NSC 840 Writing Course

Summer 2002

Instructor: Dr. B. Cheng, Computer Science and Engineering

Time and Location: Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m.; 3105 Engineering Bldg.  



Learn how to clearly present technical ideas in a paper
Learn how to critique your own writing
Learn the key principle of writing: "Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite'' [Gries 1989]


Elements of Style, (online version) William Strunk and E.B. White, Macmillan 1979 
How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper, Robert A. Day, ORYX Publisher, 1998.
Style: Toward Clarity and Grace,  Joseph M. Williams, The University of Chicago Press 1990 
Bugs in Writing, Lyn Dupré, Addison-Wesley, 1995.
5-paragraph rule for introductions [Stirewalt]

Preparatory Exercise:

Write a critique of the Ariane 5 Failure, addressing the following points (Due Friday, June 7, 5:00 p.m.)

What step in the software development process was the major contributing factor to the failure?
How could the failure have been prevented?
Who should be held responsible for this accident?

Useful Links:

Sample Latex template (tar file)

Main latex file (sets up parameters), called do-paper.tex
intro.tex (separate file containing text for introduction)
Formatted version of paper, do-paper.ps (or do-paper.pdf)
To process:
  1. latex do-paper
  2. bibtex do-paper
  3. latex do-paper
  4. latex do-paper
  5. dvips do-paper     (generates a PS file)
  6. ps2pdf do-paper.ps (can produce a pdf file)

Text in red indicates the file names specific to your paper.