CS Programming Project Writeup and Proposal Checklist

Writeups (or Technical Reports)


There should be a hypothesis, problem, or a plan of work motivated by curiosity, by the problem statement, by reading. The technical report:



Nothing deep, just good writing!

Don't start abstract with ``this paper''. Don't violate any of CB's classic pet peeves or his new peeves either.

Stay away from passive if it obscures who did what. Eschew informality of all sorts. Use complete sentences. Read your paper aloud to see how it sounds. Spelling shouldn't be a problem nowadays but... Use paragraphs and sectioning to organize things. Pick one term for a concept or artifact and use it consistently throughout (e.g. Not: ``The system, our project, the program, GRIFLOG...'' in various places). If you use mathematics, make sure it reads like English. Reference all figures and tables in the text, and make sure they all have self-explanatory captions. Assume your reader is looking for the first excuse to stop reading (e.g. "doesn't reference my work"), and that the paper will be read in this order: title, abstract, conclusions, references, and only THEN if it passes all the readers' filters will it be looked at somewhat in order.



Proposals are all alike, from proposals of marriage (to the Father of the Bride) through sales pitches, proposals for funding, and proposals for projects.

In every case you need to convince someone that you are the person to do a particular thing.

Form and Content

For a project, your proposal describes the background, and the what, why, how, current state, schedule of your project. You can make up zippy titles for these sections -- the main thing here is content. As always, graphics and diagrams to show you are organized and you CAN organize are quite good.