Abstract Style Checklist

  • The article is written with the reader in mind.
  • Information, conclusions, and recommendations are easy to access.
  • The article is concise and to the point.
  • The article is factual, descriptive, and objective.
  • I covered all the important points.
  • I avoided inappropriate conjecture.
  • I defined all abbreviations and specialized terms.
  • All figures have captions.
  • All figures are mentioned in the article text (don’t use “fig” – spell out “Figure”)
  • All references have citations.
  • Sponsors are noted.

I proofread the document for the following:

  • Technical accuracy
  • Grammar
  • Consistency
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Word Choice

Avoid common problems to improve your article

Avoid passive voice

ORIGINAL            The modified instrument designs were developed by the Glucose Monitor Group.

EDITED            The Glucose Monitor Group (GMG) developed the modified instrument designs.

Eliminate deadwood and roundabout words and expressions.

ORIGINAL             It is the purpose of this section of the report to discuss the increasing heat output of numeric co-processors.

EDITED            This section discusses the increasing heat output of numeric co-processors.

Avoid Doublings

ORIGINAL            We will discuss and explain any special factors and considerations in a separate report.

EDITED            We will discuss any special considerations in a separate report.

Simplify Complex Sentence Patterns

ORIGINAL            We have developed a testing method which consists of a set of uncomplicated, dependable, and economical bioassays that cover most significant toxic reactions that might be expected by which we can identify the toxicity of a sample without knowing its chemical contents.

EDITED            We developed a testing method to identify the toxicity of a sample, even if the chemical contents are unknown. The test’s bioassays are uncomplicated, dependable, and economical.

Keep Parallel Thought Parallel

ORIGINAL            The T Cell statisticians were given training in organizing technical data and in how to present their conclusions.

EDITED            The T Cell statisticians learned how to organize data and present conclusions.

Avoid roundabout expressions

Wordy Improved
at the present time now
by means of with, by
due to the fact that because, since
for the purpose of for
in a number of cases some
in relation to toward, to
in the event of if
in view of because, since


  • Don’t use an acronym if it only appears once
  • Define the acronym the first time you use it

Reference Guidelines


S. M. Hemmingsen, Soft Science. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan Press, 1997.

A. Rezi and M. Allam, “Techniques in array processing by means of transformations,” in Control and Dynamic Systems, Vol. 69, Multidimensional Systems, C. T. Leondes,  Ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1995, pp. 133-180.

D. Sarunyagate, Ed., Lasers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.


G. Liu, K. Y. Lee, and H. F. Jordan, “TDM and TWDM de Bruijn networks and shufflenets for optical communications,” IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 46, pp. 695-701, June 1997.

J. R. Beveridge and E. M. Riseman, “How easy is matching 2D line models using local search?” IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 19, pp. 564-579, June 1997

J. L. Dawson and T. H. Lee, “Automatic phase alignment for a fully integrated Cartesian feedback power amplifier system,” IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 38, no. 12, pp. 2269-2279, Dec. 2003.

S.J . Steinmuller, C. M. Gurtler, G. Wastlbauer, and J. A. Bland, “Separation of electron spin filtering and magnetic circular dichroism effects in photoexcitation studies of hybrid ferromagnet/GaAs Schottky barrier structures,” Physical Review B, vol. 72, pp. 045301:1-5, July 2005.

M. Coates, A. Hero, R. Nowak, and B. Yu, “Internet tomography,” IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, May 2002, to be published.

Published in conference proceedings

N. Osifchin and G. Vau, “Power considerations for the modernization of telecommunications in Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union (CEE/FSU) countries,” in Second International Telecommunications Energy Special Conference, 1997, pp. 9-16.

S. Al Kuran, “The prospects for GaAs MESFET technology in dc-ac voltage conversion,” in Proc. Fourth Annual Portable Design Conference, 1997, pp. 137-142.

Presented at conference but not published

H. A. Nimr, “Defuzzification of the outputs of fuzzy controllers,” presented at 5th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, Cairo, Egypt, 1996.

To be presented at conference

T. Sepke, J.K. Fiorenza, C.G. Sodini, P. Holloway, and H.-S. Lee, “Comparator-based switched-capacitor circuits for scaled CMOS technologies,” to be presented at IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, San Francisco, CA, Feb. 2006.

Published in symposium digest

D.D. Wentzloff and A.P Chandrakasan, “A 3.1-10.6 GHz ultra-wideband pulse-shaping mixer,” IEEE RFIC Symposium Digest of Papers, June 2005, pp. 83-86.


J.C. Lee, “Magnetic flux measurement of superconducting Qubits with Josephson inductors,” Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2002.

Online resource

Author name. (date of publication if available) Site/document title.
[Online]. Available: full web address
D. Arseneau. (1999, Mar.) The url.sty package. [Online]. Available: http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/other/misc/

Reports (technical, internal, annual report, memoranda)

Provide number and month if available.
K. E. Elliott and C. M. Greene, “A local adaptive protocol,” Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, France, Tech. Rep. 916-1010-BB, 1997.

P. Mao, “Fabrication and characterization of nanofluidic channels for studying molecular dynamics in confined environments,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, Mechanical Engineering Annual Report, 2005.

Unpublished lecture, public address, or speech

Begin with the speaker, followed by the title (if any), the meeting (and sponsoring organization), the location, and the date. If it is untitled, use a descriptive label, such as Speech, with no quotation marks.
D. Graves. “When bad things happen to good ideas.” National Council of Teachers of English Convention. St. Louis, 21 Nov. 1989.


K. Kimura and A. Lipeles, “Fuzzy Controller Component,” U. S. Patent 14,860,040, December 14, 1996.