Elements of a Paper

The basic elements of a paper are listed below in the order in which they should appear:
· conference header
· paper number
· paper title
· author names and affiliations
· abstract
· body of paper, including figures and tables, page numbers and footer, headings, enumerations, etc.
· acknowledgments
· nomenclature
· references
· appendices

Conference Header

A header identifying the conference should be included on the first page only of each paper. The header should contain the following:

Proceedings of the [Full name of conference]
[Conference abbreviation or code]
Conference dates [month, days, year] and location [city, state (spelled out), country]

Proceedings of the 2005 Fall Conference of the ASME Internal Combustion Engine Division
April 4-8, 2005, Peoria, Illinois USA

For the exact conference header, review the author resources on the specific conference website. For size and other details, see Formatting the Paper.

Paper Number

A unique identifier or paper number will be assigned to each paper. This number includes a conference code or abbreviation and a unique number. Paper numbers are automatically assigned to those papers submitted through the ASME Conference ToolBox, a web-based conference planning application used by most ASME conferences. If a conference is not using this application, paper numbers are assigned by ASME Publishing, either pre-submittal of final materials or upon receipt of these materials from a designated conference organizer or administrator (mostly with print proceedings).
The assigned paper number should be included on the first page only of each paper. It should be included after the header, flush right. See Formatting the Paper for more details.

  1. NOTES: Print proceedings: ASME provides the paper number prior to production and manufacture; authors need not include on their papers if proceedings to be produced in this format.
  2. If authors do not receive a paper number upon submittal, they should contact the Publishing group.

Paper Title

The title of the paper should be concise and definitive. The title should be all uppercase, with the exception of units of measure or other specialty terms that are recognized and used in lowercase form.

Authors Names And Affiliations

It is ASME policy that all those who have participated significantly in the technical aspects of a paper be recognized as co-authors or cited in the acknowledgments. Author name should consist of first name, middle initial, last name. The author affiliation should consist of the following, as applicable, in the order noted:
· company or university (institution, college, etc.)
· department name or company division
· mailing address, including city, state (spelled out), zip code
· country name
· phone, fax, and e-mail


A short abstract should open the paper. The purposes of an abstract are:

  • to give a clear indication of the objective, scope, and results of the paper so that readers may determine whether the full text will be of particular interest to them;
  • to provide key words and phrases for indexing, abstracting, and retrieval purposes.
  • The abstract should not attempt to condense the whole subject matter into a few words for quick reading. It should be no more than 200 words. Keywords should be included on a separate line at the end of the abstract text.

Body Of The Paper

Outline. A proper outline is the framework upon which a good paper is written. In the process of making the outline, ideas are classified and thoughts are ordered into a logical sequence such that by the time the information is ready to be transformed into complete sentences, a good overall mental picture has been formed. In outline form, the sequence of the various items and the progression of thought can easily be adjusted and readjusted until the desired order is obtained; therefore, much writing and rewriting is saved.

Organization.The text should be organized into logical parts or sections. The purpose of the paper, or the author's aim, should be stated at the beginning so that the reader will have a clear concept of the paper's objective. This should be followed by a description of the problem, the means of solution, and any other information necessary to properly qualify the results presented and the conclusions. Finally, the results should be presented in an orderly form, followed by the author's conclusions.

Style. The chief purpose of the work is to convey information to others, many of whom may be less familiar with the general subject than the author. Care should be taken, therefore, to use simple terms and expressions and to make statements as concise as possible. If highly technical terms or phraseology are necessary, they should be adequately explained and defined. The use of the first person and reference to individuals should be made in such a manner as to avoid personal bias. Company names should be mentioned only in the acknowledgments.

All papers should be concise regardless of length. Long quotations should be avoided by referring to sources. Illustrations and tables, where they help clarify the meaning or are necessary to demonstrate results properly, are desirable, but they should be kept to a practicable minimum. Detailed drawings, lengthy test data and calculations, and photographs that may be interesting, but which are not integral to the understanding of the subject, should be omitted. Equations should be kept to a reasonable minimum, and built-up fractions within sentences should be avoided whenever possible to enhance readability. Papers that fail to conform to these requirements may be returned for revision and/or condensation.

