Technical Writing and Research Methods (3 credits)


Instructor: Prof. Shou-de Lin (

Classroom: CSIE 107

Meeting Time: Wed 1:20-4:20 pm

Office Hour:  Wed 4:20-5:20pm

TA: Aaron Heidel, Hsin-Yih Lin, Chun-Chao Yen (homework please send to

Course Website:

Template for resume writing:


 Course Description:


This course discusses the principles of composing decent pieces of technical writings and conducting high quality computer science research. We will discuss 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 for conducting research in computer science area will be introduced.

The course will lay emphasis more on writing than on language (one could be a native writer but still produce poor technical papers). 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 skill of each individual student through editing and commenting on the submitted pieces of writings.




  Writing assignments 95%, Participation in discussion 5%


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 Ramón y Cajal (Chinese translation 研究科學的第一步 : 給年輕探索者的建議)





Technical Writing  First section (1:10-2:40) Second section (2:50-4:20)
9/19 Introduction Resume/CV writing 
9/26 General tips for paper writing Ethics, Popular Science Writing
10/3 Paper (Introduction) Dis: Resume/CV
10/17 Paper (Content, bibliography)  Editing and reviewing papers (flaw)
10/24 Paper (Methods) Dis: Into
10/31 Paper (Experiment and Results) Dis: Related Works
11/7 Latex Latex
11/14 Paper (Abstract and Conclusion) Dis: Methods (PS proposal due)
11/21 Dis: Popular Science Proposal
11/28 Constructing Presentation Slides Dis: Experiment
12/5 Language (English)  Issues Dis: Conclusions
12/12 Statement of Purpose Dis: Slides
Research Methods    
12/19 Research methods (part I): Choosing (research area, topic, advisor...)
12/26 Research methods (part II): Preparing (Data collection, Skill Training, Paper Surveying, and others)
1/2 Research methods (Part III): Doing (Algorithm Design, Hypothesis Formulation, Experiment Design, and others )
1/9 Research methods (last part): How to be a successful graduate student


-serif; white-space: nowrap; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border-left: medium none; border-right: 0.5pt solid black; border-top: 0.5pt solid windowtext; border-bottom: 0.5pt solid windowtext; padding-left: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-top: 1px; background: #eaeaea" colSpan="2"> Research methods (last part): How to be a successful graduate student