Spence Green

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I work at Lilt. In addition to computers and languages, my interests include travel, running, and scuba diving. more...

Four More Points on Technical Writing

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While working on our ACL2011 submission, I learned three more lessons about technical writing:

  • Use the section headings: Readers – and especially reviewers readings quickly – use section headings to navigate. While everyone knows to save space by removing lines containing only a few words that dangle from the end of a paragraph, few use the full line reserved for a section heading. This is a mistake. Make the section heading informative; use the space!
  • Add a data section: Don’t mix data with the model description. If the experiments use anything other than the PTB, reserve a special section for the data.
  • Use MATLAB for figures: I used to believe in PSTricks. But MATLAB is more robust, and writing a script to generate the figures can result in a massive time saving.
  • The narrative should not follow a chronology: I’ve written about this before, but it is so hard to apply at the end of a project when your mind is tuned to details. Readers with minimal background knowledge can be invaluable here.

Written by Spence

January 10th, 2011 at 10:52 am

Posted in Technical,Writing

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