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					Tutorial to all Students of my Courses:
            Writing IT Papers



          Dickson K.W. Chiu
             PhD, SMIEEE



                                    1
  Writing a Paper – Process Overview
Step   1   -   Getting Started
Step   2   -   Discovering and Choosing a Topic
Step   3   -   Looking for and Forming a Focus
Step   4   -   Gathering Information
Step   5   -   Preparing to Write
Step   6   -   Writing the Paper

Reference: A Plus Research and Writing


                           Dickson Chiu 2005      CSIT600c 03-2
    1. Getting Started
1.1 Understand the task and requirements (also the
   audience)
1.2 Consider the process (e.g., the steps outline in this set
   of slides) you'll use
1.3 Set deadlines and roadmaps for each step of the process
1.4 Think about possible topics within the constraints of 1.1
1.5 Info Search - browse, read, relax
1.6 Relate your prior experience and learning
1.7 Jot down your questions and ideas about possible topics
1.8 Brainstorm, alone and with others


                          Dickson Chiu 2005        CSIT600c 03-3
  2. Discovering and choosing a topic
2.1 Info Search - read for overview of various
  topics
2.2 Continue thinking and jotting down questions
  and ideas in your notebook
2.3 Info Survey - what print and electronic
  resources are available
2.4 Try and think “what-if” on different topics
  preliminarily



                    Dickson Chiu 2005    CSIT600c 03-4
   3. Looking for and Forming a Focus
Goal: Exploring your topic, finding and forming a focus
3.1 Info Search - exploring your topic
3.2 Info Search - preliminary note taking
      Record the info source for citation
3.3 Purposeful thinking about possible focuses
      Try to focus on something new, useful, and interesting
      Think about justifications for your focus
      Other directions / alternatives not used - comparison, future
       work
3.4 Choosing a focus or combining themes to form a focus
      Considering your output size and time



                               Dickson Chiu 2005             CSIT600c 03-5
  4. Gathering Information
4.1 Info Search - finding, collecting, and recording
      record your sources in the bibliographic format
       required for citation
4.2 Think about clarifying or refining your focus
4.3 Start organizing your notes into logical groups
4.4 Think about your thesis statement - the main
  point of your finding or the main contribution of
  your paper



                          Dickson Chiu 2005        CSIT600c 03-6
5. Preparing to Write
5.1 Analyze and organize your information
5.2 Construct a thesis statement
     Boil down the main point of your paper to a single
      statement
     declares the position you are taking in your paper
     sets up the way you will organize your discussion
     points to the conclusion you will draw
5.3 Weed out irrelevant information
5.4 Info Search - fill in the gaps


                      Dickson Chiu 2005       CSIT600c 03-7
6. Writing the Paper
6.1 Think about the assignment, the audience
  and the purpose          Consider using
6.2 Prepare an outline    Powerpoint slides
6.3 Make your designs and diagrams
6.4 Write the rough draft
6.5 Know how to use your source materials and
  cite them
6.6 Have others read and critique the paper
6.7 Revise and proofread

                 Dickson Chiu 2005   CSIT600c 03-8
    Paper Structure
   Title, Abstract, Keyword
   Introduction
   Background of the problem
   Related work (other papers or systems)
   Elaborate your problem statement
   Detail your solution of the problem
   Formal evaluation of your solution (if any)
   Discussions (qualitative evaluation)
   Conclusion and Future Work
   References
   Appendices

     Ref: J. W. Chinneck, “How to organize your thesis”


                            Dickson Chiu 2005             CSIT600c 03-9
    Paper - Title, Abstract, Keyword
   Title
       reflect problem statement and thesis sentence
   Author
       in the order of contribution to the work
   Abstract
       communicate the important ideas of the paper
       write the abstract before the paper and even the outline
       focuses your attention on the main ideas you wants to convey
   Keyword / Index terms
       on your topic
       used for indexing in digital libraries
       include especially those not in the title or abstract

                               Dickson Chiu 2005                CSIT600c 03-10
    Paper - Introduction
   Problem Statement
   Thesis sentence
   Motivate your paper
       Briefly, why existing systems / approach are inadequate
       There are needs for your work
       Why / when / how your work is useful
   Introduce the contribution of your paper
       Main advantage of your approach
       Point out any novelty
   Introduce the paper structure very briefly
   Refrain from detail background information to the next
    section


                             Dickson Chiu 2005           CSIT600c 03-11
    Paper - Background
   Depends on your audience
   Especially necessary
        if your work spans two or more traditional fields
        About a certain specific industry or application domain (e.g., SME
         brokerage in HK)
   Introduce definitions, jargons, etc.
   Case study or motivating example
   Requirements – highlight new ones
   Stakeholders (cf. use case analysis)
   Inadequacy of existing approach
   Justify a new approach
        Introduce (briefly) the new approach / technologies that you propose
         to use
        their general advantages with reference to the above
   Consider a more specific section title



