Technical Writing and Research Methods (2014, 3 credits)


Instructor: Prof. Shou-de Lin (

Classroom: CSIE 105

Meeting Time: Tu 9:10-12:00 pm

Office Hour:  Tu after class or by appointment

Guest Lecturer:  Sally Chen (
TA : Yen-Chi Chen (

Course Description:


This course discusses the principles of conducting high quality research and composing decent pieces of technical writings in the area of computer science. Besides, writing strategies for a variety type of manuscripts, including presentation slides, resume/CV, statement of purpose, and popular science articles will also be addressed.

This course adopts the concept of learning by doing, which means the students will experience through the whole process of researching, including the selection of topics, literature review, experiment design and evaluation, technical paper writing (for advanced readers) and popular science paper writing (for normal readers). 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 goal of discussion sections is to improve the writing and research skill of each individual student through editing and commenting on the submitted homework.

Students are expected to investigate a decent amount of efforts in learning, just like a regular graduate level course.




 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, Honathan D. Karp, Nicholas Cohen  


(8) Advice for a Young Investigator, Santiago Ramon 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 (9:10-10:30) Second section (10:50-12:00)
16-Sep Introduction Grammer (Sally)
23-Sep Choosing (research area, topic, advisor...) CV writing, Literature Survey
30-Sep How to do good research Methodology, slides
7-Oct Discussion: Proposal Ethics
14-Oct Experiment Discussion: literature
21-Oct How to get your paper accepted (I)  
28-Oct Discussing: Methodology  
Technical Writing First section (9:10-10:30) Second section (10:50-12:00)
4-Nov General tips for paper writing  Paper (Introduction)
11-Nov Paper (Content, bibliograph,methods)  Editing and reviewing papers (flaw)
18-Nov Discussing: Experiment and results Slides and Presentation
25-Nov Paper (Experiment and Results) Dis: Intro
2-Dec Paper (Abstract and Conclusion) Dis: Methods
9-Dec break  
16-Dec English Writing Tips (Sally) Discussion: CV
23-Dec Language Issues  
30-Dec Statement of Purpose, manual, email Dis: Experiment
6-Jan Life as a young researcher Dis: Conclusions