|Your Contribution||You wrote your paper because you believe it constitutes a valuable contribution to scientific knowledge. The way you describe it is through a clear delineation of your hypotheses and method (the structure of your experiment and its execution, in as much detail as necessary to enable others to repeat it with the same results).|
|Hypotheses|| First, describe your assumptions and your explicit hypotheses - not how they have been evaluated. You may reference related work, but keep it to a minimum and specific (i.e. no “review of what so-and-so did” - that belongs in the Related Work section!).
Give the section a title that describes its contents. (Unless you have a brilliant title for it you should use “Hypotheses”.)
|Method|| Isolate the key ideas
- make sure you give them all the space they need. Experimental design, experimental setup, execution of experiment.
|Keep it succinct||Trim off superfluous ideas. This can be painful: How can you trim off those little cool things that somehow you just know the world absolutely needs to know about? Trick: It is often a good idea to pretend you are going to write another paper, where you can put your shaved-off ideas.|
|Don't repeat||Do not repeat things already described in other parts of your paper. This is a common difficulty. The best papers are the ones with minimal repetition. If absolutely necessary you may say, for convenience of the reader, “as described in section X, … ” and summarize this briefly. In general, each section should be read without having to jump back and forth to other sections, but also without to much repetition.|
|Do not cross-reference too much between sections||It is a common difficulty to keep the discussion on the topic of the contribution in the Contribution section, without referencing the evaluation results. This should be avoided at all cost. The best papers are the ones where the results of the evaluation are not given away before the Results section. And each section can be read mostly without having to jump back and forth all the time.|
|This is your stuff||Make it look as good as it can look!|
|Explicitness||Hypotheses state a predicted relation between two or three variables. Hypotheses should be stated explicitly. Null hypothesis may be stated explicitly, for clarity.|
|Example||H1: By banning ice cream sales in Central Park in the summer, muggings will be significantly reduced. (Underlying “theory”: That eating ice cream impels people to mug others.)|
|Clarity||Avoid ambiguous words and sentences. Structure the description of the design in a logical manner. Be straight forward - don't try to make things sound “more important” by using loaded, overblown, pompous, or otherwise baroque words or wording.|
|Detail||Give enough detail so that others can set the experiment up independently and get the same results.|
|Physical||Comparative experiments are done in physical space and time. Be explicit about the arrangement of any physical attributes of the experiment that may be important to anyone repeating your experiment.|
|Sequential||Physical actions are sequential. Describe the sequence of events when executing the experiment.|
|Same as above||All relevant aspects of the general pointers above about clarity and detail apply here as well.|