EEL 6935 RF/Microwave Circuits I

Instructions for Journal Paper Reviews

Fall 2007


As was mentioned in the course syllabus, you will be asked to review (2) journal papers during the semester and prepare short, well-written summaries of each. There are several reasons for having you do this, including:

Many times (if not always) the best way to start a new research project is by doing a thorough literature search on the topic

Reading/observing many papers can give you a feel for good writing styles

The summaries you prepare provide an opportunity to practice technical writing, and good skills in this area can be extremely important in career development

You will learn some things other than what is covered in class

It has been attempted to select papers that relate somewhat closely to the topics discussed in the class.


Prepare atype written summary and include the following:

1. Write your own, one paragraph Critique. For example, describe what you like and/or dislike about the paper (technique or style, technical content, or anything else). Is the paper well organized? Is it well written? Did you learn something about style or technical matters? Is theory supported by measurement data? Is the length appropriate? Is the grammar correct? Is prior work in the area duly referenced? You should write this paragraph as though you are a reviewer deciding whether or not this paper should be accepted for publication.

2. Write a very brief (2 or 3 sentence) Appraisal of the Abstract. (Do NOT re-write the abstract that was given, and do NOT write your own abstract…you are evaluating the abstract that is in the paper.) The abstract is the most important aspect of any paper. It should accomplish two things – provide a good understanding of what the paper is about, in a concise manner, and make clear the specific contributions of the paper, i.e., it should motivate the reader. In your evaluation determine if the abstract meets these goals, and explain why or why not.

3. Write a one sentence description of what you believe to be the Best Feature of the Paper. This could be something that you learned technically, nice graphics, or anything else.

Do NOT spend a great deal of time/space summarizing the specific technical topic (except perhaps when describing the best feature of the paper) ---- that has already been done in the paper itself!! This is not a book report – it is a review.

General comments, such as ‘the figures are nice’ or ‘the paper was well-organized’ are inadequate and will be frowned upon. These statements could be written without reading the paper, and it hardly is an indication that you’ve learned anything (good or bad) about how to write a concise, well presented paper ---- the main reason why you are being asked to do this.

Your reviews should be submitted in hard-copy format.

Format for Paper Reviews

  • Your name
  • Date
  • Title of paper
  • Authors of Paper
  • Proper bibliographic citation for the paper (refer to references section of the paper for the proper format). Do NOT include the bibliography that is in the paper…you are to create a proper bibliographic description of the paper that you reviewed.
  • Critique (see above)
  • Appraisal of Abstract (see above)
  • Best Feature of Paper (see above)
  • Should paper be published (assume you are the editor):
  • Yes
  • Yes with minor revisions
  • Yes after major revisions
  • No

You must strictly adhere to this outline format, else your paper will be returned without grading. If you ever submit a paper to a magazine or journal for publication without adhering to style guidelines, you are wasting your time.

Some Comments

As a general rule, journal papers such as those you will receive in class should always be read over rather lightly the first time. This allows you to see if you are interested in the contents before you spend a lot of time reading it, and it gives you a feel for the overall organization; this can be helpful the next time it is read, since you know what is coming. The second time it is read you will know where to concentrate most of your time. And generally, it is not a good idea to get extremely caught up in the theoretical details unless you aim to implement the same/similar approach yourself. Following this approach to a light first reading also allows you to cover more papers with the limited amount of time you have for this type of activity; and reviewing journals on a regular basis is critical if you want to keep up with technical advancements in your field.

A good example follows on the next page:

First_Name Last_Name

October 20, 2005

Synthesis of Impedance Matching Circuits Using Arbitrary Nonuniform Transmission Lines

Ali H. Hamade, Ammar B. Kouki, and Fadhel M. Ghainnouchi

Hamade, A.H.; Kouki, A.B.; Ghannouchi, F.M., “Synthesis of Impedance Matching Circuits Using Arbitrary Nonuniform Transmission Lines”, Microwave Symposium Digest, 1997, IEEE MTT-S International Volume 3, 8-13 June 1997 Page(s):1619 - 1622 vol.3

The paper flowed in a logical order. There were several spelling, grammatical and formatting errors throughout the paper. An example of this occurred two-thirds down the second page, “As an aditional validation, Figure 1 and figure 2….” The graphs at the end of the paper were too cluttered with legends, insets and data. The insets were very difficult to read and took away from the main data in the graphs. Also the legends in the graphs could have been positioned better to make deciphering the data easier. Only two of the graphs showed a comparison of the results being presented with those from Momentum. I would have liked to have seen this comparison throughout the graphs. The method for synthesizing the impedance matching circuits is cited as efficient and fast, a comparison in relative speed to the standard methods would have been useful for comparison. Overall the length of the paper seemed short, also I would have liked to know why the given loads were chosen to be matched and why the frequency range of 3-5GHz. was used.

The abstract gives a good overview of the paper. The abstract presents the paper’s contents in a concise manner and in the order that they are presented in the body of the paper. I would be motivated to read the contents of the paper if it fell into the context of what I was researching.

The best features of the paper were that the tables were easy to read and that the references were numbered in the order that they appeared in the text. Also the formulas used in the text were legible and not overwhelming to the reader.