Important components are: Running Example: When possible, use a running example throughout the paper.
It can be introduced either as a subsection at the end of the Introduction, or its own Section 2 or 3 (depending on Related Work).
If in doubt about whether to include someone, include them.
Spend the effort to make all citations complete and consistent.
E.g.: "We are currently extending the algorithm to...
blah blah, and preliminary results are encouraging." This statement serves to mark your territory.
Guideline #1: A clear new important technical contribution should have been articulated by the time the reader finishes page 3 (i.e., a quarter of the way through the paper).
Guideline #2: Every section of the paper should tell a story.
Unless there's a good argument against it, the Introduction should consist of five paragraphs answering the following five questions: (Exercise: Answer these questions for the multiway sort example.) Then have a final paragraph or subsection: "Summary of Contributions".
It should list the major contributions in bullet form, mentioning in which sections they can be found.