                                 Dickson Chiu 2005                CSIT600c 03-12
    Paper – Related Work
   Review of the State of the Art
   Organize this section by idea
   Cite other related works / systems / websites
   Compare your approach with others
   Organize in subsections if necessary
       too long
       better / highlight classification
   Demonstrate the novelty or merit of your work
    by comparison

                            Dickson Chiu 2005   CSIT600c 03-13
Paper – Elaborate your problem statement

   Detail what your problems are, referring to
    background and related work
   Model your problem
   Use diagrams to conceptualized your problem
       UML Class diagrams
       UML activity diagrams to show business process
       …
   Formal / mathematical models (!)



                       Dickson Chiu 2005      CSIT600c 03-14
Paper – Detail your solution
   Solution overview
       May be in the form of a methodology (stepwise recipe)
   System architecture
   Algorithms and other detailed design
       UML activity diagram – flowchart
       UML sequence diagrams – protocol
       Summarized code / XML listing (only very necessary)
       …
   Detailed data structures (only very necessary)
   From formal / mathematical models, derive useful
    properties (!)
   Justify them as your present them
       Compare alternative design choices



                          Dickson Chiu 2005           CSIT600c 03-15
Paper - Formal evaluation of your solution
(if any)
   Experiment
       quantitative measurement of prototype (e.g.,
        performance)
       Gathering users’ experience
   Simulation
   Survey
   Mathematical proofs (!)
   Less formal and practical: proof-of-concept
    prototype
   …


                       Dickson Chiu 2005       CSIT600c 03-16
Paper - Discussions (qualitative evaluation)
   Convince the readers that you answered the question or solved
    the problem
   Based of quantitative results or qualitative discussions or both
   What you did is relevant and effective
        Systems meet the requirement of stakeholders
        Studies meet the objectives
        Technical, economical, managerial merits of your approach
        …
   Experience you gained from your work (e.g., system
    implementation)
   Applicability of your results and whether your result can be
    generalized, scale-up, etc.
   State any limitations of your current work and suggest
    improvements for future work



                             Dickson Chiu 2005               CSIT600c 03-17
Paper - Conclusions
   Conclusions
       short, concise statements relate to your research
        question and discussion
   Summary of Contributions, e.g.,
       Novel system, architecture, methodology
       New business models and functions
       Practical and more effective solutions with new
        technologies
       …
   Future work

                        Dickson Chiu 2005       CSIT600c 03-18
    Paper - References
   Closely tied to the review of the state of the art
   Cite other work to justify major assumptions and claims
    (e.g., which issue / aspect / strategy is the most
    important for a certain industry / system / problem
    domain)
   Source for technical references (e.g., BPEL)
   All references given must be referred to in the main
    body (different from bibliography)
   Different publisher has different reference (and paper)
    formatting styles
   American Psychological Association (APA) style
       Not only the format but also how to refer
       See: Nuts and bots of college writing



                             Dickson Chiu 2005      CSIT600c 03-19
    Paper – Appendices
   Any material which impedes the smooth
    development of your presentation, but
       important to justify the results
       gives the impression that you have done solid work
   Code listing, database schema, diagrams
   Immense tables of data
   Lengthy mathematical proofs or derivations
   …



                         Dickson Chiu 2005       CSIT600c 03-20
    Publications
   Workshop proceedings
        Usually preliminary new ideas
        Very focused topic
   Conference proceedings
        Varies in content and quality
        On a certain area
        Usually quick new results or ideas
   Journals and Transactions
        Polished research results
        Some have surveys (e.g., ACM Computing Surveys)
        Usually a longer turn-around time and a few review cycles
        Many have (occasional) special issues of new topics
        Cite a journal instead of a conference / workshop proceeding for the same
         work
   Magazines (e.g., Communications of the ACM)
        quick new ideas, results, review on hot topics
        interested to a large community of readers
   Book Chapters – collection of papers on a specific (usually new) topic



                                    Dickson Chiu 2005                 CSIT600c 03-21
Read and evaluate a paper
   Original Ideas
   Reality
   Lessons
   Choices
   Context
   Focus
   Presentation
   Writing Style
       The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
   Reference:
       How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems Paper by Roy
        Levin and David D. Redell
       Writing Good Software Engineering Research Papers, by
        Mary Shaw


                           Dickson Chiu 2005           CSIT600c 03-22

				
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