How to Get a Paper Accepted at OOPSLA

(A panel at OOPSLA-93, pages 429-436 of the proceedings)

The full text can be found in the ACM Digital Library.

Comments by Kent Beck

I will not talk about a topic area, like my distinguished fellow panelists. I will present the process I use as I am writing my papers. You can adapt it for your writing process, or you can use it as a check list for evaluating finished papers (if this is starting to sound like patterns, well, fancy that). Much of what I will say is "common sense," found in any book about writing. Having looked at hundreds of submissions, though, I can state with certainty that most of the authors don't follow this advice.

Well, I'm not sure that's a great abstract, but you get the idea. I always feel funny writing an abstract this way. The idea I thought was so wonderful when I started writing the paper looks naked and alone sitting there with no support. I resist the temptation to argue for my conclusion in the abstract. I think it gives the reader more incentive to carefully read the rest of the paper. They want to find you how in the world you could possible say such an outrageous thing. There are my four steps to better papers. You can use them sequentially to write papers, or you can use them to evaluate papers you have already written.