Writing Guidelines for Authors

  1. The intended audience includes self-taught experimenters, advanced high school students, two-year community/technical college students, and beginning four-year undergraduate students. Assume no prior knowledge on the part of the reader, except a basic understanding of algebra, and whatever else has been taught in the book series prior to your section or chapter.
  2. There is no limit to how complex the subject matter becomes in this book series, only in how complete the coverage is and how fast the complexity increases. Whatever you contribute to a book, make sure there are no "gaps" in the subject matter from basic electrical theory (volume I, chapter 1) all the way to whatever it is you're writing about. Never assume that the reader will be able to follow all significant cognitive "leaps" made in your writing. This is probably the most important thing I've learned as an educator! It is better that you thoroughly explain every little step at the expense of a lengthier chapter than to rush through explanations and leave some readers unable to follow along.
  3. I recommend structuring your prose in such a way that the reader is "led through" the lesson as though they were being taught by an instructor in a laboratory session. Present hypothetical situations and practical problems to provoke thought. Pose rhetorical questions. Make the reader feel as though they are right there with you, building circuits and observing the results (make frequent use of first-person plural tense: "we," "our," etc.).
  4. Identify and reference major connecting ideas throughout the book series. Examples include:
    • Kirchhoff's and Ohm's Laws
    • Scientific method and circuit troubleshooting strategies
    • Signal feedback
    • Fundamental calculus principles (derivative and integral)

  5. Avoid colloquial language and any other references not likely to be understood by people of other nationalities and cultures.
  6. Although this is not intended to be a math book, many abstract mathematical principles become much clearer when applied to circuits. Logarithms (exponential functions in RC and L/R circuits), complex numbers (AC voltage, current, and impedance), and calculus principles (derivative in capacitor and inductor calculations) are examples of mathematical concepts at the far end of the expected mathematical proficiency level of the intended audience. When there is opportunity to apply and clarify these concepts via circuit design and analysis, please do so! Eventually, I would like to take the mathematical complexity as high as differential equations, and do so in the context of analog op-amp circuits (analog computer circuitry). Are there any "old-timers" out there with practical experience programming differential equations into analog computers, who would like to contribute their expertise to the project?
  7. When introducing a new term, italicize it and leave an index reference for it above the introductory paragraph. Set off the term in quotation marks for its second use, if there is a need to reinforce the term's novelty. Format the term normally after that.
  8. Please be so kind as to spell-check and grammar-check all submissions prior to emailing them to me!