Technical Writing and Research Methods (2011, 3 credits)


Instructor: Prof. Shou-de Lin (

Classroom: CSIE 310

Meeting Time: Tu 2:20-5:20 pm (note that this course is for Ph.D. students only)

Office Hour:  Tu after class or by appointment

Guest Lecturer
TA & Grader:

Course Description:


This course discussion the principles of composing decent pieces of technical writings and conducting high quality computer science research. We will discussion strategies for different types of writing, including academic papers, presentation slides, resume/CV, statement of purpose, and popular science articles. In addition, advanced knowledge and principles about research will be introduced.

In this course, the students will run through the whole process of researching, which includes the selection of topics, literature review, experiment design and evaluation, technical paper writing and popular science paper writing. The course will lay emphasis more on research and writing than on language. However, students are expected to use English for most of the writing assignments and the lecturer will provide necessary assistance in language when opportunity presents itself. The course will be divided evenly into lecture and discussion sections. The discussion section will focus mainly on improving the writing and research skill of each individual student through editing and commenting on the submitted homework.

The enrollment will be limited to maintain the quality of the discussion and editing, and priority will be given to Ph.D. and higher-level MS students. Students are expected to investigate a decent amount of efforts in learning.




 Homework assignments and presentations (100%)


Recommend Readings:


(1) How To Write & Publish a Scientific Paper, Robert Day, 5th Edition, Oryx Press/Greenwood Publishing, ISBN: 1573561657.


(2) Writing for Computer Science, Justin Zobel, 2nd Edition, Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 1852338024


(3) The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, 4th Edition, Pearson Allyn & Bacon/Longman Publishers, ISBN: 0205313426


(4) Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills: A Course for Nonnative Speakers of English. John M. Swales, Christine B. Feak University of Michigan Press/ESL, ISBN: 0472082639


(5) Handbook of Technical Writing, 8th edition Gerald J. Alred (Author), Charles T. Brusaw (Author), Walter E. Oliu (Author) , ISBN: 0312352670


(6) Graduate Research: A Guide for Students in the Sciences, Robert V. Smith


(7) The Ph.D. process : a student's guide to graduate school in the sciences , Dale F. Bloom, Jonathan D. Karp, Nicholas Cohen


(8) Advice for a Young Investigator, Santiago Ram曝 y Cajal (Chinese translation 研究科學的第一步 : 給年輕探索者的建議)



Research Methods

First section (2:20-3:20)

Second section (3:40-5:20)



Choosing (research area, topic, advisor...)


literature survey, Proposal Writing

CV writing, Methodology


Discussion: Proposal




Discussion: CV


Discussion: literature



How to get your paper accepted



Discussing: Methodology


Technical Writing

First section (2:20-3:20)

Second section (3:40-5:20)


General tips for paper writing

Paper (Introduction)


Paper (Content, bibliograph,methods

Editing and reviewing papers (flaw), Ethics


Discussing: Experiment and results



Paper (Experiment and Results)

Dis: Into


Paper (Abstract and Conclusion)

Dis: Methods


Slides and Presentation

How to get your paper accepted (II)


Statement of Purpose, manual, email

Dis: Experiment


Language Issues

Dis: Conclusions


Final Presentation