The Art of Research Paper Writing and the Research Iceberg Analogy

  1. During the research process: Many explorations are often needed before fully determining what a paper is about, many of which might end up not being in the final publication.
  2. During the writing process: There is significant value in having a clean, clear, and simple focus for a research paper, which may mean excluding some of the explorations done as part of (1).
  1. A researcher is unsure of what to do next as part of their research project. They might be deciding between paths X and Y. Because they are not sure whether X or Y will be in the final research paper, they end up doing neither. They hope to figure out which of X or Y will be in the paper first, before proceeding with either X or Y. As they try to make this determination, their research stalls.
  2. A researcher has done X, Y, and Z (and more) as part of their research. When thinking about writing up their results, they wish to include all of X, Y, and Z (and more) in their paper submission. It feels like a shame to have done so much work and then not include that work in the paper submission.
In a balanced iceberg (most below the surface of the water), the paper clearly and accurately distills the research. In an unbalanced iceberg (most above the surface of the water), every aspect of the research is crammed into a paper submission. In the balanced case, reviewers have a clear understanding of the contributions.
The Research Iceberg Analogy and the Art of Research Paper Writing.

--

--

--

Tadayoshi (Yoshi) Kohno is a professor in the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. His homepage: https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~yoshi/.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Career Counseling

Meeting the moment by facing what is on the line

Do I have to take the divorce education and orientation class?

An Example Of A Apa Research Paper

My Students are Learning How to Edit

There Are Leaders, There Are Followers!

Myth: Dyslexics will never be successful

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tadayoshi Kohno (Yoshi Kohno)

Tadayoshi Kohno (Yoshi Kohno)

Tadayoshi (Yoshi) Kohno is a professor in the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. His homepage: https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~yoshi/.

More from Medium

Talking creative writing with an artificial intelligence

Revisiting “Walkaway”

Concentric yellow circles on black background with words “And so I chose to begin again” in the center.

Everyone’s a copy, of a copy, of a copy.

Mahalo Monday #13: Yellow ribbon, working hard vs working smart, and narrative