Formal Papers (Manuscript Style)
Your papers should be well organized, neat, concise and written in English. Each paper
should include at least 4 sections Abstract, Introduction, Experiment and
Results. In some cases you will want to have a Theory and/or a Discussion section but,
only include sections that are necessary to make your point. The abstract and
introduction are extremely important because they set the tone of the paper; you will
capture or lose your reader in these two sections. Consequently, you should spend some
time carefully crafting these sections. The abstract should give information only
no lead-in no discussion. Here is an example:
The A-technique was employed to measured the B-parameter in System C. Under conditions
D, we find values for the B-parameter of ____. These values imply _____.
The introduction is where you should give enough information for a reasonably well
educated physicist to understand why this paper should be read. Specifically, you should
include information regarding how what you have measured is related, in some broad sense,
to science and why such a measurement is important to a particular local area of physics.
As an example, in the Mössbauer experiment, the hyperfine splitting of specific nuclear
states are measured whereby the effects of chemistry on nuclear structure can be
investigated. This is interesting because we usually think of chemistry as an electronic
effect involving the valence electrons and thus perturbing only the atomic structure. If
this is the first time or a novel approach for such a measurement it should be so stated.
If you are testing a theoretical prediction or verifying a previous measurement this
should also be stated. In some cases you will need to review some of the theory or
background to the area. This should not be done in the introduction but in a separate
section. In the introduction you can direct the reader to sections where the theory is
reviewed. You may simply say: This paper is organized into ___ sections. In Sec. II we
present the relevant theory necessary to interpret our measurement, in Sec. III we
describe the instrumentation, ...
Body of the Paper
Here is where you tell your story. You first must explain your instrumentation and the
experiment. Be sure to include in your descriptions all the conditions under which your
experiments were performed, e. g., PMT voltages, temperatures, pressures, etc.
You should give enough information that if someone wanted to repeat your experiments they
would be able determine what your parameters were. In addition, if your results need to be
compared to another's, apples will be able to be compared with apples. Finally, since
these are experimental papers, a long and tedious calculation or derivation should appear
in an appendix.
Each figure should have a descriptive caption. One should be able to look at a figure and
discern its meaning without reading the text. For example, captions for a spectrum in the
ultrasound experiment in liquids should state the substance, driving frequency and
temperature under which the spectrum was obtained. Within a figure, labels should be in
all caps. Sometimes it is helpful to give a figure a title, but not always. Do not
substitute a screen dump for a figure. For a manuscript style report collect
captions onto a seperate page and label it captions. Figures themselves should be
full size on separate sheets and attached to the report in order as the last pages.
Tables also should be made with care. Sometimes you will want to include a table caption
to explain table headings or footnotes to explain table entries.
Papers are graded according to the following six categories.
|Abstract & Title
|Figures and Tables
Last updated: 05/02/01 03:52 AM