Originality. Only original contributions to the engineering literature are accepted for publication. In most cases, this means that the work should incorporate substantial information not previously published. Under certain circumstances, reviews, collations, or analyses of information previously published may be acceptable.

Accuracy. It is of the greatest importance that all technical, scientific, and mathematical information contained in the paper be checked with the utmost care. A slight error may result in a serious error on the part of anyone who may later use that information.

Use of SI Units. Authors are encouraged to include SI units of measurement in all papers. When U.S. customary units are given preference, the SI equivalent should be provided in parentheses or in a supplementary table. And vice versa, when preference is given to SI units, the U.S. customary units should be provided in parentheses or in a supplementary table.

Headings. Headings and subheadings should appear throughout the paper to divide the subject matter into logical parts and to emphasize the major elements and considerations. These headings assist the reader in following the trend of thought and in forming a mental picture of the points of chief importance. Parts or sections may be numbered, if desired, but paragraphs should not be numbered.

Tabulations and Enumerations. Where several considerations, conditions, requirements, or other qualifying items are involved in a presentation, it is often advantageous to put them in tabular or enumerative form, one after the other, rather than to run them into the text. This arrangement, in addition to emphasizing the items, creates a graphic impression that aids the reader in accessing the information and in forming an overall picture. It is customary to identify the individual items as (1), (2), (3), etc., or as (a), (b), (c), etc. Although inclusion of such elements makes the text livelier, care should be taken not to use this scheme too frequently, as it can make the reading choppy and invalidate their purpose and usefulness.

Figures. All figures (graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc.) should be numbered consecutively and have a caption consisting of the figure number and a brief title or description of the figure. This number should be used when referring to the figure in text. Figures should be referenced within the text as "Fig. 1." When the reference to a figure begins a sentence, the abbreviation "Fig." should be spelled out, e.g., "Figure 1."

Figures may be inserted as part of the text, or included on a separate page immediately following or as close as possible to its first reference — with the exception of those figures included at the end of the paper as an appendix.

Since ASME Publishing does not undertake the drafting or redrafting of illustrations, all graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc., must be submitted in a final, ready-to-publish form. This artwork should be clear and sharp and of best available quality. The quality of the artwork in your paper will only be as good as the original supplied.
For more details about graphics, see Formatting the Paper.

Tables. All tables should be numbered consecutively and have a caption consisting of the table number and a brief title. This number should be used when referring to the table in text. Tables may be inserted as part of the text, or included on a separate page immediately following or as close as possible to its first reference — with the exception of those tables included at the end of the paper as an appendix.
Mathematics. Equations should be numbered consecutively beginning with (1) to the end of the paper, including any appendices. The number should be enclosed in parentheses (as shown above) and set flush right in the column on the same line as the equation. It is this number that should be used when referring to equations within the text. Equations should be referenced within the text as "Eq. (x)." When the reference to an equation begins a sentence, it should be spelled out, e.g., "Equation (x)."

Formulas and equations should be created to clearly distinguish capital letters from lowercase letters. Care should be taken to avoid confusion between the lowercase "l'' (el) and the numeral one, or between zero and the lowercase "o.'' All subscripts, superscripts, Greek letters, and other symbols should be clearly indicated.

In all mathematical expressions and analyses, any symbols (and the units in which they are measured) not previously defined in nomenclature should be explained. If the paper is highly mathematical in nature, it may be advisable to develop equations and formulas in appendices rather than in the body of the paper.

Page Number and Footer. All conference papers should be numbered. Page number should be centered between the two columns at the bottom of each page. A copyright footer should also be included in the bottom right-hand corner of each page. This footer should include “Copyright © ASME YYYY” (YYYY = year of publication, e.g., 2005, 2019, etc.).

Acknowledgments. Acknowledgements may be made to individuals or institutions not mentioned elsewhere in the paper, who have made an important contribution. This also applies to work completed for a government agency, which requires the inclusion of specific contract numbers or other terms.

Nomenclature. Nomenclature should follow customary usage. The nomenclature list should be in alphabetical order (capital letters first, followed by lowercase letters), followed by any Greek symbols, with subscripts and superscripts last, identified with headings.