longman Publishing Group, 2000. 3. Corbett, E.P.J. and Finlke, S.L., The Little English Handbook, 8 th Edition , Longman Publishing Group, 1988. Titles 1. Titles should be as simple as possible but no simpler. 2. Do not, under any circumstances, put an acronym in the title. Abstract 1. 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 instead. 2. The abstract is not an introduction. State what you did and what you found. Do 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 found. Introduction 1. 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 very good. It should be the hardest part. A good introduction, in my view, (and Katzoff influenced my view greatly) has about three paragraphs. The first 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
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recognize there is a gap in what has been done to date. The second paragraph states how what you are presenting attempts to fill that gap. This places your work in the proper context relative to the literature. The last paragraph tells the reader what is to come. It should be more than just being a robot reciting the paper’s outline. Read Katzoff to understand. This will then be a perfect introduction. If you need more space to cover the literature in detail, do that in a separate Background section in your report. At the end of the introduction, I should want to read onwards. Paragraphs 1. Paragraphs have a main idea. Other sentences in that paragraph support that main point. If you introduce a new point, make a new paragraph. Your English teacher was actually on to something. 2. Paragraphs should have more than one sentence. 3. If you print your paper in double-column, single-spaced format, and you have a paragraph that is over a half-a-column long, you have either violated the “main point” principle, or you have words or sentences that can be deleted. Punctuation
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Checklist for Better Communication - Checklist for Better...

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