Posts Tagged Resource

Article Titles Make a Difference

When you go to the trouble of writing an article for publication, it’s worth spending some time thinking about and composing an appropriate title. The title is your first chance to engage prospective readers—to get their attention immediately. A poorly chosen title can mean a significantly smaller audience than your work might deserve. In Writing Mathematics Well: A Manual for Authors (MAA, 1987), Leonard Gillman advised: “Keep your title short and include key words to make it informative.” Striking the right balance between brevity and informativeness (while still attracting attention), however, can be harder than it sounds. Consider, for example,

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Paul Halmos on Writing Mathematics

As a mathematician, Paul R. Halmos (1916-2006) made fundamental contributions to probability theory, statistics, functional analysis, mathematical logic, and other areas of mathematics. He was also widely recognized as a masterly mathematical expositor. And he served as editor (1981-1985) of the American Mathematical Monthly. Halmos described his approach to writing in an essay published in the book How to Write Mathematics (American Mathematical Society, 1973). One paragraph presents the essence of the process: “The basic problem in writing mathematics is the same as in writing biology, writing a novel, or writing directions for assembling a harpsichord: the problem is to communicate an idea. To do

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