Technical or Argument Paper
Synopsis: The technical or argument paper seeks to expand knowledge by identifying a problem, explaining its significance, and presenting its solution to readers in a fundamental manner.
8-10 pp., for a conference presentation
15-25pp., for a publication
Mid-range business document, persuasive in nature
Just as audiences differ, the purpose of each technical paper depends upon the aims of the writer. However, start with a narrow focus. A technical paper should home in on three traits to convince readers: to identify one problem, to explain why it is hard, and then to present its solution, as Ernst (2020) cogently explains.
Every technical argument has a specific audience, and audiences may not be identical. It depends on the purpose of the paper. However, identifying the specific audience is crucial to writing an effective technical argument.
Whom will benefit from the solution you have proposed? Why? How? What values do they have? What arguments will they make in objection to your position? Such questions will help you narrow your focus and identify your specific audience.
Guidelines to Keep in Mind
A technical or argument paper may appear similar to a formal academic paper, but the crucial difference is in the language. Technical arguments use simple language (Ernst, 2020), so erudite and belletristic vocabulary is typically absent except when jargon helps to identify a potential process.
* Words are sparse in a technical argument.
* The technical paper’s structure is based on the best example first, followed by relevant processes that may not have worked as well (Ernst, 2020).
* Synonyms do not factor in much. Instead, one should use the same concept throughout the paper unless the writer needs to mark a different stage, level, or usage (Ernst, 2020).
* Rhetorical devices should be laid aside because readers may not take away what you expect.
* Focus on what worked and why (Ernst, 2020). This is what readers want to know.
Sample Technical Paper, Italy Casalicchio, E., Lancellotti, R., Poleggi, M. E. (n.d.). A simulation framework for cluster-based web services. http://web.ing.unimo.it/sammclouds/papers/ijsst07.pdf
Ernst, M. (2020, August 11). How to write a technical paper. https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~mernst/advice/write-technical-paper.html
Shoop, L. (n.d.). A guide for writing a technical research paper. Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Macalester College. https://www.macalester.edu/~bressoud/capstone/TechPaperHowTo.pdf