Technical Writing and Research Methods (2016, 3 credits)


Instructor: Prof. Shou-de Lin (

Classroom: CSIE 110

Meeting Time: Tu 14:20-17:20 pm

Office Hour:  By appointment

Guest Lecturer:  Sally Chen (
TA : Nancy Cheng ( )

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)



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


English Writing Tips (Sally)

CV writing, Literature Survey


Discussion: Proposal

Methodology, slides


How to do good research




Discussion: literature


How to get your paper accepted (I)



Discussing: Methodology


Technical Writing

First section (9:10-10:30)

Second section (10:50-12:00)


General tips for paper writing 

Paper (Introduction)


Paper (Content, bibliograph,methods) 

Editing and reviewing papers (flaw)


Discussing: Experiment and results

Slides and Presentation


Paper (Experiment and Results)

Dis: Intro


Paper (Abstract and Conclusion)

Dis: Methods





Language Issues

email,manual, response


English Writing Tips (Sally)

Dis: Experiment


Life as a young researcher

Dis: Conclusions