[started by R. Saito, 2019.4.27]

Checklist for the draft of the paper

It is not easy to write a paper within an international standard. When I edit the draft of the paper written by new students, I often find similar expressions that I need to fix. Thus it would be nice if you read this page to avoid not-good expressions before writing the paper.

The goal of the paper is explicitly written.

  • Goal of the paper is what you want to explain in this paper.
  • The goal of the paper is explicitly shown in Introduction

"However," is generally expected in Introduction.

  • We usually find the word "However," in Introduction for showing the problem.
  • The sentences before "However," is called "background".
  • "background" should be related to the "However" sentence.
  • Do not include to general sentence in the background which does not have any meaning.
  • We should define the special words that are used in the paper.
(Bad) Two dimensional materials have been widely investigated.
(Good) Valley polarization is defined by ..

Organization of the paper is important for the reader

  • By showing the organization, the reader can be patient to read the paper.
Organization of the paper is as follows. In Section 2, we show a method ...

Do not use the past tense for the present results.

  • Although you calculated or measured in the past, do not use the past tense for the present measurement.
  • The past tense means "We measured this (But we do not measure now)".
  • We can use "present perfect tense" for finishing events. But it is not popular now.
  • The reader might ask why the authors need to stress the finish of action.
(Bad1) We measured optical absorption spectra (But we do not use this method).
(Bad2) We are measuring ... (Why do you submit the paper before finishing ...?)
(Good) We measure the optical absorption of A. 
(Acceptable) We have measured the optical absorption of A (It should take a long time to finish.)  

Be careful for "a", and "the"

  • Check if the noun is countable or not by the Web dictionary.
  • If the noun is countable, please check if this noun already appears in the paper.
  • If the countable noun already appears first, "the" should be attached. If not, we put "a".
  • Please avoid "this" or "that" for "the" since the readers can not have the same feeling of the "distance".
(Bad) We show method of calculation.
(Good1) We show a method of the calculation. (method does not appear, calculation appear)
(Good2) We show a method of calculation (we did not mention the calculation yet)
(Good3) We show a method of calculating A. (avoid to use a noun) 
(Bad) This result means that ....
(Good) The present (calculated) result means that 

You can try to convert from a noun to a verb.

  • In the most sentences, we can change a noun to a verb by showing the subject.
(Bad)  We can obtain the formation of the material. 
(Good) We can form the material.
(Bad)  Energy band calculation is performed for bi-layer graphene.
(Good) We calculate energy band of bi-layer graphene. 

Do not use "Different materials give different results"

  • It is trivial that different A gives different B. No information.
(Bad) We have different samples which gives different spectra.
(Good) The spectra changes by changing A for samples.

Avoid too long subject or too long sentences.

  • Too long subject can be an object of the sentence.
  • Too long sentences that might have two messages can be divided into two sentences.
(Bad) Temperature dependence of Raman spectroscopy for mono-layer transition metal dicharcogenides is discussed. 
(Good) We discuss temperature dependence of Raman spectroscopy for mono-layer, transition-metal dicharcogenides.

Do not use any subjective words

  • Using "large" "small" "high" "low" without any comparison is subjective.
  • Using "great" "novel" and "significant" is subjective and all readers can not agree.
(Bad) We will show a novel result of calculation (Crazy!)
(Good) We think that this result have a significant meaning since A is B.
(Bad) The results are very small and thus ... 
(Good1) Since the results are much smaller than A, ....
(Good2) The results are small compared with B and thus ...

Do not use three consecutive nouns.

  • Three consecutive nouns such as "state density calculation" or "energy band calculation" whose meaning is not so clear for the reader.
(Bad) state density calculation
(Good) calculated the density of states

If you want to compare the two results, Use the same axis.

  • If you want to compare the two results, put both data in a figure.
  • If you want to compare the two graphs, put in the same page with the same axis range.

Axis labels of a figure should be large and up to 5.

  • If we can not see the labels from 1m back, it means the labels are small.
  • A good size of font is 15% of the height of the graph.
  • Thus you can not put more than 5 labels in the axis.

In many times, the reason should be before the statement.

  • For clearly written paper, the reason should exists before the statement.
(Bad) The result means C. It is because that A is B. 
(Good) Since A is B, the results mean C.

Do not use "Fig.1 shows ... " or "Fig. 1 dipicts ..."

  • Although such expressions are frequently used in the paper, it is not good.
  • You might notice that such expression never appear in a high impact journals.
  • The reason that the expression does not specify the subject of the sentence.
(Bad) Fig. 1 shows A and B.
(Good) (new paragraph) In Fig. 1, we plot (illustrate, show) A as a function of x.

Do not use Legend of the graph

  • For more than two graph in a figure, Legend or explanation in the caption is very difficult to understand the graph.
  • Put the labels in the graph and explain the symbols in both the caption and the main text.

Bad examples and fixed examples

In the following, I ask students edited examples. Can you point out all the reasons why we need to change the sentences?

(Bad) An electron energy dispersion with a narrow band width in a significant portion of the Brilloin zone (BZ) very close to the Fermi level (EF) is an intriguing electronic system.
(Good) We are interested in a "flat" energy dispersion of an electron (or a flat band) that appears  near the Fermi energy. 
An interesting physics of two-dimensional materials may appear if the flat band appears for sufficiently large area in the Brillouin zone.

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Last-modified: 2019-04-30 (Tue) 02:16:08 (336d)