|Contribution Section|| Describe your idea - not how it has 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” in the Contribution section!).
Give it a title that describes its contents.
|Method|| Isolate the key ideas
- make sure you give them all the space they need.
|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.|
|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!|
|Evaluation & Results||This section proves that your idea is great|
|Describe the evaluation method thoroughly but succinctly||Nothing is more annoying than long-winded discussion of the evaluation method. Just the facts, ma'am!|
|Evaluation method description: should have a one-to-one correspondence with the results section|| This means that any table, graph, or illustration in the results should have a directly corresponding statement/motivation/ discussion in the Evaluation section.
If you feel like you have to include tables whose existence are not discussed – and hence not justified – in the evaluation section, make sure they are either motivated by a surprise finding or else put them in a Discussion section.
|Always summarize what the tables/graphs/etc. say with your own words, before drawing conclusions||E.g.: Do not say “As can be seen in Graph 1, my routing algorithm works best.” Say, “As can be seen in the comparison between the three routing algorithms, A, B and C, the algorithms with partial information about network topology have an advantage in networks above a certain size (point X, Graph 1). Among these, my algorithm, C, gets the best result.”|
|Captions: Equally important as the graph||Make sure your graph contains all the information necessary to interpret the graphics: Title, caption and legend should be written with the same care as the title of your paper and your abstract!!|
|Two principles|| The clearest presentation - make the job easy on the reader
The biggest impact - try to make the point as strongly as you possibly can.
|Scientific papers are for people||People have limited capacity processors. Make sure you direct them to the most important points through the right data/information presentation methods.|
|Select the right format|
|When not to use graphs||When the graph contains too much or too little data|
|Common mistakes in graphs|| Equating two-dimensional space with one-dimensional space
Forget to indicate that an axis does not start at zero
Using pie charts for open-ended scales examples (scroll down)
| 9 tips to make your graphs great |
(based on: source)
| 1. decide on a clear purpose
2. convey an important message
3. draw attention to the message, not the source
4. experiment with various options and graph styles
5. use simple design for complex data
6. make the data 'speak'
7. adapt graph presentation to suit the data
8. ensure that the default visual perception process of the reader is easy and accurate
9. avoid ambiguity