CSCI 3327 Research Paper Guidelines


As stated in the course syllabus/classes/os/syllabus/, a paper together with a presentation will account for 10% of your course grade. The paper will comprise 6% of your grade while the presentation will account for the remaining 4%. These instructions apply to the paper.

The paper will be turned in two times (first draft and second draft).

First Draft

A printout of your first draft is due at your presentation. The first draft of the paper is not a ``rough draft''. It is to be a completed, well-written paper. It is possible, but not common for the instructor to accept the first draft as the final draft. A poorly written first draft will affect the grade you receive on the final draft.

You will turn in your first draft by providing a printout to the instructor. The instructor will provide written feedback/suggestions on the first draft.

Second Draft

The second draft of your paper is due 1 week from the day you receive written feedback on the first draft. The second draft should address items of feedback given by the instructor. When turning in the second draft include the original first draft as well as a printout of the second draft.

Contents and Format

The contents of the paper should address the way in which the given concept is implemented for the assigned operating system. As a minimum you should address the issues/options discussed in class. There will likely be other information you will want to include as well.

Out of 60 possible points for the paper, 50 points will be based on the content of your paper. The form of the paper will account for remaining 10 points and should adhere to the following guidelines:

Common Pitfalls

Remember, you need to pick a known, standard format and follow it.

Direct Quotations
In technical writing it is unusual to directly quote a source directly. Do not directly quote sources unless you have a compelling reason to do so.

Paraphrasing Sentence-By-Sentence
It can be tempting to read a paragraph that says what you want to include in your paper and then re-write each sentence of the paragraph by rewording each sentence. Do not paraphrase sentence-by-sentence. Instead do this:
  1. Read multiple sources on a given concept.
  2. Understand what you read.
  3. Depending on the complexity of the concept you may find it helpful to jot down an outline of the core components.
  4. Set aside all sources.
  5. Based on your understand of the concept, write what you want to say about the concept.

Citing Sources
In technical writing you should give a citation for every concept you did not invent. At a minimum, therefore, every paragraph should contain one more citations that indicate what sources can be consulted to verify the information you have reported.

Works Cited
If you did not cite a work in your paper then don't list it as one of your ``Works Cited''.

General Background Information
Don't spend words re-hashing general concepts we discussed in class. Your paper is supposed to focus on how a particular OS implements a concept. For example, if your topic is ``Memory Management in Linux'', don't talk about benefits of a virtual memory system and don't spend words on alternatives to virtual memory systems. Instead say: ``Linux utilizes a virtual memory system ...'' and then go on to describe in detail the structure of its page tables, its page replacement algorithm, etc.

Use of Diagrams
You probably should include one or more diagrams in your paper because certain concepts are best conveyed in that form.

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