Academic writing often follows a formula, and for good reason. Formulaic components are time-tested, and matching structural expectations makes it easy for the reader to focus on content. As you develop your own way of presenting your research to an academic audience, you should build on the common formula in your area. The best way to learn this formula is to read a lot and study the successful elements of well-presented papers. Over the next few weeks I will share the basic formula that I use as a starting point for my papers in human-computer interaction and information retrieval, in case it is useful to you.