CSC 242W Home Page

CRN 	Course 	  Title		        	Term 	Credits
49216	CSC 242W  AI ULW  	                Spr17 	0.5


Chris Brown, CSB 730,

To Register

Email me for the instructor's premission code so you can register through normal on-line channels. At worst, bring me a drop-add form and then bring it to Lattimore.


The CS ULW requirement is 25 pages (1 in. margins, 1 1/2 spaced, 12pt font) of writing submitted, critiqued, handed back, corrected and resubmitted.

I'm suggesting two papers at most to get to the total of 25pp.

Any CS topic is fine -- not limited to AI. Feel free to email with proposed topic and maybe little outline to get my official OK.

I'd like, over the 25 pages, a minimum of ten (10) references, done in good academic style and cited in the text. Follow some style guide like you find for IEEE or ACM publications, Chicago Manual of Style, whatever: professional and consistent. Please include at least two books and two published journal papers in your references. I don't like web pages as references, but I won't make a big deal out of that here.

Use of research papers OK If you have a project report from the past that you'd like to brush up, expand, or just submit, please do. Ditto one you are working on at present. I don't see such re- or pre- use as being dishonest or unethical....just efficient.
BUT -- DO *NOT* SUBMIT other 242W papers. You know this actually IS illegal and unethical double-dipping, and a variety of plagiarism, so I'm sure you never thought of this stupid idea.

I'm always available to look at drafts if you have questions as you go along.


The first turn-in deadline: This is the latest date to hand in all the writing (your single paper or both your papers) for the first time.

Hardcopy by Monday noon, March 27th.

Please use my mailbox in the "mail room" (left of the elevators on 7, through the card swiper, no card needed during normal business hours). For two papers, turn them in as you finish, the 2nd one by or before noon on March 27th.

What I do: I'll mark up and return everything quickly, guessing a week at worst, back to my mailbox.

Final due date: After revising your work, hand revision in for the 2nd and final time, hardcopy as above. WITH IT, ALSO HAND IN the marked-up draft I returned to you.

Final Hardcopies by Friday noon, April 21st.

Early submissions are always a pleasant surprise.

Shared Expectations

Just to avoid possible misunderstandings and unpleasantness: To me the ULW requirement means "upper level writing", it doesn't mean going through the administrative hurdles on time. If the final product doesn't demonstrate writing competence at an upper level, I won't sign off on the requirement. Further, much as I'd like to help, you should NOT count on me to change your sow's ear into a silk purse --- for instance, making all specific edits I suggest (but, say, ignoring general strategic suggestions) is not guaranteed to produce an Upper Level result.


Really what's important is the process. That is the first draft and the revision. Since the 2nd (final) draft incorporates all changes and rewrites, it should be weighted more than the first, maybe 40% and 60%. I think the formal ULW final outcome in CS is either P or F, So (since this isn't a P-F course, A and E would seem to be the simplest choice of possible grades. I really don't like Incompletes: handing out an I can't help what caused it, and often makes things worse, and usually just causes administrative headaches for lots of people.

Academic Honesty

Student conduct is governed by the College Academic Honesty Policy, the Undergraduate Laboratory Policies of the Computer Science Department, and the various UR, Library, etc "Acceptable Use Policies" on use of networks, digital books, etc. etc.

With papers, a common mistake is quoting material without identifying it as a quote, giving a citation, and providing a reference. No matter your intent, that can easily be mistaken for fraudulently stealing somebody else's work and representing it as yours. In fact at UR it is indeed treated as plagiarism.

"Nelson's rule" is a good one: never write anything with source material open in front of you.


Here are some Basic Rules. After reading the first drafts in 2014's 242W, I wound up including the Basic Rules with every paper's individual critique. So here they are up front.

Beware: if you ignore these basic rules, I'll hand your paper right back to you unread, causing some delay.

More Free Advice

Consider the Writing Center.

Here's Assorted writing helpers and information

Changes: 2/10/15: CB. 3/27/15: CB. 10/29/15: CB. 1/14/16: CB. 1/6/17: CB.