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Tik76'650 Software Engineering Seminar Writing the Seminar Paper Tips and Guidelines

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Title: Tik76'650 Software Engineering Seminar Writing the Seminar Paper Tips and Guidelines


1
Tik-76.650 Software Engineering
SeminarWriting the Seminar Paper Tips and
Guidelines
  • http//www.soberit.hut.fi/T-76.650/
  • Casper Lassenius
  • Casper.Lassenius_at_hut.fi

2
Seminar Purpose
  • To prepare you for writing your M.Sc. thesis
  • Picking a subject
  • Doing a literature search
  • Academic writing style
  • Process writing drafting, writing, rewriting,
    rewriting, and revising ?
  • Working with a supervisor
  • To teach you about a specific, modern topic
  • Agile software development processes

3
Picking a seminar subject
  • Requirements for a good subject
  • interesting
  • provocative
  • DOABLE!
  • Define
  • research problem state research questions
  • research objectives
  • methods
  • scope
  • Literature study vs. empirical subject
  • Literature study strongly recommended!
  • Empirical study is hard to do within the time and
    hours available
  • Ideas
  • Contrast two or more approaches
  • Search for empirical evidence for or against some
    approach

4
Writing the Seminar Paper
  • The style should be scientific
  • Formal
  • Logical, Coherent and Internally consistent
  • Critical
  • Humble but Convincing
  • Simple, Clear, Precise and Readable
  • Explicit presuppositions (to a degree ?)
  • Clearly separate your own ideas, opinions and
    experiences from those of others and beware of
    conclusions that dont follow from the data,
    unsubstantiated claims and unfounded speculation
  • Dont write a consultancy report!

5
Typical Paper Structure
  • Title page
  • 1 page executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References

6
Typical Paper Structure
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • why is the research done provide motivation!
  • Research problem research questions
  • what is the paper looking at / trying to solve
  • Objectives
  • what is the main objective of the paper
  • Scope
  • what is included in / excluded from the study
  • Methodology
  • how was the research carried out?
  • Structure of the report

7
Typical Paper Structure
  • Body
  • Description of existing knowledge (cite
    references)
  • Analysis / synthesis of existing knowledge
  • Use e.g. table to summarize
  • Discussion
  • what did you learn/do you think based upon the
    existing knowledge
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • restatement of most important findings (no new
    ones!)
  • practical/theoretical recommendations
  • evaluation of the research (strengths,
    weaknesses)
  • ideas for future research

8
Typical Paper Structure
  • References
  • Use author-date in-text citation style
  • Agile Software Development (Cockburn, 2001) is a
    new approach...
  • The Goal/Question/Metric approach (Basili
    Rombach, 1984)...
  • It has been claimed (Kellner et al., 1994) that
    software process modelling...
  • Use author-date ordered bibliography
  • Anonymous. 1980. A Good Book on an Interesting
    Topic. Boston, MA, HBS Press. 294p.
  • Beck, K. 2001. An Overhyped Phenomenon Thoughts
    on eXtreme Programming. In Proceedings of the 3rd
    International Conference on Modern Approaches to
    Software Engineering Hype, 121-1121. Los
    Alamitos, CA IEEE Computer Society Press.
  • Heck, M. 2002. I can code better than you no
    more pair programming! IEEE Software (June-July),
    12-13.

9
About the Writing Process
  • Start early
  • Do a lousy first draft
  • Rewrite
  • good writers rewrite more than bad ones
  • Writing is thinking
  • Many authors recommend writing every day

10
Working with a supervisor
  • The supervisors job is to help you
  • will point you in the right(?) direction
  • Dont expect the supervisor to do the job for you
  • e.g. literature search, structuring, etc.
  • Meet the deadlines
  • Come well prepared to the meetings
  • Ask questions
  • Take the comments and suggestions seriously

11
26 rules for writing...
  • 1. Interest, inform, persuade
  • 2. Write for the reader
  • 3. Write clearly
  • 4. Eliminate unnecessary redundancy
  • 5. Avoid digressions
  • 6. Dont overexplain
  • 7. Avoid overstatement
  • 8. Avoid unnecessary qualifiers
  • 9. Use the precise word
  • 10. Prefer simpler to complicated words
  • 11. Use concrete words and examples
  • 12. Prefer simpler to more complicated sentences
  • 13. Use the active voice
  • 14. Prefer affirmative to negative constructions
  • 15. Avoid dangling constructions
  • 16. Avoid participles without referents
  • 17. Avoid pronouns without antecedents
  • 18. Avoid the indefinite this
  • 19. Avoid split infinitives
  • 20. Use summary statements
  • 21. Use transitions
  • 22. Place yourself in the background
  • 23. Cite sources as well as findings
  • 24. Proofread
  • 25. Request a critical reading
  • 26. Avoid sexist language

12
Tips to Gain Acceptance
  • 1. Start strong (not previous research...)
  • 2. Tell readers why they should be interested
  • 3. Write what you say you will do
  • 4. Write a focused, complete and balanced
    literature review
  • 5. Explain what the results mean
  • 6. Consider alternative interpretations
  • 7. End strongly
  • 8. Write clear and readable sentences
  • 9. Emphasize logical flow and organization
  • 10. Explain what, say it, restate
  • 11. Be creative, give concrete examples
  • 12. Dont assume people will know what you mean
    no jargon or abbreviations
  • 13. Write to be interesting
  • 14. Write for a broad audience
  • 15. Avoid autobiography

13
References
  • Hirsjärvi, S., Remes, P., Sajavaara, P. 2000.
    Tutki ja Kirjoita. Helsinki Tammi.
  • Kakkuri-Knuuttila, M. (toim.). 1998. Argumentti
    ja Kritiikki lukemisen, keskustelun ja
    vakuuttamisen taidot. Helsinki Gaudeamus.
  • Kauranen, I., Ropponen, P., Aaltonen, M. 1993.
    Tutkimusraportin kirjoittamisen opas. Otaniemi
    TKK.
  • May, E. 1993. Tiedettä Englanniksi akateemisen
    kirjoittamisen käsikirja. Jyväskylä
    korkeakoulujen kielikeskus.
  • Sternberg, R.J. 1993. The psychologist's
    companion a guide to scientific writing for
    students and researchers. Cambrige Cambridge
    University Press.
  • Uusitalo, H. 1991. Tiede, tutkimus ja tutkielma
    johdatus tutkielman maailmaan. Helsinki WSOY.
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